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One man’s quest to find the best massage school in Las Vegas.

Posted by europeanmassageschool on October 12, 2011

My name is John Taylor and I’m a massage therapist working in Las Vegas. I wrote this article to help people like me who struggle to make the right decision when it comes to choosing the right school. There are many things to consider when choosing a school, so I’m hoping to take away some of the mystery by educating you about what I learned while researching the best place to pursue my education in Las Vegas.

There are numerous questions seek answers to when searching for a school. Is the school specifically devoted to training students for massage? How much does it cost? What are the teachers like? How big are the classes? Do they help their students find jobs after graduation? These are just a few of the questions you need answers to so that you can make an educated decision and choose the right place for your learning needs.

Choosing a school for massage is the same as choosing a college or university. You want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck and that you receive a top-notch education that will prepare you for life after school and the changing job market. The last thing you want to do is waste your hard-earned money and valuable time by choosing the wrong school and finding out down the road that you regret your decision.

Below is a list of the schools I visited and my thoughts on what I learned along the way. Please note that I have changed the names of the schools listed below so as to protect the privacy of each school and their students. However, if you try hard enough, I think you can figure out which ones I am talking about by looking at the names and comparing them to real-life schools in the Las Vegas area.

Nevada State Massage School

I arrived early for my meeting (as you should for any potential interview) in hopes of putting my best foot forward with the staff. Unfortunately, the school’s admissions representative wasn’t in, so I was passed on to the school’s director. Although I was disappointed that the person I spoke to on the phone wasn’t available, I was pleased to learn that the director was the man in charge of the program, and I was excited at the prospect of getting an insider’s understanding of how the program worked.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before my excitement turned to frustration. I could sense that he was bothered by having to give a tour to a prospective student and seemed slightly annoyed with having to take time out of his day to talk to me. Before we got started, I asked if I could take some notes, and he seemed surprised that I wanted to. After agreeing to let me write down what I was learning, he started talking about the school’s accreditation before taking me on campus tour that was somewhat impersonal as he spouted off why his school was the place to go. He kind of sounded like a used-car salesman trying to sell me the way he tried to sell all the other potential students instead of appealing to my excitement and eagerness to learn about the school.

Although he did introduce me to some friendly teachers and staff members during the tour, I was surprised to learn that there were 50 students to every one teacher and  teaching aide. Having such a big class limits a student’s ability to get the one-on-one training required in a field that has such intricate techniques and skill sets.

Imagine yourself trying to get the attention you need so you can truly understand why you are doing the things you are doing when you have to fight off 49 other students for the teacher’s attention. I have a hard time with school and although I’m  a good student, I knew  I wanted a more personal relationship with the staff so I could make sure I can get help when I needed it.

In addition to the size of the classes, the NSMS class format didn’t fit my needs. Students learn from their teachers but don’t get to apply the techniques until the weekend when they hold practicum. I can’t imagine trying to learn a skill without being able to practice it right after I saw it being done, because it is difficult to repeat what an instructor does if you have to wait three to five days to apply the lessons on an actual person. I also noticed that the average age of the students was between the early 20s and the mid 30s, so there wasn’t a lot of age diversity among the student body.

I left the interview extremely disappointed with the school and my experience during the interview. Since I didn’t immediately say I was going to attend the school, it seemed like they didn’t want to put forth the effort to convince me that this was the right place for me. It felt like they considered me just a number instead of a person. This was unfortunate because I had heard a lot about the school’s resources, but this experience made it clear to me that I needed to be at a school that was going to take more of an interest in me and my education than just the money that would come once I signed up.

Florence University

Unlike my experience at the first school, I had a more personable interview at the second school, but there were a few things that made me question why I would want to go there. The class days were very long, split between lecture and practical application of the material. This would have made it hard for me to go, because I also have to work while going to school. Long days in the classroom also mean you are overloaded with information that can become overwhelming when you are trying to focus on specific concepts and lessons.

