Therapeutic Massage

Technical Diploma

Program number: 315371

Credits: 28

Area of Study: Culinary, Hospitality and Fitness

Financial Aid Available

Estimated Program Cost:

Tuition - $3,822.00
Materials/Supplemental Costs
Other Costs
Total Estimated Program Costs*:

The Madison College Therapeutic Massage program (800 hours, 28 credits) is designed to provide you with a thorough foundation in the theory and practice of therapeutic massage. You will gain the knowledge you need to become a licensed massage therapist. 

As an entry level training program, you will develop expertise in western massage techniques and learn to adapt those skills to a variety of clients, including pregnant women, older adults, and individuals with various other health challenges. Significant emphasis is placed on professional skills, the therapeutic relationship, treatment planning and enhanced body-mind awareness.

In the second semester, you will be introduced to clinical approaches to therapeutic massage such as trigger point therapy and sports massage. You will also explore spa therapies such as hydrotherapy, hot stone and aromatherapy. You will gain a foundational understanding of eastern bodywork theory and technique and examine a variety of specialized modalities.

In the final course of the program, you will synthesize and refine your massage techniques and treatment planning skills within a professional clinic setting. You will learn valuable skills such as appointment-scheduling, record keeping, customer service and professional communication. 

Upon admission to the Therapeutic Massage program, you will be required to complete a background check and provide documentation of current required-immunizations and current Healthcare Provider CPR certification. Wisconsin law requires background checks for persons who provide care for others or have access to people who receive care. This law applies to students in many School of Health Education programs. Please review the Caregiver Background Check information on the School of Health Education Forms and Policies.

Option 1

Complete in nine months, full-time study, fall start

Semester I (fall)

  • Body Structure and Function
  • Musculoskeletal Anatomy
  • Therapeutic Massage I
  • Therapeutic Massage II

Semester II (spring)

  • Clinic and Business Practices
  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Specialized Techniques

Option 2

Complete in two years, part-time study, fall start

Year I

Semester I (fall or spring)

  • Body Structure and Function
  • Musculoskeletal Anatomy

Semester II (fall or spring)

  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology

Year II

Semester I (fall)

  • Therapeutic Massage I
  • Therapeutic Massage II

Semester II (spring)

  • Clinic and Business Practices
  • Specialized Techniques

Option 3

Complete in one and a half years, part-time study, spring start

Semester I (spring)

  • Body Structure and Function
  • Musculoskeletal Anatomy

Semester II (fall)

  • Pathology
  • Therapeutic Massage I
  • Therapeutic Massage II

Semester III (spring)

  • Clinic and Business Practices
  • Kinesiology
  • Specialized Techniques

Therapeutic Massage classes are offered at these Madison College campuses:

  • Madison - Truax

Explore financial aid eligibility for this program. 

To Enroll:

1. Must be admitted to the Therapeutic Massage program; see Admission tab. 
2. Meet the Registration Requirements Below in order to Register for Therapeutic Massage classes. 



Students must demonstrate algebra competency in one of the following ways:


1. Test Scores: Minimum test score cannot be more than two years old:

  • ACT Math 17+
  • Accuplacer (Arithmetic) 76+
  • Accuplacer Next Gen (Arithmetic) 250+

2. Courses: Madison College courses that satisfy this requirement are:

  • Basic Algebra or higher
  • Elementary Algebra with Apps (10834110) or higher
  • College Math (10804107)
  • Mathematical Reasoning (10804134) or higher
  • Applied Math for Chemistry (77854756)


Students must demonstrate English competency in one of the following ways:


1. Test Scores: Minimum test score cannot be more than two years old:

  • ACT English 17+
  • Accuplacer Write 5+ and Sentence 86+
  • Accuplacer Next Gen Writing 260+

2. Courses: Madison College courses that satisfy this requirement are:

  • Written Communication (10801195) or higher
  • English 1 (20801201) or higher
  • Intro to College Writing (10831103)


