Apprenticeship vs School

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ColoradoKitsune
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Apprenticeship vs School

Post by ColoradoKitsune » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:51 pm

So new here *waves* and I'm looking for a wider professional opinion about massage therapy apprenticeships. I've wanted to go into massage therapy for a really long time and there has NEVER been a school close when we've been in a place to afford it. I found a LMT, rather by accident, (I wanted to book an appointment with her and did) that is willing to do a full apprenticeship.
* I should say she did advertise this on her website under classes. I didn't ask her about it. The thought honestly would have never occurred to me.

I checked everything out with the State ( UT) licensing board and confirmed apprentices are accepted.
Her graduation record, current and past license standings and program all checks out and I am waiting on contact information from her other two students so I can see how they are getting on. The price seems fair and she's very willing to do payment plans. Price includes, table, books, lotions/oils and the testing fees for MBLEx and then the state license exams.

The apprenticeship is 18 months, which also seems fair. The program ends with 1,175 hours hands on time and one-on-one teaching.
My question is this....How are apprenticeships looked at in today's massage therapy industry. By other therapists and by clients? Generally I am very much one of those people who is concerned with academic routes( for myself and others) making sure they have the accepted certifications.

I'm looking at moving ( husband is in a field that moves us around a lot) shortly after my apprenticeship would be finished and already asked about my license being moveable. The UT licensing office said that it is often accepted to keep your home state license up to date and just refer your new state to UT. Anyone had experience with this? I'm unsure if after I've been licensed by the state I could sit for the NCBTMB exam though. They initially said they don't accept apprentices, but I suppose I didn't clarify.
Thanks for your time guys. I hope to join your ranks soon as an LMT. :D
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.-Carl Sagan

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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by athletica » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:25 pm

I'm an RMT from Canada, so I'm unable to add much in way of what is accepted in the US, as far as I know in Canada the only option is completing 2200+ hr school program.

The major disadvantage I can see with the apprentice route is you might not be exposed to a variety of theories and techniques. Biases are sure to creep in to your training. With that said continuing education courses after graduation might expose you to other ideas.

We had courses taught by chiros, physios, AT's and RMT's. For some student it was confusing at times to be feed conflicting information, whereas I thrived often of the variety.

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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by JasonE » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:29 am

I don't recommend apprenticeships. Depending on where you live, the training you receive may not be accepted for licensing. It may not qualify you to sit for certain exams. These are significant professional problems.

The other issues I personally have with apprenticeships are:
A. You are limited to learning what that MT knows, and probably not even that much. Your training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, and the other "hard sciences" that massage is based on will be limited (at best) unless you happen to find a mentor who is actually well trained and completely up-to-date on all of that... an unlikely possibility.
B. Training in massage techniques will be limited to those the MT knows well, plus their personal preferences... which may-or-may-not be appropriate for you, your personality, and your own body.
C. Time devoted to training apprentices takes a practicing MT away from their clients. Either you won't get much training time... or your mentor won't see many clients. Unless you are paying them very well, you probably won't get nearly as many hours of training as school would give you.
D. In general, mentors will not be able to expose you to the breadth of work and working environments that a school can provide, nor are mentors likely to provide the same level of support following "graduation".
E. Most mentors are not trained how to teach. Just because they can do massage does not mean they know how to teach it well, and there is no oversight.

In general, schools have many advantages, chief among them is exposure to a variety of perspectives and skill sets relevant to the practice of massage therapy from a team of faculty members.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by JLWmassage » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:15 am

I would shy away from this for all the reasons mentioned, plus if you do move the state you move to is more likely isn't going to accept your training. All states that require licensing have a certain about of hours in certain subjects.

You will need a school transcript to move to another state. I am 90% sure in my state of MA. would tell you you are SOL and you would need to go back to school.

Don't take the cheap way out! And if you do move around a lot do your home work on what each state requires.

Here is the link to my board
http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/mt/

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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by shivashiva » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:42 am

ColoradoKitsune wrote:The UT licensing office said that it is often accepted to keep your home state license up to date and just refer your new state to UT. Anyone had experience with this? I'm unsure if after I've been licensed by the state I could sit for the NCBTMB exam though. They initially said they don't accept apprentices, but I suppose I didn't clarify.
This is a vague answer by the UT state board and it's fairly inaccurate. You need to look at the licensing laws for each state to see what they need and each state is different. If you're planning on moving it's wise to do this even if you go to a school, just so you know what kind of transfer process you're in for. If you have your license in UT, yes it will probably be easier to get licensed in another state. But you don't just refer the new state to the UT board. You will have to go through a significant amount of paperwork and in many if not most states, extra education.

Decide which states are high on your list of possible moves. Then research the laws there. And either do a training program that satisfies those laws or will be easy enough to append to in order to satisfy them. Many times, when you go to a school, if you tell them you are planning on moving they can work with you on the curriculum to help your transcript match what it needs to in order to move. For instance, in our school, if someone is moving to a state that needs 10 extra anatomy hours, we'd arrange private tutoring for that so they wouldn't have to deal with extra education after their move.

I agree with what others have said, especially Jason. I think one of the biggest things you'd be missing in school is the experience of group learning, where others ask questions you would never have thought of and give perspectives that would never have crossed your mind. Also, the experience of learning in a classroom, where you're practicing on other students with a teacher there to observe and correct your technique and body mechanics day after day after day, while you work on various body types.
Shiva
O friend, understand. / The body is like the ocean, rich with hidden treasures. / Open your innermost chamber / And light its lamp - Mirabai
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ColoradoKitsune
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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by ColoradoKitsune » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:38 am

I absolutely understand what everyone is saying and I am very grateful you all took the time to answer. (I also am 2 hours away from any school sadly, which is why this is even a consideration) I will get a clearer answer from the UT board and potential state boards about license transfer before I jump into this.