Another thing that bothered me about the school was that isn’t devoted specifically to massage therapy. Unfortunately, this school has programs for medical technicians and other careers. This was a big turn-off for me because I wanted the school I went to be specifically devoted to massage therapy. My reasoning for this is that school’s that teach other job sets tend to devote their resources to other fields and don’t necessarily spend the time necessary to give students the best education possible, because they have so much going on in their other classes.

While on my tour, I noticed plenty of students from other fields walking around, but almost no massage therapists. The fact that the massage therapy part of the school was tucked away in a small space made me wonder just how much the school cared about training high-caliber therapists. I also wondered whether they devoted the necessary time to ensuring their students’ success.

My fears about the lack of devotion to the massage program were realized during my interview when we spent a good deal of the time talking about the size of this trade school and its many career training opportunities, but very little time talking specifically about the massage program. They also spent very little time discussing the possible career opportunities for graduating students, and it seemed like they didn’t do much to help them find jobs. At the end of the interview, I was disappointed and was sure the school was more devoted to other programs besides massage therapy, which meant it was a no-go for me.

Melody Institute

Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the school’s admissions counselor. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but it was obvious he didn’t know much about the school’s massage program.  Like the second school I had visited this one was another big trade school that offers several career-education programs, and it was obvious from the introductory presentation that the school put its massage program low in its priorities.

During the interview, the admissions counselor kept confusing his information on the massage therapy program with the medical technician department. This was unnerving   because it made me wonder just how important the program was to the school. It is difficult to believe that a school has a serious focus on a particular field when the person trying to sell you on it doesn’t really know what he is talking about. Although he used a slideshow presentation and relied heavily on graphs, he didn’t give me confidence that I was going to receive a top-notch education because he couldn’t answer some of my questions and he left out information that might have made me think differently.

In addition, the massage therapy school wasn’t in the main building on the campus which made me think that that even though the school had lots of resources, the massage therapy program didn’t seem like a priority or that it got treated with the same focus like  other programs. This seems to be a big problem with schools that don’t primarily teach massage. I came to the conclusion that I don’t want to go to a school where massage is not the main focus.

Las Vegas Career Institute

Despite my experiences at the other schools, I decided to check out a fourth even though massage therapy wasn’t the only career education opportunity there. Even though I knew in my heart I wanted to go to a school that heavily focused on massage, I went for my interview just to make sure I knew all of my options. Soon after my arrival, I knew it was very similar to the other trade schools and massage played second fiddle to other divisions.

Although my interview with the admission counselor went better than my previous experiences, I was extremely turned off by the location of the school (it is next to the airport) and the school’s lack of facilities for massage therapy students. During my interview and tour, there were numerous planes flying overhead, making it difficult to concentrate on what was being said. This made me wonder how anyone would be able to relax or concentrate while trying to learn in the classroom or when giving a massage, not to mention the impact of the noise on clients receiving massages during practicum.

There was also very little space for students to practice their skills. Because of the small size of the space for students to work on clients, it was obvious that it was going to be a battle for everyone to get the necessary time in working on clients. Practicum is a huge part of massage because you need to be able to develop your touch and experience working with a variety of clients so you are prepared for life after graduation, so it seemed counter-productive to have to fight other students to put in the necessary hours to get the type of experience I was looking for. How can you expect to succeed at a school that has only one massage table for students to practice on?

SouthWest Health Careers

Unfortunately, I didn’t know this school was a trade school until I arrived, otherwise I might not have gone. The school’s location was in the middle of nowhere, and once again I found myself listening to a pitch about several of the school’s other programs instead of something with a direct focus on massage therapy. Like the other trade schools, this place seemed to skip over crucial pieces of information about the massage program such as specifics on the curriculum and how the school worked with students to help them succeed after graduation.

Once I heard how expensive the school was, I knew this wasn’t the place for me. Who wants to spend a ton of money and go to a place that doesn’t give you what you need?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against spending money on schooling if it is going to get me where I need to be and provide me with a top-flight education. However, I’m not interested in shelling out almost all of my savings to a place where my education is not the school’s priority.

Since I knew I had other expenses to pay after school, including national exam fees, licensing costs, and equipment expenses, I had to be smart about how much money I spent on school, and the costs of going to this school didn’t come close to outweighing the benefits.

