Become a Massage Therapist

“Even after 12 years of
practice, my clients often ask
me, ‘Where did you train?!’ I
tell them, ‘Scherer Institute.’
(Santa Fe School of Massage.)
The school with heart.”
T. Van Thomas, 2001 Graduate 

As you research this growing profession of massage therapy, we suggest you take time to think about your personal and professional goals. What kind of massage would you like to practice? List what you would like to see in a massage school, whether it is for basic certification or advanced training. Consider the practical aspects of attending school for a period of time, like housing, finances, and scheduling needs. Call on our admissions staff to work with you as you go through the process of discovering how to realize your personal and professional goals through massage training.

Basic Steps to Become a Massage Therapist:

  • Which state do you want work in?  Find out any licensure requirements for that state.
  • Determine your eligibility and what you will need in order to become a licensed massage therapist.
  • Request information from massage schools.  Not all schools are alike!
  • Look at credentials, longevity, cost, financing options.
  • Talk with staff and graduates of the school.
  • Visit the school if possible.
  • Attend an open house.
  • Receive a massage from their graduates or students.
  • Choose a massage school and apply.
  • After completing all requirements for graduation, receive your certification in massage therapy.
  • Successfully pass the MBLEx or the NCE exam. (If required)
  • Apply for licensure. (Required in all but a few states)
  • Begin your new career!

Once you decide if you are a candidate for SFSOM, then read about the schedules and course curricula. Do you want to enroll for the fall or spring term of the full-time certification? Massage therapy Certification or Dual-Certification?  Do you need more diploma hours for the state you will be living in?  What kind of financial arrangements need to be made?

Once you know this information, fill out an application in its entirety – you can download the Word or pdf document. We will help you to go through the admissions process step-by-step.

When you are accepted and enrolled, you are on your way!  Meeting your classmates and getting your books are just the beginning to an exciting journey of learning and transformation.

After graduation, you will receive your diploma for Massage Therapy Certification and a transcript of the courses you studied.  Depending on the state in which you are going to practice, you may need to take one of the national licensing exams.  We offer post-graduation support for reviewing and preparing for all national exams.

Santa Fe School of Massage massage therapy certification programs fulfill the hours for licensure required by New Mexico (minimum 650 hours) and most other state examining boards. Through providing more diploma hours, we may be able to meet individual licensing needs in other states. Prior to applying to our school, we request any prospective student to check with her/his own State, County and City to determine current licensing or ordinance requirements.

Once you are licensed, you are ready to begin your private practice, or interview at spas, alternative healing offices, and other massage venues.  We have confidence you will find your skills and training are more than adequate for most employers.

If New Mexico is your destination, then you may apply for a temporary license as soon as you graduate.  You have three months from the time of approval to pass a national exam and receive you permanent license.  Even with a temporary license, you are free to work at any place of massage employment, or begin your own private practice.

For those of you remaining in Santa Fe after graduation, our Graduate Clinic is the perfect place to begin offering your work.  We offer low rental rates and often are able to refer people to new graduates who work at the school.  It’s a simple, great way to start out on your own.

Many of our graduates return to the school to assist in parts of the training they enjoyed, or want to review. Individual instructors determine if you are eligible for the position of assisting.  Most of our assistants find it is a very rewarding part of post-graduation school benefits.

Santa Fe School of Massage graduates, and grads under the former Scherer Institute name, form a unique “family” that is widely known around the world.  You will always have support from the school and from your fellow graduates.  And you will never forget your unique experience at the Santa Fe School of Massage.