Therapeutic Massage – Program Detail

Program Mission/Overview

The Therapeutic Massage program provides instruction of the highest quality in order to elevate the professional standards of the massage therapy profession, and to promote cooperative partnerships between the therapeutic massage community and Triad regional healthcare professionals.

Program Outcomes

The purpose of this program is to prepare graduates:

  1. To apply to take the National Certification Exam (NCE) or the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx).
  2. To apply for licensure to practice in North Carolina.
  3. Who are able to function as providers of massage therapy care and bodywork.
  4. Who strive for excellence and assume leadership roles in providing quality therapeutic massage to clients and groups of clients throughout the lifespan in a variety of settings.

Program History

  • One of the first degree programs in the Community College System in North Carolina. Started out with Continuing Education in 1995 and moved over to Curriculum in 2002.
  • Meets or exceeds the standard requirements of the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy.  Community College programs are exempt from Board approval.
  • Upon completion of the diploma, graduates may be eligible to take the exam offered by the NCBTMB. Upon successful passing of the NCE, the graduate may be eligible to apply for licensure with the NC-BMBT (North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy, NCBTMB).
  • Graduates have an excellent pass rate on the national certification exam.
  • The Diploma and AAS programs offer advanced training for more employment opportunities.
  • The A.A.S. program provides a cooperative experience. May require driving distances to clinical sites.
  • Staff and Instructors are active in their professional organizations on a state and national level and the current Program Coordinator is an officer for the President’s North Carolina Community College Council of Therapeutic Massage Programs.


  • Why would I want a career in Therapeutic Massage?

    It is a very challenging as well as rewarding field to be in today. It is therapeutic for the client as well as yourself. It is no longer one of those rare or trendy occupations. Today, massage therapy is a growing segment in the health and wellness industry. This program prepares graduates to work in direct client care settings to provide manipulation, methodical pressure, friction and kneading of the body for maintaining wellness throughout the lifespan.

  • Why would I want to take the AAS program vs. diploma program?

    An associate’s degree will make you more marketable. It will prepare you for positions at doctors’ offices and medical settings, as well as teach you advanced level spa techniques for personal care settings. This program involves students in a variety of educational experiences including classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings. Didactic courses provide an advanced level of understanding of effective therapeutic modalities for special populations, while clinical courses provide the experience needed to become skilled specialists in the areas of outcome-based massage and research, and cooperative education experience on-site in healthcare and wellness facilities within the community.

  • What kind of salary should I expect?

    Anywhere between $15,000-$33,000 per year.

    This is a service profession that requires development of a client base.

  • Why train at a community college?

    A community college setting will provide the student with a comprehensive training and education in the theory and practice of therapeutic massage, as well as associate related classes which will give the student an excellent overall foundation of knowledge.

  • What attributes are needed for the career path?
    • People person
    • Self starter – Motivated
    • Attention to detail and critical thinking
    • Manual dexterity
    • Physical stamina
  • Where could I find employment?
    • Spas
    • Hospitals or medical offices
    • Specialty medical care centers
    • Corporate settings
    • Resorts, cruise ships and hotels
    • Or even start your own private practice
  • Why is TM an important part of Allied Health?

    As with any allied health profession, Therapeutic Massage professional skills can make a difference in the world. Therapeutic Massage professionals are competent, caring and compassionate people. Each role involves not only working with your mind but also your hands to solve problems and provide quality care. Therapeutic Massage providers are crucial to health care systems as they support, facilitate and complement the roles of doctors, nurses, and other health care facilitators. Massage therapy is one of the oldest forms healing that applies various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body. As the health conscience population searches for holistic solutions, massage therapy has steadily increased in the popularity and support of the overall medical community.

Staff Directory

  • Jean Middleswarth, MSW, LMBT
    Director of Health Services
  • Kim Moore, LMBT
    Program Coordinator
  • Sandy Mason
    Clinical Coordinator
  • Karen Clement
    Health Services Secretary