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

Although about 16 schools in Wisconsin offer massage therapy courses, people interested in attending a non-profit school have only two educational options.

These Massage Therapy Schools in Wisconsin provide students with the technical knowledge and clinical skills necessary for entry-level work as massage therapists.

Some of the schools below offer alternative scheduling options, such as evening classes, and all include massage practice in the curriculum. Admission requirements may include a clean bill of health, including drug screening and a clear background check.

All of the massage therapy schools in Wisconsin listed in this article prepare students to take the national certification exam for massage therapists and therapists, and students can also apply to become registered massage therapists with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Are There Massage Therapy Schools In Wisconsin?

There are atleast 10 massage therapy schools in Wisconsin, ranging from small private institutions to large public colleges. Some focus only on auto body work, while others offer multiple career programs.

The training programs have three components: classroom training, laboratory training and clinical experience. In less than a year or less, graduates receive certificates or diplomas that allow them to apply for a state license.

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How Much Do Massage Therapy Schools Cost In Wisconsin?

The average tuition for a massage school — tuition alone, not books, massage tables, equipment, etc. — was $13,605 in 2014, with the average cost of attending corporate and commercial activities.

Programs (programs with multiple campuses in different states that are part of a larger corporate organization) are aimed at 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 Wisconsin?

A high school diploma or GED is required for anyone who wants to become a massage therapist in Wisconsin. The next level of education must be in a higher educational institution with accreditation accepted by the state certification commission.

Board regulations require a massage therapy program to have a total of 600 or more hours of teaching and learning. This must include 125 hours in anatomy, physiology, pathology, and kinesiology classes; and 50 hours in business, law and ethics.

A minimum of 300 hours must be devoted to the theory, technique and practice of massage and bodywork—100 hours of supervised, hands-on practice and 20 hours of student clinic work.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid for adults must be covered within five classroom hours.

Many schools go above and beyond by providing training in a greater variety of massage techniques. Some curricula include courses that prepare students to open their own practices, while others allow for extensive clinical experience.

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What Are The Best Massage Therapy Schools In Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has standards for massage and bodywork schools and practitioners. State code not only sets the minimum required curriculum, but also dictates which institutions are eligible to offer programs. Wisconsin Approved Programs can be a resource at many points along the way.

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Below is a list of some of the best massage therapy schools in Wisconsin. You will find schools in all major cities such as Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, Appleton, Waukesha and more.

1.     The Institute of Beauty and Wellness

This Aveda accredited beauty school in Milwaukee has programs in esthetics, Ayurvedic aesthetics and massage.

The MT curriculum is 750 hours of content, 70 of which students spend in clinical settings. The program duration options are 22 weeks full-time during the day, 36 weeks part-time (three days per week) and 38 weeks of evening classes.

Students develop skills in Swedish and deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, chakras and body opening movements.

Practical classes are held in school cadaver laboratories and specialized clinics. Students receive “one-on-one tutoring” and free iPads. Job fairs and seminars for guest speakers are held.


2.     Western Technical College

Located in La Crosse, WTC is one of 16 public vocational schools in Wisconsin. It is certified by the Massage Therapy Accreditation Commission.

The MT program consists of 750 hours of content — half classroom lectures and half practical training. A pair of internships is 100 hours. Certificates are issued after 25 weeks during the day or after 47 weeks during the night.

All instructors have professional experience in the field. Students study Swedish massage, hydrotherapy, deep tissue massage, advanced clinical massage, spa and wellness treatments, chair massage and sports massage, and kinesiology.

They also receive extensive training in advanced clinical techniques.


3.     Madison Area Technical College

This public community college with more than 150 career programs serves 12 counties in south-central Wisconsin.

The 800-hour content, 28-credit massage therapy diploma program takes full-time students nine months. There is instruction in both Eastern and Western modalities, including Swedish, chair, and full-body therapeutic techniques.

The classes also study techniques for pregnant women, the elderly, and cancer patients.

The curriculum covers clinical approaches such as trigger therapy and sports massage; and spa treatments such as hydrotherapy, hot stone massage, aromatherapy and oriental body treatments.

Professional skills, the therapeutic relationship, treatment planning, and body-mind awareness are emphasized.


