Best Massage Therapy Schools In South Carolina | Cost, Requirement & How To Apply

With more than 25 million Americans seeking massage services each year, massage therapy schools in South Carolina are eager to fill their classrooms with aspiring professionals.

Campuses can be found throughout the state, from small towns to larger cities such as Columbia and Charleston.

Massage therapy schools in South Carolina offer programs that typically take less than a year, and some of the courses may include business, ethics, anatomy and physiology, as well as hands-on training in deep tissue and sports massage, health and wellness, and business practices.

Most massage therapy schools in South Carolina also teach the legal, financial and ethical aspects of the profession.

Are There Massage Therapy Schools In South Carolina?

There are five massage therapy schools in South Carolina, including public and private institutes and colleges. Some focus solely on massage therapy, while others offer multiple programs.

Most institutions offer certificates that require a year or less of full-time study. Some have two-year graduate programs. Students spend most of their time in classrooms and laboratories, and gain hands-on experience in clinical settings.

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How Much Do Massage Therapy Schools Cost In South Carolina?

The average tuition for a massage school—tuition only, not books, massage tables, equipment, etc.—is $13,605 in 2014, with the average cost of attending corporate and for-profit programs (programs with multiple campuses in different states that are mostly a corporate entity) with a skew towards the higher end of the spectrum.

The type of institution can affect the total cost, but the length of the massage therapy program and the number of credit hours included can also make a difference.

More expensive programs may be longer and offer a wider range of coursework to allow students to learn more specialized techniques such as hydrotherapy, sports massage or trigger therapy.

On the other hand, less expensive programs may involve fewer hours of instruction and focus on the fundamentals of massage therapy.

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What Are The Requirements For Massage Therapy Schools In South Carolina?

There are certain educational and exam requirements to obtain a license to practice massage therapy in South Carolina.

You will need to complete at least 500 hours of study at an approved school. These classes will cover a wide range of topics and the school will be able to guide you through the required curriculum.

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You will also need to pass one of the national massage exams. For example MBLEx, NCETM or NCETMB.

For forms, the most up-to-date information, and any questions you may have about the process, I suggest you contact the South Carolina Board of Massage Therapy, as they are the regulatory body for the licensing process in the state.

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What Are The Best Massage Therapy Schools In South Carolina?

If you want to practice massage in South Carolina, you will need to complete the licensing requirements at one of the massage schools in the state.

There are some great Massage Therapy Schools in South Carolina as you’ll see in the list below, and it’s easy to meet all the education requirements, don’t panic.

Southeastern Institute-Charleston

It is a private medical school with campuses in Charleston and Columbia. It offers small classes, experienced faculty, placement services, and day or evening classes.

The certificate of the professional clinical massage program requires 900 hours. The curriculum includes 700 hours of classes in massage and neuromuscular therapy. Students spend 100 hours in an on-campus clinic where they treat real clients.

Applicants to the program take a preliminary entrance exam. The school admits some of those who do not make the “appropriate” scores. These students must submit a resume, write an appeal letter and go through an interview.


Central Carolina Technical College

This community college in Sumter offers a massage therapy certificate that requires 12 months of full-time classes. The hospital program includes training in emergency care.

Completion of development courses is a mandatory requirement for admission. Therapeutic massage classes begin in January and August. Students study compulsory subjects and perform a one-hour massage for the public at the clinic on campus.

Those who complete the 960-hour program can also earn a specialty certificate in Massage Therapy for Integrative Health—the first of its kind in the United States—recognized by the National Board for Certification in Massage and Bodywork Therapy.


Platt College-Miller-Motte Technical-Conway

A branch campus of the private Platt College in Tulsa, Oklahoma, MMT dates back to 1916. The 710-hour massage program lasts eight months. In addition to the required coursework, students take somatic psychology and hydrotherapy and aromatherapy.

They study techniques in Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, trigger point massage, prenatal and geriatric massage, and neuromuscular therapy.

The curriculum includes three “stays in the school’s teaching clinic. Applicants must complete a study readiness test “to determine the type of support” they will need if accepted into the program.


Spartanburg Community College

This public school primarily serves the residents of Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties in northern South Carolina.

The therapeutic massage program focuses on Swedish and basic massage techniques and includes mandatory courses. The 31-credit curriculum consists of three 42-week semesters beginning in the fall. Hands-on experience is provided on campus and in local clinics.

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Students can further their education by earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Massage Therapy.

