Massage Therapy (Associate in Applied Sciences)

The A.A.S. Program of Massage Therapy is designed to prepare students for employment as professional massage practitioners and provide a thorough knowledge of the structure and function of the human body along with theory and applications of therapeutic massage. This program offers theoretical, practical and hands-on experience, and enables graduates to pass the certification exam that is offered by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Through this program, students will be confident and capable in becoming successful massage practitioners in a variety of professional settings.

AAS Degree Program in Massage Therapy offers 67 credit core courses including 4 credits of Clinical Practicum. Each course begins with the initial TM and has a three-digit number that identifies the general order of courses that recommended to students to take through their program. Each course is offered during 10-week session and the credit is counted as a quarter (approximately 2/3 of semester credit). Unless the description uses a restrictive phrase, the Columbia College offers the course at least once each year at the Fairfax Campus. In addition to the core courses there are 6 general subjects whose total credits are 24.

(1) Major Courses

Course Number Course Title Class Lab Co-op Clock x 10 Credit
TM 100 Introduction to Therapeutic Massage 2 20 2
TM 110 Medical Terminology 2 20 2
TM 120 Anatomy and Physiology I 3 2 50 4
TM 121 Anatomy and Physiology II 3 2 50 4
TM 130 Pathology for Therapeutic Massage 3 2 50 4
TM 140 Kinesiology I 2 2 40 3
TM 141 Kinesiology II 2 2 40 3
TM 150 Assessment and Application for Therapeutic Massage I 3 2 50 4
TM 151 Assessment and Application for Therapeutic Massage II 3 2 50 4
TM 160 Eastern Bodywork Theory 1 2 30 2
TM 170 Health Care Law and Ethics 2 20 2
TM 171 Massage Business Planning 2 20 2
TM 200 Swedish Massage 2 2 40 3
TM 210 Deep Tissue Massage 2 2 40 3
TM 220 Pregnancy/Special Populations Massage 2 2 40 3
TM 230 Myofascial Release 2 2 40 3
TM 240 Sports Massage 2 2 40 3
TM 250 Lymph Drainage Massage 2 2 40 3
TM 260 Thai/Energy Work 2 2 40 3
TM 270 Spa Application 2 2 40 3
TM 300 Therapeutic Massage Certification Review 3 30 3
TM 310 Massage Clinical Practicum 120 120 4

(2) General Courses

Course Number Course Title Clock x 10 Credit
HUM101 Business and Professional Speech 40 4
ENG101 Composition 40 4
MAT101 Algebra 40 4
CS101 Computer Science 40 4
SCI101 Introduction to Biology 40 4
BS101 Critical Thinking 40 4
BS102 Introduction to Psychology 40 4

Completion Requirement: 2
8 Classes, 91 Credit (1,150 Clock Hours)

Job Outlook

Employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.

As more states adopt licensing requirements and standards for massage therapists, the practice of massage is likely to be respected and accepted by more people as a way to treat pain and to improve overall wellness.

Similarly, demand will likely increase as more healthcare providers understand the benefits of massage and these services become part of treatment plans. However, demand in some healthcare settings will be tempered by limited insurance coverage for massage services.

Massage also offers specific benefits to particular groups of people whose continued demand for massage services will lead to overall growth for the occupation. For example, many sports teams hire massage therapists to help their athletes rehabilitate from injuries and to relieve or manage pain.

The number of massage clinic franchises has increased in recent years. Many franchised clinics offer more affordable massages than those provided at spas and resorts, making massage services available to wider range of customers.  (Source:     U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Medium Salary

From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,  medium pay for massage therapist in 2019 is $20.76 per hour (up to $35.99 + tips).

Wages for Massage Therapists in MD in 2019

Wages for Massage Therapists in VA in 2019


Future Career

After graduation, a certified massage therapist usually works for:


Fitness centers


Hotels and resorts

Private homes and offices

Chiropractic clinics

Massage therapy clinics


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