European Massage Therapy School

After my experiences with the other schools, I was starting to lose hope that I was going to find a place that would meet my education needs, but luckily I met a massage therapist at one of the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip while eating at a food court with some friends.  After telling her about my experiences, she recommended that I check EMTS out as soon as I could. She was so happy about her time at the school and the fact that they helped her find a job at a casino where she was making really good money, that she seemed to glow when she talked about the program and its teachers. Knowing she was earning a great living working on clients at the casino’s spa, I started to get excited about setting up an interview to learn more.

After arriving for my interview appointment, I was quickly greeted by John,  the school’s director. His knowledge about the program and the industry impressed me a great deal. Because the school only taught massage therapy, it was obvious from the beginning that they cared deeply about their students and their education. He was quick to answer my questions, and I was impressed when he introduced me to the teachers. They were all practicing therapists who knew a great deal about what it takes to be a massage therapist in Las Vegas, and their passion for teaching the students was exciting.

The director took the time to explain that there were numerous modalities other than Swedish massage taught at the school, including deep tissue, Shiatsu, and prenatal massage. All this impressed me because many of the other schools I visited seemed to skip this information. This excited me because I know it is important to make sure that you learn a variety of modalities so your practice isn’t one-sided and so you will be able to stay employed because of your broad education.

Because I was working while going to school, I was liked that the school is has flexible class hours — day and evening courses — and a large space for students to do practicum. Plus, their class schedule is only four hours per day, four days a week, which meant I would have time to go to school, do my homework, and still maintain a job.  It was also made clear to me by the director that they understood that sometimes you need to miss a class because of  conflicting schedules, and that they would make accommodations to help me make up what I missed. This was a huge relief because sometimes my work schedule requires me to be on call.

I also liked the fact that they split the time during school between education and learning to apply what we learned. Students get actual hands-on experience during classes, so they aren’t waiting until after school to put into practice what they learned during class. This was important for me since I learn better by application instead of memorization. When I factored in the fact that I would have plenty of opportunities to work on different kinds of patients I was pretty much sold on the program, but John saved the two of the school’s best qualities for the last part of my interview.

He informed me that the school worked hand-in-hand with its graduates long after their graduation to help them find work which is something that the other schools appeared to struggle with due to the fact that they were dealing with a number of students with careers other than massage. It was reassuring to know that they would help me on my journey post-graduation and continue to help ensure my success.

Finally John told me about what may be one of the biggest selling points for going there. EMTS’ tuition was the lowest in the Las Vegas area despite offering more than the other schools. I was shocked when he told me that because I was expecting a hefty bill for getting so much attention and support. Needless to say, I left the interview with a big smile on my face and a great feeling that all of my hard work researching schools had paid off because I was beyond confident that I had finally found the right place for me.

My Final Thoughts

 I couldn’t be more thrilled with my experience at EMTS. Everything they talked about during my interview proved to be true. My teachers cared about my education, I got plenty of hands-on experience that helped prepare me for my life after school and I didn’t lose my mind wondering why I had paid more to go somewhere else that wouldn’t have given me what I wanted from my education experience.

I know I chose the right school thanks to my experience at EMTS and I encourage you to check them out to see if the school meets your needs. Don’t just take my word for it, research and visit the other schools as well so you can make an informed decision, but I’m pretty sure you’ll come to the same conclusion that I did.


Posted in Career Education, Career Education Las Vegas, education, european massage school, European Massage Therapy School, Heatlh Care Education, massage, Massage Clinic, massage school, Massage School Chicago, Massage School Illinois, Massage School Las Vegas, Massage School Nevada, Massage School Skokie, Massage School Summerlin | Leave a Comment »

How do I choose a massage school?

Posted by europeanmassageschool on July 21, 2011

How do I choose a massage school?

