Selecting a Massage Course
Once you have decided that a career in massage is right for you and your career goals, the next step is deciding what and where to study. It is strongly encouraged that you obtain a Nationally Recognised Qualification. Some training organisations may include similar terms such as Certificate in their course name. However, if the course does not include the course code (e.g. HLT52015) as outlined in the current training package – it is not a Nationally Recognised Qualification. The benefit of completing a Nationally Recognised Qualification means that your qualification is recognised Australia-wide, and should you decide to continue with further tertiary or University-level study, you will be eligible for credits or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Crucially, it can also be a requirement for Association membership, and your ability to offer Private Healthcare Rebates.
Once you have decided on the course you wish to study, we recommend that you visit the Government’s MySkills website. It is a directory of all Australian VET courses and training providers. Type in the course code that you’re interested in studying, and see which Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in your area offer that course.
It is important to note that generally, no two courses are the same. Nationally Recognised Qualifications with the same course code will contain a shared group of core subjects (units of competency). However, the individual Registered Training Organisation (RTO) can select the subjects, content and elective units to include in their course. They can also alter durations and delivery methods. This means that while two courses may share the same course code, they may not include identical course content. Within the massage therapies, common elective units may include strength & conditioning, aromatherapy and nutrition & diet. It is important that you do your research, and ask questions, so you can select the course that includes elective units that align with your personal goals and interests. For more information, please download our Massage Industry Guide and refer to Section 3.
If you are wanting to find out more about the different types of massage available, and the level of study required to perform certain treatment options, please review our Massage Careers page.
Joining the Massage Industry
Obtaining a qualification is the first step towards becoming a professional massage therapist. After graduation, it is strongly recommended that you join an Association. Q Academy can recommend the following:
Associations are the primary regulators the Massage Industry and set the code of conduct and professional recommendations for their members. They consult with Government organisations and other professional organisations on the behalf of Massage Therapists to increase recognition of massage as a complimentary and allied service. Association membership is also a requirement to be able to provide healthfund rebates to clients with private health insurance. Associations also offer support and guidance to therapists, to keep them up-to-date with industry changes and regulations, assist with employment advice and limited legal advice, and can offer therapists discounts on obtaining insurance.
Requirements to become a massage therapist
In order to maintain your Association membership, you will need to satisfy several requirements. The first of which is your dedication to ‘continued professional education’ (CPE) or ‘continued professional development’ (CPD). Each year you will need to accumulate CPE/CPD points, to show that you are furthering your professional skills through ongoing training, education, and supporting communities or charities. Each Association will have slightly different requirements in regards to CPE/CPD points, but is likely to include criteria such as attending short courses, volunteering for charity or community events, as well as reading or writing research papers or case studies for publishing. You will also need to maintain current First Aid and Insurance. Q Academy offers a range of short courses, and free first aid refreshers for eligible students.