Required To Enroll
After reviewing the information found on this page, students interested in enrolling in the Massage Therapy program must contact Program Coordinator Tammy Bivin.
Massage Therapy is used to:
- Promote healing
- Relieve stress
- Manage pain
- Improve circulation
- Evaluate their client's needs
- Determine a treatment plan
- Use specialized massage techniques to meet goals
- Provide spa treatments
- Maintain clear client boundaries
- Create a safe and effective environment
- Facilitate the body, mind and spirit connection
To successfully complete the program and practice as a massage therapist, students must be able to perform the
essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Interested students are encouraged to meet with the
Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.
American Massage Therapy Association or
Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals websites provide career information.
The U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Outlook Handbook provides additional career information.
Visit the SWIC
Career Activities and Employment Center for career exploration and mentoring/job shadowing opportunities.
Massage Therapists work in a variety of settings:
- Private Practice
- Health Clubs/Fitness Centers
- Sports Medicine Centers
- Stress Reduction Centers
- Massage Therapy Clinics
- Chiropractic Offices
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, most massage therapists work part-time due to the physical demands of the occupation.
In addition, employment of massage therapists is expected to increase by 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment will grow as more people learn about the benefits of massage therapy.
As an independent contractor, a new graduate can earn $30-$50 per hour.
Working for an hourly wage, such as at a clinic or spa, the earnings are generally $15-$25 per hour.
A self-employed massage therapist with increased skill and a larger client base will have the highest earnings.
Southwestern Illinois College's Massage Therapy program is open to anyone who is a high school graduate or has earned a high school equivalency certificate.
Students must complete the following requirements in order to enroll:
1. Schedule a meeting with Program Coordinator Tammy Bivin.
Students may not register for Massage Therapy courses without the program coordinator's permission.
The program coordinator will meet individually with interested students to provide a tour of
The Body Therapy Center and School of Massage, explain program requirements and expectations, in addition to assisting students with completing registration forms to
For an appointment call 618-239-6400 or email at
It is recommended that students who are interested in the profession of massage therapy receive a massage prior to starting the program and participate in job shadowing/mentoring. Contact the SWIC Career Center for more information on the
Career Mentor Program or
2. Complete Mission Success: Assessment and Course Placement
Students wishing to enroll in the Massage Therapy program are required to participate in
COMPASS placement test.
The COMPASS placement test assesses skills in reading, writing and mathematics. To enroll in Massage Therapy courses, the COMPASS results must qualify the student to enroll in ENG 101 or greater and MATH 94 or greater.
To arrange a meeting with an academic advisor or obtain more information on the COMPASS program, call or visit a
SWIC Academic Advising/Counseling Center.
New SWIC students are encouraged to complete the
New Student Orientation.
The SWIC Massage Therapy program is designed to provide students with a strong, comprehensive foundation for practice as a massage therapist.
Choose a Program
Southwestern Illinois College offers both a one-year Massage Therapy certificate program and a two-year Associate in Applied Science Massage Therapy degree, as well as specialty Neuromuscular Therapy certificate program. Coordinator permission is required before students will be permitted to enroll in Massage Therapy courses.
Massage Therapy Certificate
Massage Therapy Certificate (027A)
The curriculum includes MT technical courses and assigned practical experiences (clinical practicum).
The Massage Therapy certificate is a 36-credit-hour, one-year (three-semester) program consisting of:
- 36 credits of massage therapy courses
accelerated certificate program is available for graduates of accredited physical therapist/physical therapist assistant programs. Contact Tammy Bivin for more information at 618-239-6400.
Neuromuscular Therapy Certificate
Neuromuscular Therapy Certificate (027C)
Neuromuscular Therapy, American Version, is a treatment protocol for treating soft tissue and myofascial restrictions. It utilizes specific massage therapy techniques, stretching, and home care to reduce/eliminate most neuromuscular pain patterns. These advanced massage techniques are frequently used by licensed massage therapists, physical therapists, and physical therapist assistants.
Completion of these courses can be used for credit in completing the Massage Therapy degree and/or as credit to maintain a massage therapy license.
Massage Therapy Degree
Massage Therapy Associate in Applied Science Degree (027B)
The first year of the program consists of completion of the Massage Therapy certificate program. The second year includes coursework in the areas of social/behavioral science, computer applications, business mathematics, eastern practices of yoga/tai chi, and opportunities in advanced massage therapy techniques, biology, or health.
The Massage Therapy degree is a 72.5-credit-hour, two-year (five semester) program consisting of:
- 19-35 credits of general education courses
- 36-50 credits of massage therapy courses
Fall Semester Capacity
During the fall semester, the Massage Therapy program generally accepts 40 students: 20 students in the afternoon class and 20 in the evening class.
Spring Semester Capacity
During the spring semester, the Massage Therapy program generally accepts 20 students for the morning class.
The Massage Therapy Certificate and Degree consist of general education courses, MT pre-fix courses and clinical practicum courses. Specific locations depend on the course type:
General Education Courses
General education courses are offered at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City or Red Bud campuses.
Massage Therapy Courses
Massage Therapy program courses are only offered at:
The Body Therapy Center and School of Massage
#4 Executive Woods Court
Swansea, IL 62226
Owner & Instructor: Holly Pinto
Periodically, some classes may be moved to the Belleville Campus as needed.
Clinical Practicum Courses
Clinical practicum (practice in massage therapy) is completed at The Body Therapy Center and School of Massage and at off-site locations for special events. Students may periodically be required to travel outside of the college district for clinical practicum. Practicum work begins as early as the first semester of the program and continues every semester until program completion. Clinical practicum is completed by scheduled client appointments and the student's schedule. Hours may be completed during the day, evening and/or weekend.
The Massage Therapy certificate program begins each fall and spring at the Body Therapy Center and School of Massage. For students beginning the program during the fall semester, courses are offered in the afternoon and evening of the one year (fall, spring and summer) program. For students beginning in the spring semester, courses are offered in the morning each semester of the program (spring, summer and fall).
Schedule for certificate program
Fall Semester Start:
• Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 1-5 p.m.
• Thursday: 6-10 p.m.
• Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 6-10 p.m.
• One weekend per month, Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Spring Semester Start:
• Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 8 a.m. to noon
Clinical Practicums (scheduled by appointment):
• Monday and Wednesday: 1-9 p.m.
• Friday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
• Saturday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
• Sunday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Students will be required to possess current CPR certification, show proof of immunizations and
physical examination before beginning any clinical practicum. The program coordinator will provide more information prior to your enrollment.
National Certification Board Exam
Upon successful completion of SWIC's Massage Therapy certificate program, graduates are eligible to take the National Certification Board Exam or MBLEX state test for Therapeutic Massage and Bodyworks. Students who successfully pass this examination are eligible to apply for licensure.
Illinois and Missouri laws require massage therapists to be licensed to practice massage therapy within their state.
Although not all states require licensure to practice massage therapy, graduates are advised to take the National Certification Examination or MBLEX state test after graduation because an increasing number of states have adopted this exam to regulate Massage Therapists.
Background Check & Fingerprinting
In addition, states require graduates to submit to a criminal background check and provide verification of fingerprint processing by an approved agency. The laws regarding massage therapy practice vary from state to state; refer to the AMTA website for more information.
For more information about this program, please contact:
Academic Advising/Counseling Center
618-235-2700, ext. 5206