Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content
NWTC Logo   Link to Home Page

Therapeutic Massage

Certificate Number 905371

The Therapeutic Massage certificate offers an entry-level training program for individuals interested in becoming a licensed massage therapist, or for existing health care professionals looking to enhance their range of clinical skills and knowledge. During their training, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the human body and a high degree of professional technical skill with an emphasis on personal and professional development, increased self-awareness and sensitivity. Career opportunities for licensed massage therapists exist in sports clinics, salons, spas, wellness or other health care centers, or as an entrepreneur.

Certificate Completers will be able to

. Use effective and professional communication skills.
. Think critically.
. Apply universal safety and sanitation techniques related to a massage facility
. Apply assessment criteria of diverse clients in order to adapt massage to specialized populations.
. Apply appropriate therapeutic massage techniques according to a client’s demonstrated needs.
. Demonstrate the knowledge of human anatomy, pathology, and kinesiology in massage practice.
. Educate clients on post-massage care.
. Practice personal wellness techniques in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
. Develop and manage a business plan in order to generate professional income.
. Demonstrate the ability to work ethically with others in a diverse population.
. Demonstrate knowledge of Wisconsin state laws and administrative rules governing massage therapy and bodywork therapy.
. Practice within the scope of a licensed massage therapist within the State of Wisconsin.

Requirements for Certificate Entry:

. Complete an American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR course. Students are required to maintain a current CPR card to comply with affiliating agency requirements.

Board/Certification Examinations

Individuals completing the Therapeutic Massage certificate will be able to sit for the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Upon graduation and successful completion of the national exam, students can apply to the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing to sit for the state exam.


Please note that enrollment in some courses requires an Academic Skills Assessment (Accuplacer) with appropriate benchmark scores. See course descriptions for detail; equivalent assessment scores are acceptable. To learn more about these assessments and benchmark scores, please contact an advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.

Requirements for Program Application

Applicants must have completed General Anatomy & Physiology (10-806-177) with a grade "C" or better.


Catalog No. Description Credits

10-806-177 Gen Anatomy & Physiology
30-537-112 Massage Clinic and Business Pr
30-537-111 Specialized Therapeutic Massag
30-537-101 Therapeutic Massage 1
30-537-102 Therapeutic Massage 2
10-546-105 Wellness Kinesiology & Patholo

Certificate Total

Course Descriptions

10-806-177 Gen Anatomy & Physiology...overview of the human anatomy/physiology using a body-systems approach, emphasizing the interrelationships between form/function at the gross and microscopic levels. (Prerequisite: Accuplacer-Reading = 80 OR ACT-Reading = 17 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading and Study Skills AND 10-806-134, Gen Chem or other lab-based chemistry w “C” or better. Health Sciences programs may require a higher grade; refer to your plan for details.)

30-537-112 Massage Clinic & Business Prac...provides students the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of running a massage clinic. In the business section, topics covered include: ethics and legal requirements, national and state certification and licensing requirements; business startup and management; marketing and financial management. (Prerequisite: 30-537-102, Therapeutic Massage 2)

30-537-111 Specialized Therapeutic Massag...students will develop techniques, including neuromuscular and proprioceptive, for treatment of special populations such as athletes, mother and infant, elderly, end-of-life, and chronic pain. Students will have exposure to modalities and spa therapies, eastern and energetic approaches. (Prerequisite: 30-537-102, Therapeutic Massage 2)

30-537-101 Therapeutic Massage 1...students will learn the history of massage, the environmental considerations and equipment necessary to provide treatment, hygiene and safety, and legal requirements of therapeutic massage. Students will begin hands on training by mastering foundational skills such as draping and positioning, self-care and body mechanics, and basic massage techniques. (Corequisite: 10-546-105, Wellness Kinesiology & Pathology)

30-537-102 Therapeutic Massage 2...Students will develop skills in assessment, medical terminology, record keeping and documentation necessary to provide therapeutic massage. Students will expand their knowledge of massage techniques to include myofascial and deep tissue. Students will begin their clinical experience on assigned dates. Students must hold a current American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR card.(Corequisite: 10-546-105, Wellness Kinesiology & Pathology)

10-546-105 Wellness Kinesiology...this course studies the musculoskeletal system and major muscle groups and their response to movement and exercise. Also introduces disorders that can occur in major body systems and their signs and symptoms. (Prerequisite: 10-806-177, General Anatomy & Physiology with a "B" or better)

For more information, please contact: The Health Sciences Department,(920) 498-5543 or (800) 422-NWTC, extension 5543,or contact Enrollment Services at 888-385-NWTC.

Therapeutic Massage Certificate