Interested in going to massage therapy school in Portland OR? Here is your easy guide on how to choose the best massage school for you.
SPOILER: There are only two schools to choose from.
So you are interested in attending massage school in Portland or somewhere in Oregon. Amazing! But which one offers the best massage therapy program?
Where to go to massage school is an important decision. Not only is the investment expensive but it's your education for your future career. There are two massage schools in Portland Oregon that are accredited and recommended.
Portland Massage Schools:
1. East West College Of The Healing Arts
Fun Fact: Known as the Cadillac of massage schools
Location: Downtown Portland
Hours Towards License: 800 Hour Program (more than necessary to be licensed in Oregon)
Cost: Tuition $16,600 (20.82$ per hour) as of Oct 2022
Program length: 12 months or 15 months (either 4 or 5 quarters depending on course load)
Classes: Meet once or twice a week each, with 4 quarters a year. Night and day options. Expect to spend 3-4 days a week in classes.
Financial Aid: Federal Loans, Pell Grants, Private Loans, VA GI Bill. Contact East West for more info.
Very structured program
Not as flexible for working schedules
Strong emphasis on anatomy and physiology
No parking downtown means paying for parking or taking public transit every day
Bike parking in a locked room
More hours than you need to get licensed in OR, making transferring your license to other states with higher requirements easy.
2. Oregon School of Massage
Fun Fact: Offers a 335 hours massage certificate program if you already hold a healthcare license.
Location: Located in Southwest Portland
Hours Towards License: 640 Hour Program
Cost: Tuition $12,995 (20.30$ per hour)
Program length: As little as 15 months or up to over 2 years – very flexible around your schedule/life. Classes usually meet once a week, 10 week long “semesters”. Electives and special classes usually meet over a single weekend or series of days.
Classes: Structured around people who work and vary. Electives are done over a long weekend, not over quarters.
Financial Aid: Federal Loans, Pell Grants, Private Loans, VA GI Bill. Contact OSM for more info.
Flexible scheduling for people with families or jobs.
Takes longer to finish potentially
Has a fantastic offering of CE's and electives to take
Shorter program means your base knowledge will be less
How to choose where to go to massage school in Portland?
Each school offers an introduction to massage class. It is usually around an hour and you get to learn a few massage moves, talk to a teacher and get a feel for the program.
Contact admissions and take a tour.
Ask for alumni to contact and talk about their experience.
Look at massage websites around Portland and see where providers went to school.
Look at your budget and school, see which ones fits.
Advice from a massage therapist:
I went to East West College and loved it! East West massage school in Portland had a great program.
That being said, there are some factors when choosing a massage school that you should consider.
How to Choose a Massage Therapy School
Cost - what fits your budget
Time - what fits your schedule. Which program will be easier to fit into your life?
Your end goals - how will that program support what you want to do?
My Massage School Review
Know that you will continue your education after school. I feel that massage school is akin to a basic undergraduate degree and then you take continuing education (akin to a graduate degree) in something specific. Even if your school is lacking, you will continue to learn and your career will probably reflect more of what you learn after school. The main importance of massage school is making sure you have a solid base in anatomy and physiology and that it teaches you how to safely give massage.
Deciding to go to massage school was both one of the hardest decisions and best decisions of my life. It's a special place where you will learn so much about your body and yourself. Good luck on your journey!