Massage Therapy | Riverland Community College Accredited 2-Year Minnesota School Offering Programs to Southern, MN - Riverland

Massage Therapy

Why Study Massage Therapy at Riverland?

The Massage Therapist program prepares the graduate to operate a massage therapy clinic or be employed in another health care-related setting. Massage has been shown to improve circulation, enhance relaxation, reduce pain and increase mobility and flexibility. Massage Therapists can work in a clinic, hospital, private practice, health club and a variety of other work settings. Riverland is NCBTMB Assigned School (900115). Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB®) is the highest credential within the massage and bodywork profession. 

    What will I study?

This well-balanced program integrates theory, anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology along with developing professional communication skills. The graduate therapist is able to observe and assess the client's musculoskeletal system, propose and implement a treatment plan and observe the client's response to treatment. Documentation is done to record muscular pain and restrictions, postural distortions, fascial adhesions, client response and the effects of stress on the body.

Our curriculum is diverse, teaching several types of massage and integrating the art and science of massage into the classroom some focus areas included stress reduction, deep tissue and myofascial techniques, reflexology, working with special populations, and other manual soft tissue techniques.

This program also focuses on building strong communication skills that enable graduates to interact appropriately, respectfully and professionally with clients.



The students have a variety of learning opportunities. Classroom time, hands on practice time with each other and later on the public. Class trips to a nursing home and other chances to work with special populations. Guest speakers add to the learning process.

Work / Classroom Settings

The massage lab is private and blinds and shades prevent passers-by from observing the lab activities. Students will both give and receive massages with their classmates. In our program you will be required to disrobe in order to receive massages from your classmates. At all times the draping with sheets, robes, etc. will promote modesty and professional behavior.


    Career Outlook

Current Demand

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This career is currently in high demand.

Future Demand

This career is seeing very high growth compared to other careers.

There will be a need for about 4,889 new Massage Therapists to meet market demand between 2016-2026. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

(source: Minnesota State CAREERwise Education)

Sample Job Titles

  • Private massage business owner
  • Spa setting
  • Hospital setting
  • Hospice setting
  • Chiropractic office
  • Chair massage business

Where do Alumni work, and what titles do they hold?

Some alumni work in hospital settings as massage therapists.
Some work in salons as lead therapists. Many other alumni choose to be owners/operators in their own business.



   Clubs & Organizations

Students are encouraged to look into organizations such as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP)

Faculty Highlight
Karla Caruso

Karla Caruso
Massage Therapy Instructor

I wholeheartedly believe in the power of touch. It has the ability to connect us to one another and can be so healing. Using the power of touch, I have been able to assist mothers having babies, and ease the discomforts of those in the dying process. The sense of touch is with us all though our lives. I am passionate about teaching students how they can use their new found skills to positively affect the clients they serve.

Deb Igou

Rebecca Flohrs
Massage Therapy Instructor

I started massage in 2009 at the ripe age of 18. I was drawn to it after seeing a family member get massage treatments for her cancer. I had never known it was possible to help people struggling with underlying conditions get massage therapy as part of their treatments. After she passed away, I decided to try a career in Massage Therapy. With low expectations that I would do well or feel accomplished, I went along to college. Much the opposite happened by the time I finished my college education. I felt compelled to help people and do whatever I could to make people feel better. Realizing that massage has a place in medicine is such an important factor for me and I hope that as Massage Therapy becomes more mainstream, people realize there is much more to it than just a relaxing experience. You can and will truly change people’s lives.



    Program Scholarships

The college offers several scholarships for students to help with the cost of their education.

Last Updated: February 6, 2020

    Quick Facts
  • Certificate
  • 27 Credits | Two Semesters, 608 hours of instruction
  • Location: Austin
  • Offering: Early Fall

   Online Appointments

Riverland Community College’s Massage Therapy Student Clinic is an educational facility where students provide massages - at a low cost - under the supervision of licensed massage therapists. Riverland College offers massage clinicals to the public during the second semester of school each year.  

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