They must take additional classes in composition, communications, human relations, public speaking, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, art and music, humanities, early Christian and Jewish history and literature, world religions, and computers.


Midlands Technical College 

Midland Technical College offers a 600-hour program that can be completed in ten months.

The program provides some exposure to a number of modalities and special populations, including structural-segmental reflexology, neuromuscular therapy, and prenatal/infant and geriatric life-stage adaptations.

Midland Technical College is a member of the American Massage Therapist Association.


How Much Do Massage Therapists In South Carolina Earn?

The average annual salary for a doctor in South Carolina is just under $41,000 a year, or about $19.70 an hour, which is slightly less than the U.S. average of over $41,400, or about $20.

The state’s most financially successful 10 percent earn nearly $59,900, or $29, which is not as much as the U.S. average of about $78,300, or $37.65. The 10 percent who make the least money earn $20,600, or about $10 in South Carolina, and more than $21,300, or about $10.25 nationally.

In 2016, 3,710 massage therapists worked here. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be 4,540 jobs by 2026. That would be a 22 percent increase, close to the agency’s forecast of 26 percent nationwide.

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How Do I Become A Massage Therapist In South Carolina?

To become a massage therapist in South Carolina, you must first obtain a high school diploma or GED. The student must then attend an accredited higher education institution that offers a state-approved MT program.

The program must consist of at least 500 meaningful hours of study and practice. Courses cover anatomy and physiology, kinesiology pathology, basic massage techniques, business skills, hygiene, law and ethics.

Many training programs exceed the minimum requirements. Programs vary in the number and types of massage techniques they teach. Some focus on therapeutic massage; others for sanatorium-resort treatment.

The practical component of the curriculum can take place in a student clinic on campus or on an externship at a massage facility in the community. After graduation, the future practitioner must apply to the state commission to obtain a license.

Officials require that the applicant be at least 18 years old, provide proof of graduation from an approved school, and obtain an acceptable score on the Massage and Bodywork Examination (MBLEx).

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Best Paying Massage Therapy Jobs In South Carolina

Some of the places you can find work include spas, fitness centers, resorts, and medical facilities.  You can also use the knowledge and skills gained to start your own massage business or offer mobile massage services, serving clients in their homes.

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In this way, you will experience the business side of massage.  On the other hand, working in a medical facility, spa or salon allows you to get on-the-job training from more experienced colleagues.

It also gives you access to a ready-made market and clientele without having to sell your services, as is the case with running a business.

Montage International – Massage Therapist

Wild Dunes Resort – Massage Therapist

Mcleod Health – Massage Therapist-(Part-Time)

State of South Carolina – Temporary, Part-Time Massage Therapy Lab Assistant

THE WILLCOX HOTEL – Massage Therapist

Prisma Health – Massage Therapist, Life Center, PRN, Variable

Spa De Vie -Massage Therapist

Marriott International, Inc -Massage Therapist

Massage Therapy Schools In South Carolina FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Massage Therapist In South Carolina?

To be licensed, you must complete a massage therapy training program of at least 500 hours at an approved massage or bodywork school. Potential massage therapists study anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, develop and understand how the structure and function of the tissues to be treated affect the overall functioning of the patient’s body.

What Is The Requirement For Message Therapy License In South Carolina?

The state of South Carolina requires massage therapists to complete at least 500 hours of training in a program approved by the Board. After you complete your training, you’ll take a written exam and then apply for your license, which costs $150.

How Do I Renew My Message Therapy License In South Carolina?

You will need to renew your license every two years and pay a fee of $175 with your application. In addition, you will be required to complete at least 12 hours of refresher courses between each renewal period. You can learn more by reviewing these frequently asked questions from the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Where Do Massage Therapists Work In South Carolina?

You may dream of working in a spa, resort, medical field, or on a cruise ship. Some massage therapists open their own businesses and practice in their homes or in the homes of their clients. Others work in the professional offices of other health care providers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or medical spas. The massage therapy industry is becoming increasingly popular. The best job opportunities are in big cities or in spa resorts.


Massage therapy schools in South Carolina may focus primarily on Western techniques such as Swedish and deep tissue massage, or may include other techniques such as reflexology. Students can start practicing their techniques on each other quite early in the program.

Massage therapy programs in South Carolina, as in other states, often go beyond minimum contact hour requirements. The program may include internships and externships. Externship experience takes place outside the enterprise.

Students enrolling in a school with an externship component should expect to work only under supervision and only after they have completed a significant portion of the program and proven their competency.



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