Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long is the program?
This is an Associate Degree Program. It takes five semesters. The courses must be taken in sequence. New students are admitted in the fall semester.
2. Why does the program take two years?
The minimum hours for massage education in North Carolina is 500 hours. The focus of our program is a medical out-come based program which prepares the student to practice in a medical environment. Becoming competent in clinical outcome based therapies requires additional class time for development.
3. Job Outlook
PCC students are highly respected by employers for their knowledge and skill. 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.
4. 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.
5. How hard are the courses?
Massage therapy is more difficult than most people realize. All students find the Therapeutic Massage Program challenging, even “A” students. As with any Health Sciences Curriculum, standards are high and course work is varied and demanding. Therapeutic Massage students have a thorough understanding of musculoskeletal anatomy and pain referral patterns upon completion of the program.
6. Can I still work while I’m in the program?
Working during the program is extremely challenging. If you need to work, you could take related courses for one year while completing all the necessary paperwork for application to the program. If you are then accepted into the program, the course load for the first two semesters is 18 in class hours per week. This is 6 lecture hours and 12 lab hours. For planning your study time, you should consider at least 2 hours of study for each hour of lecture and at least 1 hour of practice for every lab hour. To become proficient in massage, 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, before you have built sufficient body strength, giving and receiving massage practice sessions can be exhausting. You will have to decide if you are able to work and go to school.
7. What is different about the program at PCC?
The Massage Therapy Program at PCC has a clinical focus which is completed in five semesters. The program is over 1500 hours and has one semesters of anatomy and physiology, one semester of pathophysiology, and medical terminology in addition to learning advanced clinical massage techniques. Our program has a student clinic where the student therapist can practice on PCC faculty, staff, and students. Students will practice in the clinic during the second and fourth semesters under the supervision of an instructor. This will help to prepare the student for externship practicum in the second year. During externship, the student is placed in a health care environment and will practice techniques learned in class under the supervision of an on-site health care practitioner. Currently our students are placed with Leo Jenkins Cancer Center, PCMH, PCMH Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Heart Center and Palliative care, Marion Sheppard Cancer Center in Washington, NC, Viquest, UHS of Eastern Carolina, Service League of Greenville, and Inpatient Hospice.
8. 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 communicate with clients and other health professionals clearly, and in writing concisely and correctly. Massage is a rewarding career and it is hard work! You must have strong hands and good body mechanics to maintain a lifelong career. You will need a comprehensive set of “people skills” to work with a variety of different individuals in cross cultural environments.
9. 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. There are no evening classes.
10. Will a criminal record keep me from being able to become licensed in the field of massage therapy?
A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to attain a state license. It may also affect your ability to be placed in an externship. You should consider writing to the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy to explain the circumstances of your 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 you a license.
11. How do I get accepted into the Therapeutic Massage Program?
For further information about the Health Science admission’s process, visit the admissions link.
Students accepted into the program will be required to complete the following prior to enrollment: (1) attend a required student orientation; (2) receive a professional massage from a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist and complete the form provided by the Program Director, which will be signed by the LMBT; and (3) complete an interview with the Program Director or faculty member.