A career as a licensed massage therapist can be very rewarding and offers a unique opportunity to care for clients. Benefits include a flexible work schedule, low stress work environment, and the ability to be your own boss. Opportunities exist in a variety of settings in the health, wellness, and hospitality industries. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook and O*NET, the massage profession is “expected to grow much faster than average” through 2030 in Arkansas¹ and nationwide².
Attributes necessary to excel as a massage therapist include kindness, respect for others, high ethical standards, responsibility, self-motivation, and listening skills, which are very important in helping the client feel safe and understood.
Massage Therapy Program
Pending Board Approval
8:45 - 2:15 Tue - Fri
Graduate in 6 - 7 months
Start dates: 2/7/23 and 3/14/23
Evening and Saturday Classes
4:45 - 8:15 Tue, Wed, Thu
8:45 - 3:25 Sat
Graduate in 8 - 9 months
Start dates: 2/7/23 and 4/4/23
Attend about 35 hours per week to graduate in four months.
Start anytime on or after 2/7/23
Please talk with us if your availability doesn't match up with the class schedule. We all have busy lives and we understand. Whether it's a vacation, work schedule, or child care issue, we can very likely find a solution.
Please let us know if you have college credit or credit from another massage school. For more information, see Transferring Credit.
Please let us know if you plan to practice massage therapy in a state other than Arkansas. In most cases, once you receive your massage therapy license in Arkansas, you can easily obtain a license in another state. We can help you navigate this process.
The Massage Therapy Program is 500 Hours and consists of the following:
Massage Technique with Student Clinic 225 hours
Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, and Contraindications 175 hours
Hygiene and Infection Control 25 hours
Massage Therapy Law, Business Management, and Professional Ethics 25 hours
Hydrotherapy, Electrotherapy, and Heliotherapy 25 hours
MBLEx Prep 25 hours
Hands-on practice is a very important part of your training as a massage therapist. You will be introduced to a variety of massage techniques during your time with us. It will be beneficial to gain some practical experience in all of these modalities, but you’re encouraged to focus on techniques that interest you the most. We will offer training in the following with emphasis on modalities listed toward the top of each column:
Deep tissue massage
Trigger point release
Hot stone massage
Thai massage (optional)
Spa Packages and
Spa face treatments
Scalp massage treatments
Advanced Massage Therapy Certification and Internship Program
The Advanced Massage Therapy Certification and Internship Program is designed to benefit Fort Smith Academy of Massage graduates by providing a path to meet the continuing education requirements to apply for the master massage therapy license through the Arkansas Department of Health at no cost to the student:
Earn 125 hours of continuing education which will satisfy:
The continuing education requirements for the student's first license renewal - 18 hours is required for renewal.
The continuing education requirements to apply for the Master Massage Therapy (MMT) license when eligible for upgrade - 125 hours is required for upgrade to MMT.
Earn an advanced certification in Medical Massage Therapy or Therapeutic Spa Treatments which can be offered to potential employers or displayed for clients.
Gain experience as an intern in the Fort Smith Academy of Massage Student Clinic and Spa.
Although the Advanced Massage Therapy Certification and Internship Program meets the continuing education requirements to apply for an upgrade to Master Massage Therapist, participation is not a guarantee that the Arkansas Department of Health will approve your application. In addition to continuing education requirements, a licensed massage therapist must also submit a background check and must be licensed and practicing for two years before applying for upgrade to MMT. More information on the rules for becoming a Master Massage Therapist and the application for upgrade can be found here.
How it Works:
Once you complete the 500 Hour Massage Therapy Program and receive your license, you will be eligible to begin your internship and continuing education classes:
Participants will be eligible to attend continuing education classes taught by Robyn Hall at no charge. (A variety of classes and instructors will be added to this program by April of 2023.)
A minimum of 18 continuing education hours will be offered to participants at Fort Smith Academy of Massage each month.
Participants will complete 125 hours concentrated in clinical/medical massage therapy, spa therapies, or both.
Participants will have a maximum time frame of 18 months to complete the continuing education courses.
Fort Smith Academy of Massage Internship
Interns must complete 50 hours of massage and/or spa treatments at the Student Clinic, OR interns must have their schedule open and available for appointments for a total of 125 hours, whichever comes first.
Participants will have a maximum time frame of six months to complete the internship.
¹ National Center for O*NET Development. Arkansas Employment Trends: 31-9011.00 - Massage Therapists. O*NET OnLine, at https://www.onetonline.org/link/localtrends/31-9011.00?st=AR (visited September 08, 2022).
² Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Massage Therapists, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/massage-therapists.htm (visited September 08, 2022).