Giving new meaning to hands-on work, massage therapy uses the body as a tool to administer therapeutic and relaxation massages. It’s a field that demands considerable personal commitment, professionalism, and physical and emotional stamina – but it’s immensely rewarding.
Our Massage Therapy program will immerse you in the field, focusing on the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for success as an RMT. Your classroom theory on how the body works and proper therapeutic techniques will be perfectly complemented by 700 hours of hands-on practicum experiences.
In our on-campus student massage clinic, at independent businesses and in community settings, you’ll put into practice and improve upon your therapeutic massage skills, cultivate client-therapist relationships and develop essential business acumen.
So whether you’re looking to join an existing business, branch out on your own or enter the spa industry, our Massage Therapy diploma will get you there. Apply today!
As a successful grad of our Massage Therapy program, you’ll be prepared for entry-level positions as a massage therapist in a growing number of settings, including:
- massage clinics
- sports medicine clinics
- private health care facilities
- hotel and resort spas
- physiotherapy clinics
- chiropractic clinics
- Domestic for Fall 2018: September 4, 2018
- International for Fall 2018: June 1, 2018
For a full list of dates and deadlines, click here.
- Thompson Rivers University
- University of Lethbridge
- University of Calgary
The following courses are also available through online learning:
- CSP-1150 Medical Terminology
- ENG-1156 Business Writing
New students are accepted into the Massage Therapy two-year diploma program in the Fall (September) term. All prospective candidates will normally be expected to attend a one-day program orientation prior to program commencement.
General admission requirements
All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs as indicated in the Admissions section of this calendar.
In addition to meeting the general admission requirements indicated in the Admissions section of this calendar, applicants to this program must also satisfy the following specific course requirements (or equivalencies):
- Grade 12 Biology
It is also recommended that students have working knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet and database software.
Practice-based experience (PBE) requirements
This program has a required practice-based experience (PBE) component coordinated by the Placement Office. The college dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the PBE.
Students must meet and maintain certain requirements to participate in the PBE setting as determined by programs, practice agencies and/or legislated by government bodies. These may include health (e.g. immunizations, screening tests, etc.), privacy and security (e.g. police information check, IT access, etc.), and OHS requirements (e.g. CPR certification, fire safety, WHMIS, mask fit-testing, etc.).
As a post-secondary health-care program in Alberta, provincial immunization standards apply to students in this program. As per the provincial “Standard for Immunization of Post-Secondary Health Care Students and Students in Other High-Risk Occupational Programs,” all post-secondary institutions have the responsibility of assessing the immunization status of each health care student at the time of initial enrolment and to ensure all health care students are fully immunized before leaving post-secondary programs. There is an administrative fee for this assessment and vaccinations required to become fully immunized.
Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) coverage: PBE placement agencies and employers usually require WCB coverage on behalf of the student. Students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Alberta are deemed to be employees of the Province of Alberta and, as such, provided WCB coverage. In certain instances, for students outside of Alberta, WCB coverage may not be provided (e.g. non-Alberta residents taking a course solely through distance learning with a PBE placement outside of Alberta). These students are advised to contact the program prior to application.
PBE sites will include Lethbridge and may include surrounding rural communities. PBEs may include day, evening and/or weekend schedules. Students will be expected to travel to assigned sites and will be responsible for arranging travel and any associated costs.
Find out more about pre-placement requirements for your program.
Supplies such as linens and oils will be specified in class, and students are responsible for obtaining and maintaining them. Students are also required to purchase uniforms to be worn at all practice-based experiences.
As part of the course program requirements, students are expected to book a massage with a registered massage therapist. This can cost anywhere from $40 - $100.
Prior learning assessment (PLA)
If you have experience working in this field of study, you may be eligible for prior learning assessment.
Applicants who lack the required academic admission requirements can apply to the College and University Preparation program to upgrade their academic skills.
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- Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.
- International students are charged three times the tuition fee of their particular program and the same (other) fees as domestic students.
- Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.
Prepare for employment
Getting an education is one thing, actually preparing for employment is another. At Lethbridge College, we’ll ensure you get both. Our Massage Therapy program not only teaches massage knowledge and skills, but also incorporates biology and business. You’ll spend only about 30 per cent of your time in the traditional classroom, but the majority of your time will be spent in our clinic and lab space, which closely resemble the real-world experience.
Based on the inter-jurisdictional competency profile, our curriculum meets both provincial and national standards as well as the insurance company requirement of 2,200 hours. What does that mean for you? It means in Alberta, you’re able to bill insurance companies. More importantly, it means you can become a member of provincial and national professional associations with:
- Massage Therapist Association of Alberta
- Remedial Massage Therapists Association
- Natural Health Practitioners of Canada
- Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation
That’s not all. Our instructors maintain close connections to the industry and, during your second year, they will help you prepare for employment opportunities. So it you’re looking for more than just an education, Lethbridge College is the place to prepare for employment.
