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Becoming a Registered Massage Therapist

It is great you are considering massage therapy! 

As a healthcare profession, massage therapy is based on the health sciences. Graduates complete studies in a number of areas including physiology, human anatomy, musculoskeletal anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, clinical assessment and treatment planning, massage theory and techniques, communication skills, ethics, professionalism and more.

The Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba supports a minimum entry-to-practice education of two or three years (2200+ hours) of academic and practical/clinical education based on an approved curriculum. Any school you are considering will follow the National Competency Standards for Massage Therapists and the associated perfomance indicators for those who want to practice in Canada.
The MTAM also supports the national expectation that students of massage therapy do not practice unsupervised until they have graduated. This is for the safety of the student and to ensure they are truly prepared for their career. Schools with well-established and monitored practical education ensures a positive mentorship experience that will help prepare you for a long-term career in the profession.

Be sure the school program you are considering is a 2-year/2200+ hour program, treats massage therapy as healthcare, and demonstrates respect of the profession.

Local Programs of Massage Therapy

The majority of massage therapy education across Canada occurs in Private Vocational Schools or Colleges. Beware that not all schools follow the nationally-accepted standards
In Manitoba, there are five registered schools of massage therapy that the MTAM will accept graduates from. These schools are assessed by the Association every two to three years to ensure their full, two-year programs are fulfilling the national standards of practice. Each of these schools are registered with the Province of Manitoba – Advanced Education & Literacy and provide diploma programs of at least 2200 hours / two-years of instruction.
All of the following Schools are also members of the Canadian Council of Massage Therapy Schools. Visit this site for more information:
  • Evolve College of Massage Therapy (formerly Massage Therapy College of Manitoba)
  • Robertson College (WInnipeg & Brandon Campus)
  • Wellington College of Remedial Massage Therapy: Two-Year and Distance Education FULL programs only 
  • Hua Xia Acupuncture, Massage, Herb College

Inter-Jursidictional Practice Competencies for Massage Therapists

MTAM-recognized curriculums must be based on practice competencies established by the profession in 2012 and updated in 2016:

Curriculum Recognition

Local schools of massage therapy are assessed every two years by the MTAM against the national practice competencies, along with a number of criteria that MTAM feels are important to the profession, our membership, and to the public.  The MTAM does not approve curriculum for use in the schools. This is the responsibility of Manitoba Advanced Education & Literacy.  

MTAM Supports the National Accreditation Council

The MTAM supports the

The purpose of the accreditation process is to provide a mechanism for quality assurance and continuing quality improvement of entry-level massage therapy education programs across Canada. Accreditation will foster a common national entry-level education standard that is based upon the entry-to-practice requirements in the regulated provinces, and in doing so will facilitate the initiation of regulation in provinces that are currently unregulated.  Accreditation will support the advancement of massage therapy as a health care profession, thereby serving the public interest.