How to Become a Massage Therapist in Canada

A Massage therapist job in Canada is quite lucrative and exciting with good benefits.

There is almost nothing in everyday living that can be as blissful and relaxing as the magic touch of a professional massage therapist working on your body. Therefore, a message therapist blessed with the skill of touching your muscles and joints, helps to ease away every feeling of stress, aches, tightness and even pains and giving you that overwhelming feeling of relaxation and healing which somehow rejuvenates your body and brighten your spirit.

Therefore, in this article, we will learn what it takes to become a professional massage therapist. Moreover, to do this as a career, you need to know what education and training is needed and how to land a job as a massage therapist.

By definition, Massage is the conscious manipulation of the soft tissues, muscles and joints in the body.

However, Massage techniques can be done using hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, feet, or a device. However, the purpose of a massage is to treatment the body of stress, aches or pain.

In addition, an individual who is professionally trained in massage techniques and practice is traditionally called a masseur (male) or a masseuse (female) in Europe.

Meanwhile, in the United States, such individual is referred to as a massage therapist; therefore, he/she must be registered, certified and licensed as licensed professional massage therapist.

In this article

What are the Duties of a Massage Therapist?

Professional massage therapy is basically considered to be a kind of health-care practice, this is because massage therapists engage the body’s soft tissues, as well as muscle tissue, lymph tissue and connective tissue, to assist their clients achieve wellness and healing.

However, there are different types of massage depending on the target area of the body and purpose.

For instance, there is the deep-tissue massage, which is great for managing chronic pain, meanwhile a Swedish massage works perfectly for after injury treatment, reduce pain and manage stress.

Therefore, it is obvious that massage therapy does more than just relaxation; consequently, quite a lot of doctors prescribe massage therapy for their clients to help soothe the effect of their illness and pains.

For example, in the treatment of the side-effects of cancer treatments to managing the pain of before and after childbirth, up to helping clinical depressed persons.

Why become a Massage Therapist?

As the longing for the duties of professional massage therapy increases, more licensed massage therapists continue to be needed in order to assist more patients.

In addition, the prevalent high level of stress in our everyday living has necessitated the need for relaxation treatments all the more.

Road Map to becoming a Massage Therapist

Firstly, you must be educated and trained at registered institutions in Canada to qualify or practice as a massage therapist. Thus, colleges and schools where you can be educated and trained in massage therapy are located in every province in Canada.

The following provinces offer Message therapy courses in Canada.

  • Alberta
  • Ontario
  • Vancouver
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • The Yukon

Colleges in the list below meet the Massage Therapy curriculum requirements of the present provincial regulatory colleges of Canada.

British Columbia Requirements

To qualify as a Massage Therapist in British Columbia, you have to under go a written and practical examination administered by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC), which you must pass after you complete the minimum 3,000 hours or three years of training from an approved massage therapy school in BC.

Consequently, to register involve passing the written and practical exam and paying an annual renewal fee of C$330. In addition to a liability insurance and a 24 CEUs every 2 years in BC.

For more information, please visit the link: British Columbia Minimum Wage for Massage therapist

The following BC schools offer the message therapy program

  • Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy(OVCMT)
  • West Coast College of Massage Therapy(WCCMT)
  • Degree option – New Westminster and Victoria
  • Utopía Academy – Vancouver
  • Vancouver Career College – Burnaby

Province of Ontario Requirements

In Ontario the message therapist career is certified by the College of Massage therapists of Ontario (CMTO), which administers rigorous written and practical examinations at different times a year to students graduating from approved message therapy schools.

The Objectively Structured Clinical Evaluation (OSCE) and the Multiple-Choice Questionnaire (MCQ) are exams you must pass in Ontario.

Requirement to qualify as a Message therapist in Ontario includes completing a 2 or 3 year full time program, pass the OSCEs and pay the yearly membership fee of C$425, in addition, to 30 CEUs required every 3 years.