Hands-on, immersive learning
Four practicums, 700 hours, countless experiences
A hands-on profession calls for hands-on training.
Four practicums, 700 hours, countless experiences
When it comes to a profession that really is hands on, there’s no replacement for hands-on training. That’s why our Massage Therapy students participate in four practicums – one each term. Time is spent in the on-campus clinic, in the on-campus Health Centre and out in the community.
First practicum: The basics
In your first semester, your practicum is really all about the basics. You’ll be introduced to massage practice, skill and clinic routine. You’ll work with an instructor, and a second-year student will act as your mentor during this introductory period.
Second practicum: The massage clinic
Your second practicum will introduce you to the on-campus student massage clinic. Here, you’ll build on the basics of your first practicum as you learn about the business, the operation and the client treatment aspects of a clinic. You’ll participate in all roles – from receptionist to therapist assistant to therapist. Working with an instructor and instructional assistant, you’ll learn how to complete intake, assessment, treatment and evaluation. And when you head out into the community, an instructional assistant will be there to offer guidance and advice.
Third practicum: A feel for the industry
As you continue to spend time in the massage clinic and out in the community, you’ll grow more independent and develop more advanced massage skills, though instructional assistants are always available for supervision and consultation. You’ll also be practicing more independently in the Lethbridge College Health Centre as part of the medical team. You’ll even become a mentor to the first-year incoming massage students as you progress through your third practicum.
Fourth practicum: Independent massage therapist
Described as a therapeutic client assignment, your fourth practicum prepares you for the independence of running your own practice. Focusing on two clients, you’ll complete intake, assessment, treatment and evaluation. You’ll arrange to meet your clients in the massage lab or clinic and you’ll work with each one for a set number of appointments.
You’ll also attend a pre-arranged practicum with a preceptor. Available opportunities are quite varied and it’s likely that you’ll be able to arrange a practicum that matches your interests and career aspirations. Some students have travelled to competitions with athletic teams from the college and the university. Others have headed to Banff or Canmore to work in a spa setting. Whatever your vision for the future, there’s a practicum opportunity that will give you a feel for the industry.
Build a healthy community
Giving back to your community is just as rewarding as the experience you’ll gain.
Build a healthy community
Over the course of your career as a massage therapist, you’re going to encounter and work closely with a lot of different individuals. To ensure you’re prepared, we make your hands-on experiences as varied as possible through extensive community involvement.
You’ll attend several community events throughout your time in the program and you’ll even set up shop (with an instructional assistant) around town. About 10-15 per cent of your class time will be spent in the community, practicing massage skills, learning about vulnerable and diverse populations, and giving back.
Held to support the vulnerable populations in Lethbridge, Project Connect allows these individuals to access services they may not otherwise have the opportunity to access. You’ll provide massage therapy treatments to the homeless, to individuals with addictions, mental health issues or disabilities, to low income seniors, to single parent families and to children from low income families.
You’ll be able to educate these individuals and families on massage therapy and healthy living. But best of all, you’ll see your hands and your knowledge improve lives.
Learn in a realistic environment
You'll spend hours in the on-campus massage clinic perfecting your techniques.
Learn in a realistic environment
As a student in our program, you’re going to spend a lot of time in the student massage clinic. In your second semester alone, you’ll spend at least 150 hours here. But it’s this focus on hands-on, realistic training that will ensure you’re equipped with the right knowledge and skills for the industry when you graduate.
This realistic massage environment is complete with the most up-to-date hydraulic massage tables, portable chairs and desk toppers, and linens and massage oils. So what’s the only difference? An instructional assistant supervises the clinic at all times, offering advice and guidance when needed.
Part of the Health Centre team: A pilot project
New this year, we’ve joined up with the on-campus Health Centre to start a pilot project that benefits the health of our students and provides additional opportunities for Massage Therapy students to practice their skills. Working directly out of Health and Shepell Counselling Services as a member of the health team, students will take referrals from our on-campus medical and mental health community.
A student’s perspective
From here to there: alumni updates
Lethbridge College isn’t just a place to go to school – we’re a community that is here to support you from your initial interest in our program through to the moment you cross the stage at Convocation and beyond. Just take a look at where an LC education has taken some of our grads.
“I have been working in the massage therapy industry for more than two years. When I graduated from Lethbridge College I was hired with a high-end spa company in Calgary called Sante Spa. The company I work for is very well known and successful in Calgary. We have three locations and a medical centre. I work in one of our busy downtown locations in the area called ‘Mission.’ I’m a full-time employee and very busy! Coming out of the massage therapy program I felt confident in the knowledge and skills I attained from the program to be successful in the industry. All the instructors are very knowledgeable about the course material and the industry. Class sizes are small and students get a lot of one-on-one time with the instructor during classes and get to build personal relationships. I still stay in contact with my instructors and we keep each other up-to-date on our careers.”
– From Winter 2015 Wider Horizons