4.     Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

NWTC offers diplomas in massage therapy at its Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay campuses. The program emphasizes “personal and professional development, increased self-awareness and sensitivity.”

The 28-credit curriculum provides training in health and safety, myofascial release, deep tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, spa treatments, oriental and energy approaches, medical terminology, pharmacology, kinesiology and diversity studies.

Students learn massage techniques for athletes, mothers and infants, the elderly, end-of-life patients, and those with chronic pain.

One of the entry requirements for the program is a minimum high school GPA of 2.6. Students have access to study abroad opportunities.


5.     Fox Valley Technical College

Our top choice is a public community college that offers more than 200 degree and certificate programs. Massage therapy students at the Appleton campus earn technical degrees.

The full-time program consists of 24 credits. There is a day and evening schedule of classes. Students learn deep facial massage, pregnancy massage, infant massage, and facial acupressure.

Other courses teach trigger point therapy, myofascial release, joint movement, neuromuscular therapy, polarity, reflexology, Asian bodywork, Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, kinesiology, safety and sanitation, and communication skills.

The school’s Trilogy Salon & Spa offers students Swedish, chair, hot stone, and individual massages.


6.     East-West Healing Arts Institute

With campuses in Madison and Milwaukee, this school offers a diploma program in Asian bodywork and massage therapy.

Eight hundred hours of content require 10 months of full-time study. Longer option, part time available. The institute advertises its curriculum as having “the most advanced modalities of any school in the Midwest.”

Courses cover Eastern and Western massage techniques and theory, student chair massage, Western science, and licensure exam preparation.

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The program director, Dr. Siping Zhou, is an expert in Traditional Chinese Medical Acupuncture who also teaches Tai Chi and Qi Gong. He has over 25 years of experience in Chinese medicine.


7.     The Professional Hair Design Academy

This family institution has been operating in Eau Claire for more than 20 years. His certified massage therapy program includes 630 hours of content.

Students receive hands-on training in a variety of massage and wellness techniques, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports, prenatal, and reflexology.

They also learn communication and guest service skills. The 45-week program starts twice a year.

The on-campus salon and spa offers students full-body treatments, hot stones and aromatherapy. The school helps in career planning and job search.


8.     The Salon Professional Academy-Onalaska

The private SPA school issues certificates in cosmetology, aesthetics and massage.

Students need 25 weeks to complete the MT program. They attend classes and labs Monday through Friday for an average of 30 hours per week. Programs start in May and October.

750 hours of training provide training in relaxation methods and clinical massage. The school promises “individual attention,” with each class limited to eight students.

Program participants get real experience in spas and salons. They treat clients to Swedish, deep tissue massage and hot stones; as well as aromatherapy procedures.


9.     Aveda Institute-Madison

Aveda cosmetics company started opening beauty and health schools in 1977. Today, its North American network includes more than 60 institutes. The Madison site is on University Square.

The school “embodies an integrated view of beauty, nutrition, body care, health and well-being.”

The 750-hour massage therapy program features an “advanced interactive curriculum” that teaches Swedish massage, reflexology and aromatherapy. Students will also learn about Ayurveda, an ancient Indian method of healing.

The student salon and social events provide an opportunity to gain practical experience. There are guest teachers, tutors, job fairs. The school employs many of its graduates in Aveda salons.


10.  Herzing University-Brookfield

It is a private non-profit institution with dozens of programs. It has nine campuses in seven states, including the Brookfield site in the Milwaukee area. Herzing offers a diploma in massage therapy that includes 900 hours of content.

Along with required state courses, students study health services management, therapeutic strategies and decision-making, health and eastern philosophy, hydrotherapy, and advanced hydrotherapy.

Specialized areas of massage include posture assessment, connective tissue massage, trigger point therapy, therapeutic exercise and stretching, and positioning.

The curriculum also requires four clinical assignments. The school has career services to help students find work.


How Much Do Massage Therapists In Wisconsin Earn?

The typical practitioner here earns about $42,400 a year (or $20.40 an hour) — slightly better than the United States average of about $41,420 (or $20).

Income for those in the top tenth of earners is nearly $65,000 (or about $31.20) in Wisconsin — not nearly as much as the national average of nearly $78,300 (or more than 37, 60 USD).

