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Your Future is in Your Hands Massage Therapy Program

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Classes Taught in English Only.

Start Your Massage Therapy Career in Just 44 Weeks

Whether it’s by helping others in pain, reducing stress or helping injuries heal, there are few jobs more personally rewarding than Massage Therapy. At First Institute, you can learn the skills you need to start a career as a professional massage therapist in as little as 44 weeks.

Why Massage Therapy?

As a massage therapist, your touch can heal. Using a variety of techniques, you can help others live happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives. First Institute’s Massage Therapy program, available at our Crystal Lake location can teach you the therapeutic skills you need to assess and treat musculoskeletal problems, as well as the business proficiency to manage a massage practice. Our Healing Arts Center gives you a chance to practice your skills in a supervised professional setting in our onsite student clinic.


Learn Career Skills to Last a Lifetime

As a massage therapist, you can help relieve pain and stress with the power of your hands. At First Institute, you’ll gain practical knowledge, business training and get real-world experience in a range of massage techniques, as you study:

  • Anatomy
  • Aromatherapy
  • Chair massage
  • Deep tissue massage/neuromuscular
  • Energetic technique
  • Five elements/Eastern massage
  • Hot stone massage
  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Physiology
  • Reflexology
  • Sports massage
  • Swedish massage
  • Therapeutic application

What Our Employers and Grads Say

“[Massage therapy] is a career where you’re genuinely helping people. And I think the best massage therapists absolutely have that.”


Owner - Elements Salon


Suzanne, Owner – Elements Massage

At First Institute, you can train for a rewarding career. Hands-on training helps you make a real difference in the lives of others.

“Massage therapy is in-demand right now. We’re hiring because we have the demand.”


Tricosi Salon & Spa


Cassandra, Tricoci Salon & Spa

Employers are looking to hire First Institute graduates right now.

“Amazing support. I’m grateful for the supportive family culture that First Institute offered. I’m forever grateful that First Institute was like ‘you got this.”


Massage Graduate


Denise, Massage Graduate

First Institute empowers students to achieve their goals.

Meet Mary S, a 2019 graduate of our Massage Therapy program. Mary is currently employed by TLC Massage Therapy as a Licensed Massage Therapist.

After graduating, Mary was confident in her skills, “my teachers worked very hard to teach us the curriculum in a way we would all understand. They were patient, honest and held themselves and their students accountable. They always have a special place in my life for what they did for me.” Mary went on to say, “I now feel confident in helping my clients in ways I never would have dreamed before, a large part of that was the dedication from Coralee and Deb (my instructors at FI).”

Mary recommends First Institute because “the knowledge the teachers provided was outstanding. They allowed me to learn in my own creative ways. I flourished because of them and the support I had from my classmates.” #therealfirstinstitute #firstinstitutefamily

Mary S, Massage Therapy

Program Available at This Location

Crystal Lake Campus

First Institute
790 McHenry Ave
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

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Massage Therapy Certification and Licensing

As a graduate of this program, you’ll be eligible to take the following certification exams to set yourself apart and increase your potential employment opportunities:

  • Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBlex)
  • The State of Illinois State Massage Therapy License (MBlex required)

Flexible Schedules that Work for You

At First Institute, we know you have other responsibilities. That’s why we offer both day and evening massage therapy programs, so you can advance your career on your schedule.

Our day classes are twice a week, either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Evening classes are held four days a week, Monday through Thursday, from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Both programs can be completed in as few as 44 weeks.

Financial Aid & Career Services

Fund Your Education

We believe everyone should have access to the means of advancing their career. As an ACCET-accredited institution, First Institute offers financial aid to those who qualify. Our experienced Financial Aid Advisors can help you determine your eligibility, explore your options and support you through every step of the application process. Our programs also qualify for a variety of military training assistance options, including the GI Bill, MyCAA, REAP and DEA.

Support Beyond the Classroom

Our dedication to you doesn’t end at graduation. We’re here to support you throughout your career. While we cannot guarantee job placement, our Career Services Department maintains contact with prospective employers and advises them of students’ abilities and availability. We can help you create your cover letter and resume, develop your interview skills and more effectively search for jobs.