Listed below are schools in Ontario that can trained you as a massage therapist

  • Algonquin College in the Ottawa
  • Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy
  • College of Health Science and Technology, Canada
  • Canadian Therapeutic College
  • Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Collège Boreal
  • D’Arcy Lane Institute
  • Elegance School of Aesthetics
  • Elmcrest College of Applied Health Sciences & Spa Management
  • Everest College of Business, Technology and Health Care(formerly CDI)
  • Georgian College
  • International Academy of Massage Inc.
  • ICT Kikkawa College
  • Kiné-Concept Institute Ontario
  • Lambton college
  • Medix School
  • Ontario College of Health & Technology
  • Protégé School
  • Sir Sanford Fleming College Peterborough
  • Sutherland-Chan School
  • Trillium College
  • Wellsprings College of Massage Therapy and Esthetics

Newfoundland and Labrador

Massage therapy in Newfoundland and Labrador is regulated by the College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland & Labrador.  To qualify as a massage therapist in Newfoundland and Labrador, you must complete a 2,200 hour written and practical curriculum and exam. Membership renewal fee is C$300 every 3 years in addition to 20 CEU’s required every 3 years.

The under listed school offer the massage therapy curriculum in Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Compu College – St. John’s

 Nova Scotia                                          

  • ICT Northumberland College – Halifax
  • Canadian College of Massage & Hydrotherapy – Halifax

 New Brunswick                                                         

  • Atlantic College of Therapeutic Massage – Fredericton
  • Kiné-Concept Institute – Fredericton
  • ICT Compu College of Saint John

Massage Therapy program at Winnipeg and Calgary is offered by Robertson College.

The right massage therapy program for you depends on a number of factors like; where you live, start and completion date, tuition fee, the program.

Admission Requirements for Robertson’s College

This involves:

  • High School diploma or its equivalent
  • Passing a grade in English
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology and/or Chemistry
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Proof of English proficiency

A massage therapy school cost totally depends on your course and institution, which can range between a few thousand dollars up to $20,000.

What do you need to Certify as a Massage Therapist?

Study courses for massage therapist certification are different from city to city; for instance, in Calgary, the course duration is 48 weeks, that is 1,200 hours (150hrs of practicum), meanwhile in Winnipeg, the program duration is for 110 weeks, or 2300 hrs.

Massage Therapy Stats in Canada

Fraser Institute in 2017 reported an increase in the use of massage. Also, a 2016, report states that about 79 per cent of adult Canadians had tried one form of alternative medicine; consequently, 44 per cent had tried massage therapy. 10 years ago, that number was only 35 per cent.

For instance, in Manitoba , its recorded that 59 per cent of the adult population visited a massage therapist in 2015, likewise, 34 per cent of Manitobans according to research use massage therapy services three or more times annually.

Additionally, nationally, 61 per cent of massage therapists in Canada work full time, while another 29 per cent work part time.

How Much do Massage Therapist Earn in Canada?

You might wonder how much can a licensed massage therapist earn in Canada. According to the MTAM research, 31 per cent of message therapist report to making between C$40,000 – C$69,999 yearly.

Therefore, massage therapy is a growing field, this is because massage therapy is in demand from all over; therefore, with this kind of stat and growth you can make a full-time or part-time career from massage therapy if you decide to do so.

Benefits of becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist

Generally, the sole and most accurate reason why you would want to become a massage therapist should be because you want to help people; to reduce their pain; assist them to de-stress, make them able to cope with anxiety; likewise, help in the process of their rehabilitation after an injury or illness; to use your competencies and training to make their lives better and easier.

Similarly, Massage therapy is basically providing positive, warm and sensitive environment for healing, thus, by delivering professional massages, you could be changing someone’s life.

In addition, you can build lasting relationships with your clients, which can be meaningful and pose great benefit.

Massage Therapy is a Growing Career Field

As stated above, massage therapy is growing quite rapidly at the moment, this implies that more job opportunities will open up and on the rise as professional certified massage therapists continue to be in demand.

What do most massage therapists consider to as good benefit of the profession?

  • Flexibility: the ability to plan your work, for a good work/life balance, thus, you can work as much or as little as you choose.
  • Opportunity to own your business, become self-employed.
  • Also, you can have a formal day-job, maybe in a hotel or spa or other businesses that will give you employee benefits and paid time off.

Summarily, massage therapy is one of very few professions where you get both full-time salaried employment options in addition to freelance or self-employment.