Students must demonstrate reading competency in one of the following ways:


1. Test Scores: Minimum test score cannot be more than two years old:

  • ACT Reading 19+
  • Accuplacer Reading 80+
  • Accuplacer Next Gen Reading 261+

2. Courses: Madison College courses that satisfy this requirement are:

  • Written Communication (10801195) or higher
  • English 1 (20801201) or higher
  • College Reading Strategies (10808101) or Intro Reading & Study Skills (10838105)

Chemistry or Biology

Students must demonstrate chemistry or biology competency in one of the following ways:

  1. One year of high school chemistry or biology with lab components; high school chemistry classes must be college-preparatory.
  2. One semester of college-level chemistry or biology with lab components. Madison College courses that satisfy this requirement are:
  • Body Structure and Function (10501153) *Preferred*
  • General Chemistry (10806134) or higher
  • Chemistry for Non-Science Majors (20806200)
  • General Anatomy & Physiology (20806206) or higher

Note:  Chemistry for the Community or similar classes do not satisfy this requirement

The Therapeutic Massage Student Clinic offers massages in the spring and fall semesters.

All courses for this program are offered in person. Most courses also have online requirements.

To Apply

After Acceptance

Once you're admitted into your program, review the Next Steps after Program Acceptance.                    


Contact Enrollment Services at or (608) 246-6210.


Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2020-2021 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

Current program students (including newly admitted), go directly to your Degree Progress Report (also referred to as an Advising Report or Academic Requirements) to view:

  • Progress toward your specific requirements
  • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

If you have questions after reviewing your report, please see Advising Services.


There are currently no Transfer Partnerships for this program. Review our Transfer Opportunities page for information on all Madison College transfer options.


After completing the Therapeutic Massage program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be able to: 

  • Become a licensed massage therapist through successful completion of state and national exams.
  • Provide therapeutic massage services.
  • Apply knowledge of human anatomy, pathology, and kinesiology in the practice of therapeutic massage. 
  • Prepare treatment area.
  • Assess needs of clients through intake process.
  • Modify massage service as a result of contraindication to treatment.
  • Create treatment plan.
  • Educate client on treatment plan.
  • Accommodate client requests during massage service.
  • Adapt skills to a diverse clientele.
  • Use effective communication throughout the massage session.
  • Complete post-massage assessment and educate client on future treatment plan.
  • Maintain massage equipment and facility.
  • Follow standard safety and sanitation precautions and emergency procedures.
  • Demonstrate self-regulation, ethics, and professional appearance.
  • Perform within the professional scope of practice for the state of Wisconsin.
  • Abide by the recommended standards of practice and code of ethics as issued by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
  • Apply mindfulness techniques for self-regulation.
  • Follow therapeutic massage clinic business practices.
  • Use professional verbal, nonverbal and written business communications.
  • Schedule appointments.
  • Maintain patient records.
  • Perform financial transactions.
  • Maintain office inventory.
  • Utilize technology for use in promotion, scheduling and client follow-up.

Madison College's Therapeutic Massage program prepares you for valuable work as a professional:

  • Wisconsin Licensed Massage Therapist

Upon successful completion of the Therapeutic Massage Program, you will be eligible for the state and national licensing exams. 

After passing the state licensing exam and the national licensing exam (MBlex or NCETM), graduates will become Wisconsin LMTs eligible to work in a variety of settings: 

  • Massage clinics
  • Health clubs
  • Spas
  • Integrative healthcare facilities
  • Beauty salons
  • Private practice


  • Graduate Summary
    Graduate Report Summary Overview

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Program Graduates 13 26 24
    Number of Surveys Sent 13 26 24
    Number of Surveys Returned 11 20 14
    Percent of Surveys Returned 84.60% 76.90% 58.30%
    Available for Employment 11 14 12
    Percent Available for Employment 100.00% 82.40% 92.30%
    Not in Labor Market 0 6 2
    Percent Not in Labor Market 0.00% 35.30% 15.40%
    Available for Employment

