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Thai Massage School and Bodywork Careers

woman performing bodywork on female client neck

Thai Yoga Massage School and Career Resources

Rooted in Ayurvedic medicine, Thai bodywork, also called Thai massage or Thai yoga massage, combines stretching and body movements to loosen muscles, release tension and eliminate disease.

Through training at Thai massage school, practitioners learn how to integrate yoga, energy healingacupressure and meditation to relax and invigorate clients, reducing their stress and tension and helping them achieve greater health.

Career Overview

Thai yoga massage sessions are performed on a padded mat on the floor to give the practitioner better leverage in deep muscle stretching and joint release for the client. Typical sessions last one to two hours, and clients remain fully dressed in loose, comfortable clothing.

Using their hands, knuckles, elbows and feet, the practitioner employs a series of movements to stretch the client’s entire body and apply point pressure intended to open the body’s energy channels or sen. Considered both a therapeutic and meditative treatment, Thai bodywork not only improves flexibility, circulation and range of motion but also centers the body and mind.

Training and Education

What You’ll Study in Thai Bodywork School

Specialized Thai massage schools and traditional massage therapy colleges offer training in Thai yoga massage. While content may vary depending on the program, you can expect your Thai massage school courses to cover these topics:

  • Thai massage history and healing philosophy
  • Thai massage fundamentals and sequences
  • Energetic anatomy and physiology
  • Principles of clinical Thai bodywork and Thai medicine
  • Acupressure points and methodology for various health conditions
  • Anatomy for Thai massage and yoga
  • Contraindications and diseases
  • Ergonomics and proper body mechanics for practitioners
  • Hands-on practice

Average Length of Study

Thai massage school programs involve around 220 hours of training, plus a specified number of practice sessions given to clients and certified instructors. Students interested in board certification through the International Thai Therapists Association (ITTA) must complete a minimum of 501 hours of training at a board-approved Thai massage school.

Average Tuition

Tuition for practitioner-level Thai massage school programs costs around $4,000 to $6,000. Many schools allow you to take classes on your schedule, giving you the time you need in between to absorb class teachings and conduct hands-on practice sessions.

Thai Bodywork Certification

Thai yoga massage therapists can seek voluntary certification through ITTA, which requires candidates to pass a written exam in addition to completing an approved certification program.

Career Outlook

Massage-oriented professions like Thai bodywork can anticipate faster than average employment (21% growth) through 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current Occupational Outlook Handbook. The increasing popularity of alternative medicine, touch therapies and self-care as paths to overall health and wellness are among the many factors that will contribute to the strong job growth for massage professions over the next several years.

Thai Bodywork Salary

Salaries for massage professions, including Thai yoga massage, can vary widely. You can research massage salaries for your state here:

Massage Therapists

National data

Median Salary: $43,620

Bottom 10%: $22,580

Top 10%: $79,150

Projected job growth: 32.2%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $36,300 $18,550 $52,970
Alaska $82,600 $22,140 $132,950
Arizona $43,240 $26,740 $66,690
Arkansas $47,200 $25,210 $63,410
California $34,400 $27,230 $80,940
Colorado $46,020 $25,170 $65,170
Connecticut $42,460 $24,340 $81,100
District of Columbia N/A N/A N/A
Florida $36,360 $19,770 $66,090
Georgia $23,490 $16,770 $69,490
Hawaii $55,700 $25,330 $89,120
Idaho $44,860 $23,520 $78,050
Illinois $49,940 $20,450 $76,900
Indiana $44,780 $27,060 $72,470
Iowa $36,120 $20,290 $68,740
Kansas $29,210 $17,770 $80,830
Kentucky $49,930 $18,710 $75,440
Louisiana $23,890 $17,000 $57,630
Maine $53,430 $27,910 $87,240
Maryland $41,440 $23,140 $83,190
Massachusetts $61,790 $41,880 $112,470
Michigan $49,840 $23,570 $75,540
Minnesota $54,400 $22,680 $83,810
Mississippi $34,870 $17,570 $50,860
Missouri $37,080 $20,050 $67,500
Montana $40,070 $19,230 $68,250
Nebraska $57,390 $31,290 $79,390
Nevada $28,260 $18,000 $85,180
New Hampshire $49,590 $32,070 $83,930
New Jersey $45,490 $23,420 $68,620
New Mexico $46,050 $24,320 $83,750
New York $52,560 $27,200 $89,200
North Carolina $41,220 $19,150 $67,460
North Dakota $45,790 $18,300 $65,590
Ohio $48,000 $20,150 $79,750
Oklahoma $38,030 $20,950 $52,940
Oregon $61,220 $26,010 $96,720
Pennsylvania $41,620 $21,460 $85,640
Rhode Island $28,110 $23,370 $55,690
South Carolina $36,170 $18,110 $60,240
South Dakota $30,550 $22,430 $48,450
Tennessee $42,560 $18,940 $83,240
Texas $41,820 $21,560 $63,430
Utah $44,250 $18,550 $73,450
Vermont $38,730 $24,650 $77,510
Virginia $43,690 $18,780 $63,630
Washington $65,140 $40,480 $86,640
West Virginia $39,660 $20,620 $75,740
Wisconsin $48,190 $19,300 $68,730
Wyoming $49,760 $28,510 $76,090

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2020 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Learn more about massage therapist salaries.

Is a Thai Bodywork Career Right for You?

A Thai yoga massage career requires thorough training in anatomy, Thai massage energetic principles, acupressure, yoga and clinical Thai bodywork techniques. Your intuition and self-care practices combined with an understanding of basic business concepts are also essential to building a successful Thai bodywork practice.

If you are interested in Thai bodywork training, take a closer look at Thai massage schools. Then choose the Thai massage training program that meets your personal and professional needs.

Sources: ThaiYogaBodywork.com, International Thai Therapists Association, Thai Bodywork School of Thai Massage