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Frequently Asked Questions


1. How long is the program?

PCC offers a one-year diploma program and a two-year associate degree program.

2. What is the difference between the one-year and two-year programs?

The one-year diploma program prepares the student with the essential information and hands-on skills to pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) and to apply for licensure from the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy (NCBMBT).

The two-year associate degree program develops clinical skills, with advanced training and certification in Neuromuscular Therapy. Myofascial Release, Cranial Therapy and an optional health care placement are also offered during the second year.

3. What do I learn in the first year?

To become proficient in massage and bodywork therapy, students practice their skills in a supervised classroom environment. They may have massage practice assignments out of class with fellow students or family members to facilitate the learning environment. Practicing out of class massages with members of the public without instructor supervision is not permitted in our program. Remember that in the beginning, the student will have to build sufficient body strength to give effective pressure for therapeutic massage.

4. What does a first year schedule look like?

During the first year in the program, students will be in class between 18-21 hours per week. Most students complete their general education courses prior to entering into the program.

5. What do I learn in the second year?

The first semester of the second year is dedicated to Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) Certification. The Therapeutic Massage Program at Pitt Community College is one of 13 massage schools able to offer full certification in Neuromuscular Therapy through the International Academy of Neuromuscular Therapies in St. Petersburg Florida sponsored by Judith Delany. The second semester offers training in client assessment skills, myofascial release, and cranial therapy. The student has the option to participate in an internship in a health care facility.

6. What does the second year look like?

Most students in the second year are in the process of becoming licensed and seeking employment. The classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays to allow students to work.

7. What is the job outlook?

PCC students are highly respected by employers for their knowledge and skills. Included in the training are all the skills needed to conduct a successful job search in an ever-changing health care environment. Pitt Community College graduates are highly successful in a competitive market. Beginning salaries range from $30,000 to $35,000.

8. How do I know if Therapeutic Massage is the right field for me?

Learn as much as you can about the practice of massage therapy by visiting the websites of professional organizations such as the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

Another good way to find out if the field is right for you is to receive massages from several different practitioners and ask the therapists questions about the profession.

9. What is different about the program at PCC?

The Massage Therapy Program at PCC has a clinical focus. Stress relief and pain reduction are hallmarks of effective massage therapy. The one-year diploma program is 816 hours, including one semester of anatomy and physiology. The two-year associate degree program is an additional 656 hours, including one semester of pathophysiology.

In student clinic, students practice advanced clinical massage techniques on PCC faculty, staff, students, and the public under the supervision of an instructor. Hands-on practice is a central component of the program.

Students completing their massage and bodywork therapy education at PCC are able to successfully pass the MBLEx. Since the program began in 2004, the pass rate on the licensing exam has been at or near 100%.

The faculty at PCC regularly participates in professional development activities to upgrade their massage and bodywork skills. They provide state-of-the-art information and training to their students.

10. What do I need to be successful?

Professional massage therapists must be dedicated to the profession, responsible, ethical, caring, and able to work independently. They must have a thorough knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy and therapeutic techniques. Massage therapists often speak in front of groups to promote the practice of massage. They must be able to clearly, concisely, and correctly communicate with clients and other health professionals verbally and in writing. Massage is a rewarding career and it is hard work! Massage therapists must have strong hands and good body mechanics to maintain a lifelong career. They will need a comprehensive set of “people skills” to work with a variety of different individuals in cross-cultural environments.

11. Are there weekend or evening classes?

Generally all classes are during the day. At times there may be classes that are scheduled during early evening hours when part-time faculty are available.

12. Will a criminal record keep me from being ale to become licensed in the field of massage therapy?

A criminal record may affect a graduate’s ability to attain a state license. It may also affect internship placements. Students with a criminal record should consider writing to the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy to explain the circumstances of the conviction prior to enrollment in the Therapeutic Massage Program. Graduation from the Therapeutic Massage Program and passing the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) do not guarantee the state of North Carolina will grant a license to practice.

13. How do I get accepted into the Therapeutic Massage program?

For further information about the Health Sciences admissions process, visit the health sciences admissions.

Students accepted into the program will be required to complete the following prior to enrollment: (1) attend student orientation; (2) receive a professional massage from a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist, and (3) complete an interview with the Program Director.