Massage therapy is a fantastic career with a flexible routine and competitive pay. But for some, the barrier to getting started in massage therapy is paying for massage school tuition. So, can you get a massage school scholarship to help? And what can earn on a massage therapist salary after school? Where do you look for a massage school scholarship?
We compiled some resources for financial assistance that can help you get started on your road to massage therapy. Each massage school scholarship program is different, so acceptance will vary by program requirements, state and school.
Massage School Scholarship and Grant Resources
1. Government Funding
Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor’s FREE scholarship search tool can help you find a massage school scholarship opportunity that fits your needs.
TRIO Programs (TRIO)
The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are Federal outreach and student services programs that provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO actually has eight programs that assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities. TRIO provides grants, which don’t need to be repaid. You can search my vocation, by area, or by other specific terms. There are scholarships available for many different results as well, such as special needs.
US Department of Education
The US Department of Education website is another good resource. It’s also a good place to find information about how student loans can be deducted from your taxes.
Workforce Investment Act
Depending on where you live and what program you attend, you may be able to quality for the Workforce Investment Act program. Grant funding may be available for displaced workers needing job training or to re-enter the workforce.
The TAA/Trade Adjustment Assistance.
This program provides help for trade-affected workers who lost their jobs as a result of increased imports or shifts in production out of the United States. Visit the TAA website for more information. If you’re affected by a lost job and aiming to get training for a new one, you may qualify.
Can you take advantage of the GI BILL? Get in touch with the Department of Veterans Affairs: Call 1-888-GIBILL-1 or visit their website.
Fill Out a FASFA
Another option to help pay for massage school is to apply for Federal Student Aid using the FASA. To do this, submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by going to the FASFA website.
IRS Tax Breaks
The American Opportunity Credit is a Federal tax credit of up to $2500 for your out-of-pocket education expenses. Visit www.irs.gov for more information, or give you accountant a call.
2. Your High School Counselor
Still in high school? Talk to your high school counselor. Often they know of resources that may be specific to your school and local area.
3. The Imagine Scholarships
Are you a high school senior interested in pursuing a career in massage? Successful applicants for the Imagine Scholarships receive a $1,000 career education scholarship, which can be used for a massage school scholarship.
4. Your State Agency
Many states offer free resources for grants towards education. Find out if your state has any specific educational grants for vocational school you can take advantage of for massage therapy school. They may even offer grants, which like a massage school scholarship, doesn’t need to be repaid.
5 . Your Library’s Reference Section
With all the online resources, you may not think to visit your local library. However may libraries have great resource sections with information on grants and scholarships. Stop by and ask your librarian if there is a school scholarships reference shelf. Then search for programs that offer a massage school scholarship.
6. Community Organizations, Religions, Local Businesses, Foundations or Civic Groups
Think about which organizations in your community promote education and development. Are there any programs through your religion or a local organization that help fund education? As coordinators of local groups for resources for education and massage school scholarships.
7. The Massage Massage Therapy Foundation Scholarships
The American Massage Therapy Foundation offers several scholarships. Get in touch to find out if you quality for one in your area.
8. Ethnicity-based Organizations
Do you know of any organizations in your community that provide assistance based on ethnicity? If so, call them up or stop by and ask about what kind of scholarships or grants they offer for massage therapy school.
9. Your Employer or Your Parents’ Employers
You might be surprised by how many don’t think to ask their current employer for assistance. But many companies support education and ongoing learning. Your parents’ employer may also have scholarship or educational grants you can take advantage of for massage therapy school.
Can’t Get a Massage School Scholarship? Try a Loan.
If none of the above options end up working, you can always try getting a loan for massage school. Also, the nice thing about the massage therapy salary is that within a reasonable period of time, you will most likely earn enough to pay back the initial investment of your massage school tuition expense.
Personal Bank Loans
Did you know most banks offer education loans? Check with your local bank, then shop around for the best interest rate.
Visiting your local credit union can be a good option too, since they frequently offer good personal service for loan applicants.
Starting Salaries for Massage Therapy
The starting salary for massage therapy will definitely depend on where you live, where you practice massage therapy (clinic office, spa, private practice) and the types of massage types you offer, and the hours you want to work weekly.
In the United States, massage therapist salaries range from $14,000-$68,000, depending on location and how often the therapist works. In addition to the base salary or hourly charges, a therapist can earn a significant amount of money in massage tips. For some, this can increase the massage therapy salary by an additional $5-$20 per hour—some even make more!
As anyone who has even been to a spa can attest, nice spa services are costly. Wraps, scrubs, and a hot stone massage is usually over $100 per hour. A basic massage can be $60-$80 an hour, on average.
Get Started Now!
The criteria for getting massage school scholarships varies, but the process is usually pretty much the same. Good research is important, along with careful attention to details when filling out the paperwork. Also, it’s a good idea to contact your references before you start the process. It will save you time to have them lined up before you start. Another good idea is to start by making a list of scholarships in priority order, and then work on the most important ones first.
Need help? Contact our financial assistance department at American Massage and Bodywork Institute today for information on applying for scholarships.