One of the things that’s confusing about massage therapy is that the requirements seem to vary from one state to the next. Trying to figure out exactly what you have to do before you can work as a massage therapist can be tricky. No matter what state you call home, there are some things you can count on when it comes . The first is that you are going to have to go through a formal training program. There isn’t any way to get around this. Every single massage therapist in the United States has gone through a similar program. The reason everyone feels it’s important you’re properly educated before you formally become a massage therapist is that while massage therapy is a really good thing and helps lots of people, it isn’t without risk. You can do a lot of irreversible damage to a person if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can expect to learn about when and how to use different types of massage techniques, how to handle customers, and what to expect once you’ve become a professional massage therapist. The purpose for the training is to prepare you for your state massage therapist certification exam. Although you can take this exam more than once, you won’t be allowed to call yourself a massage therapist until you’ve passed. Passing your certification exam and finally being able to find the perfect job, and calling yourself a professional massage therapist is great, but don’t get too comfortable. In addition to all of your new, professional duties, you still have to make time to continue your education with additional massage therapy classes. These classes aren’t going to be an option. To stay certified, you have to participate in continued education. Every single state in the United States requires its massage therapists to take continuing education classes, though the number of hours needed does vary. While the idea of taking additional classes, especially after you’ve just finished the training program you shouldn’t get too depressed over the idea of going back to school. Keep an open mind, you might find that you enjoy the continuing education classes more than you expect to. The biggest difference between the continuing ed classes will be taking, and the massage therapy classes you had to complete before you took the certification exam is that you get to pick the kinds of classes you take. You won’t be restricted to a set curriculum. Finally you’ll be able to focus on a single aspect of massage therapy that really interests you. Keep in mind that the state you live in is who determines if a class you just took counts towards your massage therapist continuing education requirements. The best way to avoid any argument is confirming that the school offering the continuing ed classes is indeed certified by your state.