MARIETTA— The state of Ohio has restructured its training requirements for Massage Therapists and as a result, massage therapy students at Washington State Community College (WSCC) will be able to complete their training in less time.
Beginning in Fall 2023, students at WSCC will be able to earn their certificate in just two semesters. Previously the program was spread across three semesters, fall, spring, and summer, to allow students ample time to complete the 750 hours of training needed to sit for the licensure exam. New requirements from the state now only require 600 hours of training.
“This is great news for students. They will be able to complete the program in just two semesters which gets them started in their careers quicker,” said the Director of WSCC’s Massage Therapy Program Jacqulyn Krider. She clarified that while the new policy reduces the number of practice hours students need, the academic requirements have not changed.
“The updated state requirements only involve the number of hands-on massage hours students need to graduate. We will maintain our same academic rigor and classroom expectations,” Krider assured.
The new regulations, combined with the strong job forecast, will encourage more people to pursue a new career in the field, said Krider. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts as much as 20-percent job growth in the massage therapy field over the next decade. This is significant, especially when compared to the overall US employment projections that indicate only 0.5- percent annual growth. Krider explained that much of the employment growth is because the practice is now recognized as therapeutic and more insurance companies cover the cost of the services.
Krider said she also believes the updated regulations will make the massage therapy certification more attractive to medical professionals who want to expand their services to include massage.
“Wellness providers now recommend massage therapy as a complement to their treatment plans and massage therapists are becoming commonplace at healthcare facilities. This is a great way for practitioners to support their patients in a more robust way,” Krider said.
WSCC’s Massage Therapy program is currently accepting applications for Fall 2023. Admission to the program is limited and is made on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information, contact Jacqulyn Krider at 740.374.8716 ext. 1697 or visit wscc.edu/massage.