COLUMBUS — Nineteen new massage therapists hit the job market this month after they graduated from Isothermal Community College with their certifications.

The graduates were part of a day class and an evening class. They are Devin Taylor, Margaret Shelley, Carol Reynolds, Jessica Pack, Michelle Littlejohn, Bobbie King, Laura England, Ariel Holt, Virginia Mendez, Tayler Ortiz-Figueroa, Amaris Snyder, Miranda Postell, Brandi Owens, Rebekah Gentry, Julia Melton, Kearah Carson, Ramsie Cannady, and Kit Prough. One student did not want a name publicized. The instructors are Liz Mills and Lilia White.

Isothermal’s Massage Therapy program provides 660 hours of training combining lecture time with hands-on practice of massage techniques. Coursework includes anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, nutrition, business practices, ethics and specific massage modalities. Students gain hands-on experience by working with the public in a clinic setting through the program’s student massage clinic.

Massage therapists can work in a variety of settings from physician’s offices to spas and hospitals to fitness centers. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for massage therapists are expected to grow 22% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average of all occupations. The median annual wage for a massage therapist in the United States was $42,820 during 2019. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Massage Therapists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/massage-therapists.htm)

“This program is an outstanding value,” said Karen Marshall, director of the Isothermal Polk Center. “We have wonderful instructors who teach to the highest standards. Our students are very successful in finding great jobs, often immediately after they are licensed and approved.”

This course prepares students to take the Massage Board Licensing Exam (MBLEX) and meets the standards to apply to the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy (NCBMBT) to practice in North Carolina as a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (LMBT). Successful completion of the course and the MBLEX is also the first step in applying to multiple other states for a license to practice.

Upon licensure, several of the students had plans of opening their own practices, while others had already been recruited by private practices and a national spa chain.

Call 828-894-3092 to learn more about the program curriculum or to reserve your space in the next class.