Earnings for the tenth lowest in the state are more than $18,850 (or more than $9) – less than about $21,340 (or $10.25) nationwide.

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How Do I Become A Massage Therapist In Wisconsin?

If you have the determination and passion, you will have no problem completing the training program required to become a massage therapist.

A curriculum for massage therapists typically includes coursework on types of massage therapy that can be provided to clients based on their needs.

Courses may also discuss procedures that massage therapists should use to treat injuries or for deep relaxation. Other required courses include anatomy, physiology and pathology.

Wisconsin also sets minimum hours requirements that massage therapy students must complete to become licensed. Students must accumulate 600 hours of study to pass the online charter exam as well as the NCBTMB exam.

Students will also need to pass these exams to obtain a massage therapy license in Wisconsin. Wisconsin also offers continuing education courses for students who want to improve their skills or learn about the latest technology in the industry.

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Best Paying Massage Therapy Jobs In Wisconsin

Companies are looking to hire professional, courteous massage therapist to provide guests with a wide range of massage services in Wisconsin.

The massage therapist will consult with guests to screen them for underlying ailments and assist in selecting appropriate services. You will perform the massage in such a way as to prevent injuries to the wrists and other parts of the body.

Advocate Aurora Health – Massage Therapist

Westfields Hospital – Massage Therapist – PartTime

Optimum Therapies – Massage Therapist

The Osthoff Resort -Massage Therapist

University of Wisconsin–Madison – Massage Therapist

Moda Bella Salon and Spa – Massage Therapist

Chula Vista Resort – Massage Therapist

Mercyhealth – Massage Therapist

Upland Hills Health – Massage Therapist – part time to full time position

Massage Therapy Schools In Wisconsin FAQs

What Is The Requirement For Message Therapy License In Wisconsin?

Once you get your license, you’ll need to renew it every two years and pay a fee of $53. Wisconsin also requires 24 continuing education credits every two years. To make sure you have a clear idea of ​​what you need to do to get your massage therapist license in Wisconsin, start talking to schools in your area today to start planning your path to success.

What Is The Average Annual Salary For A Massage Therapist In Wisconsin?

There is a growing need for massage therapists throughout Wisconsin. Between 2016 and 2026, CareerOneStop expects an 18% increase in massage therapist jobs in Wisconsin. Job prospects may be better in tourist areas such as Door County and Wisconsin Dells. Massage Therapist Salaries in Wisconsin are generally in line with nationally reported earnings. The average salary for a massage therapist in Wisconsin is $42,510 per year (O*Net, 2020)

What Do Massage Therapists Do In Wisconsin?

When you start working as a massage therapist in Winsconsin, chances are your days will be extremely structured and organized. Massage therapists rarely make appointments, so they choose to book their schedule in advance. If you work in a spa or salon, you can coordinate your schedule with other professionals to ensure that clients get all the services they want. Before each meeting, you should spend some time talking with the client. This can be about the pain they feel, what they want to get out of their massage and what type of massage they prefer.

How Long Is Massage Therapy Schools In Wisconsin?

The Wisconsin program will be a minimum of 600 hours. Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, and Pathology will total a minimum of 125 hours. The theory, technique and practice of massage or bodywork will amount to at least 300 hours. Of these, at least 100 will consist of hands-on practice.
Another 50 hours will be devoted to business practices, law and ethics. Students may receive at least six hours of coverage as required by Wisconsin state law. They will take a state law exam before graduation — this is required by state code.

Do You Need Licensed To Work As A Massage Therapist In Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, anyone offering massage services must be licensed. These workers must first apply and then pass the massage therapist bar exam and national exam. The state also requires applicants to complete an approved massage therapy or bodywork therapy program. Individuals who meet all the requirements but do not receive scores on the national exams can obtain a temporary license for six months.


Massage therapy is a thriving profession in the Badger State, where many practitioners have incomes above the national average. Government officials forecast about 360 new jobs annually from 2016 to 26.

The training programs have three components: classroom training, laboratory training and clinical experience. In less than a year or less, graduates receive certificates or diplomas that allow them to apply for a state license.

There are 10 massage therapy schools in Wisconsin, ranging from small private institutions to large public colleges. Some focus only on auto body work, while others offer multiple career programs.



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