top of page

Unexpected Costs Of Massage School

The cost of Massage school is not just tuition.


This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission.

There are many expenses in massage school can be hard on a student if you are not prepared.

In this guide I will break down those costs, explain them in detail and offer some of my favorite supplies.

Unexpected Massage School Expenses Overview:

Getting Professional Massage - 500$+

Books - 300-500$

Massage Supplies - 10-20$

Massage Table - 100-200$

Linens - 50$

MBLEX - 195$

Licensing Fees - Depends on the state

Mis - 50$


A Detailed Breakdown

Professional Massages:

This may be required by your massage school program. Generally expect to get around 4-5 during your education. If it isn't required, you may want to budget for some. It allows you to experience what you are learning, try out modalities you may want to take classes in and your body will need it.

Cost: Depending on where you live budget 80-120 per massage.


New books for massage school can range all the way up to 500 dollars for the whole program. It will probably be your biggest expense and there is no getting out of it.

Used books can be found free or very cheap on craigslist, facebook marketplace and more. Many people offload them after quitting or graduating school. Older versions are usually very easy to find as well and can be an affordable option compared to the new book.

Cost: Free to 500$+

Massage Table:

New: A massage table can cost anywhere from 100$ to 1000$. I suggest getting an affordable, light, easy to transport option. I have upgraded my table since graduating school, but still use my school table anytime I have to take a massage table anywhere. Its nice to have a lightweight table, even if it is not as nice.

Used: A used table is a great option as well. Craigslist, facebook marketplace or anywhere else you shop for used goods will have massage tables. Many people buy them for home use and offload them later. Expect to see more lower end massage tables. Higher end ones can be found, but may be heavily used. I have bought two higher end tables used, both work great but cosmetically have seen better days.


New: New linens vary in price, but you will not need many for school. One to two sets will allow you to practice without stressing your bank account.

Used: Another option is to go to thrift stores and find sheets sets and blankets.

Lotion or Oil:

You won't need a ton while you are in school, but you will want some for practice outside of class. Usually 10-15 dollars for a small bottle. I buy in bulk now, but you will not go through enough in school to justify it generally.

Jojoba Oil is my favorite oil

Sacred Earth is my favorite lotion

Lotion Holster:

Range 6-15 dollars

Trust me, you are going to not live without this holster. Some schools give them out for free.


The test for becoming a massage therapist is the MBLEX. Not every state requires this, but most do. It is currently 195$ to take.

Licensing Fees:

This ranges state to state. The licensing fee in Oregon for massage therapists is about 250$ for example. If you would like to look this information up on your state the MBLEX has a great guide.


Parking, food, meet ups, transportation, etc.

I hope this guide helps you plan for massage school financially. Massage school is an amazing time and I am so excited for your journey.


bottom of page