So, you think you want to become a massage therapist. Now what? Even once you’ve decided that you have the aptitude and attitude to do the work, you’re left with much to consider. Can you find work you will love once you are out of school? Can you earn the income you need? Choosing the right massage school can help turn your questions into positive answers. It requires a big investment of your time and money to attend massage school. You want to get the most from both. Choosing a massage therapy school is an important life decision. How to choose a massage school will depend on the person, but there are several factors to consider when making an informed decision about which school is right for you. According to the popular website, an article titled “How do I choose a massage school?” recommended looking into a number of attributes of a school in order to make a right decision. So if you’re wondering about the same thing most prospective students in your position are curious about, listed below in bullet points are a few selected criteria about a massage therapy school and answered below are information about European Massage Therapy School (EMTS) that may be of interest to you!

  • Knowing the reputation or name recognition of any massage therapy school may be very important.

European Massage Therapy School has been in business for almost 15 years, building our reputation for quality instruction and is respected in the industry. Our graduates are hired by the top name companies in both Chicago and Las Vegas, such as Mario Tricoci Spa, Massage Envy, and MGM Grand Hotel just to name a few.  Since 1997, more than 2000 students have graduated from EMTS and started their successful careers in the field of massage therapy.

  • The massage school’s credentials and accreditation is crucial in your research because you’ll be able to discover whether they meet the standards required by the State.

Our school is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES ), recognized by the US Department of Education, members of both ABMP and AMTA, and approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). EMTS is licensed by the State Board of Education in Illinois and by the Commission on Post-Secondary Education in Nevada.

  • The types of massage, modalities, focuses or programs the school teaches is relevant to your interest in a particular sector of the massage field.

EMTS teaches lots of different modalities and techniques, including but not limited to: Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Techniques, Chair Massage, Sports Massage, Shiatsu, Trigger Point Therapy, Body Mobilization Techniques, Hot Stones, various Spa treatments and Aromatherapy just to name a few. We will equip you with a lot of great techniques to ensure your success in the marketplace.

  • The school’s philosophy or mission statement shows what the school represents as a whole and what their fundamentals are based upon.

European Massage Therapy School is a post secondary institution dedicated to providing affordable career-focused training in Massage Therapy and complimentary healing arts. The School is committed to staying abreast of the changes and trends in the field of massage therapy, and offers instruction in various modalities to ensure that graduates have a wide range of occupational skills, techniques, and knowledge with which to begin their careers. The school is intricately involved with creating an atmosphere conducive to the interchange of ideas while instilling a high degree of ethics and professionalism in the student. We are dedicated to advancing the art and science of massage therapy through excellence in education, personal and professional development of our students and community service by promoting health and wellness.

  • Proximity to your home may be very important for your convenience in commuting to and from school.

EMTS is conveniently located near public transportation and highways both in Skokie, Illinois and Las Vegas, Nevada in the Summerlin area.

  • Cost and financial aid is also a priority in figuring out whether the school is financially feasible for you.

Our program is one of the most affordable of any Nationally Accredited massage schools in Illinois and Nevada. We also have convenient payment plans starting at just $50 per month. And, of course, Federal Financial Aid is available to those who qualify. We work closely with the Department of Veteran Affairs in helping our students receive benefits from G.I. Bill and Veteran Grants.  For unemployed individual we can help you receive a WIA grant through your local Office of Employment Security.

  • Transferable college credits if applicable to your needs.

EMTS may accept credits from other institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. EMTS will consider the transfer of credits for completed coursework from such institutions, provided such credit substantiated by a transcript, and is submitted for evaluation prior to the start of the program.

Your next best step in your research process is to search for massage schools in your area and request more information from them. At EMTS, our admissions representative will contact you within a few days to give you more information and answer all your questions about our school. From there you can request more information to be sent home to you, or schedule a time to visit the campus and receive a complimentary massage on us! By doing so, you’ll get a good feel for how the clinic operates and come away with a sense of the school’s spirit. It amazes me how many students in massage school have never had even one massage. Don’t start a massage school clueless; get a massage! It’s a good start in practicing what you will preach to others. A great career is just around the corner, but it is up to you to make the first move. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Posted in Career Education, education, european massage school, European Massage Therapy School, Heatlh Care Education, massage, Massage Clinic, massage school, Massage School Chicago, Massage School Illinois, Massage School Las Vegas, Massage School Nevada, Massage School Skokie, Massage School Summerlin | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »