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 Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx).
  2. To apply for licensure to practice in North Carolina.
  3. Who are able to function as healthcare 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

  • Forsyth Technical Community College’s Therapeutic Massage program has been successfully educating and graduating a skilled workforce of massage therapists to employers in surrounding counties since 1993, and boasts the highest pass rate of any other massage school in NC on the state license exam (MBLEx).
  • The Forsyth Tech Therapeutic Massage program is located in Kernersville at the Grady Swisher Center campus. The Therapeutic Massage faculty/staff has a combined 115 years of experience and dedicated to ensure a diverse and equitable opportunity to career and technical education.
  • The A.A.S. program provides a work-based learning experience. This portion of the program may require driving distances to clinical sites, such as Wake Health, Massage Envy, Hand and Stone, and various chiropractor offices in the Triad area.
  • Upon completion of Certificate I & II, graduates may be eligible to take the exam offered by the FSMTB (Federation of State Massage Therapy & Bodywork). Upon successful passing of the MBLEx (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination – state licensing exam), the graduate may be eligible to apply for licensure with the NC-BMBT (North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy)


  • Why would I want a career in Therapeutic Massage?
    If you are interested in:

    • helping people to feel better
    • staying active during the day rather than working behind a desk
    • focusing on holistic wellness and better health
    • a career where you work one-on-one with your clients
    • rewarding work in a healthcare setting, spa, or private practice

    Today, the massage therapy profession is a burgeoning enterprise with a steady increase in employment opportunities in health and wellness management. The Triad area is unique in that the health care professions are extensive and accessible, and therapeutic massage has substantial research behind its efficacy in pain reduction, which makes this skillset a great asset in this setting.

  • Why would I want to earn an AAS in Therapeutic Massage vs. getting my Certificates?
    While you can sit for the license exam after only completing your Certificates, local businesses have expressed a strong preference for employing Forsyth Tech AAS graduates. An Associate Degree will make you more marketable, and is also portable across the U.S. It will prepare you for positions at Wake Health or doctors’ offices/other medical settings, and will give you the credentials to teach Therapeutic Massage in a community college. When completed, our graduates are proficient in all of the following advanced techniques:

    • Hospital-based massage
    • Treatment planning, decision tree models
    • Myofascial Release
    • Lymphatic Drainage
    • Cupping
    • Hot Stone Massage
    • Kinesio Taping
    • Aromatherapy
    • Prenatal Massage
    • Sports (college athletics)
    • Reiki I and II
    • Hydrotherapy
    • Mobility Enhancement Therapy
    • Isolated Active Stretching
    • Paranasal Sinus Drainage
    • Spa Techniques
    • Case Study presentations
    • Research

    This program involves a work-based learning experience on-site in healthcare and wellness facilities within the community, as well as spas and sports arenas. A student may be able to earn wages while completing their studies.

  • What kind of salary should I expect?
    The average salary in this area, according to AMTA is $30,000. But according to Forbes it can vary widely depending on where you want to work, and for whom ($28,00-70,000). There are many different venues and options. Other question? Check out this Industry fact sheet, from AMTA
  • Why educate 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 include related classes which will give the student an excellent overall foundational knowledge. Therapeutic Massage at Forsyth Tech is a curriculum program, meaning a student earns college credit which may be transferable to other colleges, and sets them up for the ability to earn and Associates in Applied Science degree if they so choose.
  • What attributes are needed for the career path?
    • People person with excellent interpersonal skills
    • Self-Starter
    • Attention to detail
    • Superior critical thinking
    • Ability to work with individuals of various ages and degree of health
    • Calm, relaxed personality
    • Manual dexterity
    • Physical stamina
  • Where could I find employment?
    • Private practice
    • Hospitals or medical offices
    • Specialty medical care centers
    • Corporate settings
    • Resorts, cruise ships and hotels
    • Franchised Spas
  • Why is Therapeutic Massage an important part of Health Technologies?
    Therapeutic Massage providers are crucial to health care systems as they support, facilitate and complement the roles of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. 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.


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