    2016 2017 2018
    Graduates Employed 11 14 12
    Percent of Graduates Employed 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
    Employed in Related Occupation 11 12 8
    Percent Employed in Related Occupation 100.00% 85.70% 66.70%
    Employed in Unrelated Occupation 0 2 4
    Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 0.00% 14.30% 33.30%
    Employed - No Response 0 0 0
    Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Seeking Employment 0 0 0
    Percent Seeking Employment 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Reaction To Training at Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.9 3.2 2.8
    Number of Satisfaction Responses 11 17 13
    Very Satisfied 10 4 3
    Percent Very Satisfied 90.90% 23.50% 23.10%
    Satisfied 1 12 6
    Percent Satisfied 9.10% 70.60% 46.20%
    Unsatisfied 0 1 3
    Percent Unsatisfied 0.00% 5.90% 23.10%
    Very Unsatisfied 0 0 1
    Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 7.70%
    Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Primary Reason Responses 11 19 14
    Preparation for Getting a Job 2 3 3
    Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 18.20% 15.80% 21.40%
    Career Change 7 9 6
    Percent Career Change 63.60% 47.40% 42.90%
    Improvement of Existing Skills 1 0 0
    Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 9.10% 0.00% 0.00%
    Preparation for Further Education 1 4 2
    Percent Preparation for Further Education 9.10% 21.10% 14.30%
    Personal Interest 0 3 1
    Percent Personal Interest 0.00% 15.80% 7.10%
    Other 0 0 2
    Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 14.30%
    When Employment was Obtained

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 11 14 12
    Before Enrollment 1 2 4
    Percent Before Enrollment 9.10% 14.30% 33.30%
    While Attending the College 0 1 1
    Percent While Attending the College 0.00% 7.10% 8.30%
    After Training at the College 10 11 7
    Percent After Training at the College 90.90% 78.60% 58.30%
    Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Employment Location Responses 11 14 12
    In College District 9 12 6
    Percent In College District 81.80% 85.70% 50.00%
    In Wisconsin, Not in District 0 1 3
    Percent of In Wisconsin 0.00% 7.10% 25.00%
    Outside of Wisconsin 0 0 1
    Percent Outside Wisconsin 0.00% 0.00% 8.30%
    Employer Location Unknown 2 1 2
    Percent Location Unknown 18.20% 7.10% 16.70%
    Salary Trend
    Salary Trend 2016 2017 2018
    Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 1 6 1
    Average Monthly Wage $2,150 $4,275 $3,311
    Average Hourly Wage $12.50 $24.85 $19.25
    Average Work Hours per Week 40 39.5 35
    Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 8 5 7
    Average Hourly Wage $25.23 $22.02 $34.04
    Average Work Hours per Week 18.4 19.5 24.7
  • Graduate Employers
    Total Positions Open for academic year: 2018
    Wisconsin TechConnectTM Jobs* Madison Non-Madison
    Number of Full Time Positions Open
    Number of Part Time Positions Open
    Total Jobs
    Graduate Employers for academic year: 2018
    Employer(s) Job Title City** State*** Positions
    Balance & Renew Therapeutic Massage Owner/Licensed Massage Therapist Sun Prairie
    Bergamot Massage Massage Therapist
    Chellarae Massage Massage Therapist
    Massage Envy Massage Therapist
    Sundara Inn & Spa Licensed Massage Therapist Wisconsin Dells
    Sunflower Spa Massage Therapist Appleton
    The Haven Spa Massage Therapist
    Traub Chiropractic Licensed Massage Therapist Oconomowoc

    * - Wisconsin TechConnectTM jobs are posted through a statewide consortium operated and funded by all 16 of the technical colleges in Wisconsin.

    ** - Only cities outside of Madison will display.

    *** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.

    **** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at