How To Become A Massage Therapist In Ontario? (2023)

If you’re interested in health, and the general wellness of the human body, and are looking for a successful professional career with promising opportunities, then you owe it to yourself to begin a career in massage therapy.

To become a massage therapist in Ontario, you will need to apply for and take licensing examinations through the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO). You will need to meet the requirement of at least 500 hours of massage therapy school, and participate in continuing education credits to improve your work effectiveness to qualify for a certificate of completion.

How To Become A Massage Therapist In Ontario

To begin a career as a massage therapist, you will need to have an Ontario-approved high school diploma or an equivalent degree.

You will also need the following requirements:

1. Obtain a massage therapy diploma or a certification course

You can opt for the regular Massage Therapy training which is a three-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma program, or take the accelerated version of the training that is only for two years. The courses you decide on will teach you fundamental massage techniques, and how to perform in-depth palpation of the limbs. Some of the courses include:

  • Swedish/Relaxation and Deep Tissue Massage
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • College reading and writing skills
  • Arts and sciences
  • Clinical Skills and Techniques
  • Clinical therapy
  • Therapeutic relations
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Friction therapy
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Therapeutic rehabilitation
  • Pregnancy massage
  • Sports massage
  • Foot massage
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Ethics & Standards of Practice
  • Wellness & Fitness for Massage Therapy
  • Massage Theory
  • Practice Consolidation
  • Laser theory
  • Chemical/mechanical exfoliation
  • Thermal and hydrotherapy
  • Therapeutic exercises

In addition to these courses, you will also learn the soft skills necessary for the accurate delivery of your job. Soft skills such as written and spoken communication, entrepreneurship, problem analysis, creative thinking, time, and financial management will provide you with the business knowledge needed to work for an organization, or yourself.

When you are ready to choose a massage college, take into account whether the program you have selected will provide you with recognized credits and qualifications. You can also contact companies that you are interested in to see if they would hire a graduate from the school you plan on attending.

When you take a therapy course from an accredited school, you automatically qualify to apply for jobs via their career portal.

2. Get hands-on experience and training

Getting on-site experience will expose you to diverse and extensive clinical opportunities through public internships, and outreach opportunities. You will be required to complete over 330 hours of direct massage therapy care under the supervision of a Registered Massage Therapist. At this point, you will need a minimum of $2 million Professional Liability Insurance to qualify for work opportunities, and a valid driver’s license to administer mobile massage therapy.

3. Take the certification examination

Once you have completed a course from a recognized Massage Therapy school, you will be required to take Certification Examinations administered by the CMTO. Your certification course must not be more than three years old on the date you are scheduled to take the examination. If your massage therapy education is more than three years old, you will have to complete a CMTO refresher course not more than 15 months from the date you are scheduled to take the certification examination.

The licensing examinations include the Objectively Structured Clinical Evaluation (OSCE), and the Multiple-Choice Question or MCQ exam. You must obtain a score of 70 or higher to pass both tests. You also have the liberty to take the exams anytime between May and December of every year.

The skills you acquire via an online or on-site massage therapy school can get you started in managing your massage facility.

How Much Does It Cost To Become A Massage Therapist In Ontario?

Most Massage Therapy programs in Canada are 2200 hours and can range in tuition from $15,000 – $50,000 excluding books and supplies, and from $55,000 when the cost of utility and supplies have been included. You should make sure to contact the school you are considering for the updated tuition list.

Also, depending on the training college, or University you decide on, you can get financial aid through several scholarship programs and a tuition payment plan that caters to your financial needs.

How Much Does A Massage Therapist Earn In Ontario?

According to a poll by, the average massage therapist salary in Ontario is $75,019 per year or $38.47 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $54,525 per year, and you can make up to $117,000 per year with a few years’ experience under your belt.

If you decide to start and manage your own business, you can earn up to $150,000 or more exclusive of tax per year.

Job Opportunities For Massage Therapists In Ontario

  • Fitness clubs and gyms
  • Health clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing or long-term care homes
  • Spas
  • Sports organizations
  • Private practice
  • Mobile practice
  • Chiropractic offices
  • Physiotherapy outfits
  • Schools

It is also possible to register as a freelance massage therapist with various online companies on a commission-based income agreement.

Are Massage Therapists In High Demand In Ontario?

Your job involves relieving body pains, healing muscle injuries, improving blood circulation, relieving stress, increasing the relaxation, and general well-being of people. For these reasons, Ontario has a high demand for skilled massage therapists.

Demand for massage therapists is expected to increase to meet the needs of Ontario’s growing and aging population, the increasing use of complementary and alternative treatments to manage chronic illnesses, acute pain, and mental health.

An increased focus on overall physical and mental wellness and illness prevention is also projected to increase the demand for massage therapists.

Besides getting a lot of job opportunities to choose from, your job is automatically protected by the Employment Insurance (EI) which can pay out as much as 55% of your salary if you are yet to find paid employment.



Being a Massage Therapist in Ontario is a rewarding and flexible career. Massage therapy is one of the fastest-growing careers, and approximately 12,450 people work in this occupation.

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