The problem is my husband has two years left in his program and we could literally go anywhere in the US. So I could only just guess at Washington, California, Colorado, New Mexico,Florida, Texas, Maryland, etc....

When I looked at where the MBLEx was accepted they had a mobility form where they would send your scores and records to the next state. For this I assume I wouldbe able to take those state's exams?

I guess my next question is....If i pass the same state exam that everyone else does why is an apprenticeship viewed as less?

Also- Is there anyone here that DID complete an apprenticeship that can tell me about their experiences as a working therapist?

I have a lot of personal anatomy/pathology experience as I worked as a pathology lab tech for several years. So I am not a stranger to learning that kind of information.... I was able to get her book list as well and they are all the materials are recommended by the National testing board.

I've not made up my mind yet. But it's good to have these kinds of things answered.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.-Carl Sagan

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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by shivashiva » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:41 pm

ColoradoKitsune wrote: I guess my next question is....If i pass the same state exam that everyone else does why is an apprenticeship viewed as less?
In my opinion, the exam is very limited in what passing it proves. You don't have to have any training whatsoever and you can teach yourself to pass the test. The apprenticeship is viewed as less than a school experience due to the reasons stated in this thread, having nothing to do with the exam. And keep in mind, this is not necessarily how potential employers or clients will view your training -- most of them will look at the massage you give and your professionalism.

You need to look at the MBLEX and National Exam and make sure that they will ALLOW you to take the test based on your training. You have to qualify to be able to take the test before you can sit for it.

I personally don't get the idea of going to a school or getting training based solely on convenience. You will not only be spending your money, but a large chunk of your life in an endeavor that will change you as a person forever. Should that really be left up to just the easiest and closest option? You might just start practicing massage on friends and family and studying on your own now and then when you move choosing a school there. I saved up money for years and relocated temporarily to go to the school I wanted.

One instance in which apprenticeship might be better than school is if your mentor is exceptionally awesome in many ways, inspirational, knows her stuff, etc or if her teaching and your learning style mesh together perfectly. Like if you meet her and chat with her, get a massage from her and like her a lot and think "Even if I had a nationally recognized school 5 minutes from my house, I would still prefer to train as an apprentice under her."
Shiva
O friend, understand. / The body is like the ocean, rich with hidden treasures. / Open your innermost chamber / And light its lamp - Mirabai
Blue Lotus Day Spa, Ruidoso, NM | Residential Yoga Teacher Trainings & Bali Yoga Retreats

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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by katamay » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:54 pm

If it were just about the MBLEx, I'd say go for it.

But most states have TWO requirements: an exam requirement and a schooling requirement.

While UT accepts apprenticeships in place of school attendance, I don't believe that's common. I suggest getting a solid science background, taking classes in chemistry and biology on the side, until you move. The odds are good that you'll end up someplace closer to a massage school once you do, and you'll be well prepared to do a great job.

Kat
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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by ColoradoKitsune » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:51 pm

I've already put this on hold for so long....nearly 10 years, supported my husband through 10 years of military service and 2 and a half years of deployments. And now his degree. If commuting or relocation was an option right now I'd do it in a heartbeat to go to school. So you can see how appealing this is. Waiting 2-4 more years is kinda difficult for me.

Even though it's a much more difficult road I am looking at UMCT in SLC which is 2 hours away from me. 4 days a week, 9-5 for 7 months. I can get full grants but not being able to work during that time is a huge cruncher. But I'm not chucking this option out or the apprenticeship before I can get more of the facts ya know?

I truly don't want to waste my time on second rate instruction, nor would I want to waste the potential teacher's time or put myself in a poor situation not being able to move with this skill.

I do have experience in seeing traditionally schooled Veterinary Technicians and apprentices technicians ( like me). Many of the Vet's wouldn't hire or had really difficult times with those that did go through traditional schools because even though they had the book knowledge,passed the classes, and had some experience they weren't nearly as good as those that had 'worked the trenches'. The students also had poor habits or different information about procedures. I know it's not all roses...

I do have a solid a medical science background so I'm not shy in those areas.

I promise I am not trying to be difficult. and I do absolutely appreciate everyone's thoughts on this.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.-Carl Sagan

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ColoradoKitsune
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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by ColoradoKitsune » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:49 pm

It sounds like I'm whining for sure and I shouldn't be-nor am I trying to. You all have been a great help. Thank you.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.-Carl Sagan

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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by Jonathan » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:36 am

It sounds to me like you've thought through most angles and available options. Just know you may have to spend more money and time to meet specific local/state requirements. Go for it!
live & let live

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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by katamay » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:23 am

It sounds to me like you've thought through most angles and available options. Just know you may have to spend more money and time to meet specific local/state requirements. Go for it!
That's a good point. If you walk into it with the awareness that you have about a 50% chance of needing to go back to massage school again when you move, and you still think it's worth it anyway, then it's probably the right decision for you.

Kat
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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by ColoradoKitsune » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:04 pm

Thanks Kat, So far I have found out that Washington and Ohio would accept my apprenticeship. Generally it seems if the State still allows apprenticeships they will allow people with those from other states to gain certification there. You have to be individually reviewed by the board but....not really a huge deal it seems.

I have also been speaking with the Myotherapy College of Utah - http://www.myotherapycollege.com/

This seems like the best place for me, both in a financial way and with education. It would still be a big stretch to attend and finish there but I wouldn't be lacking in any information and it's a smaller school, which is nice compared to UCMT.

So that's it. You guys were an awesome help of course. Thank you so much for such great input.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.-Carl Sagan

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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by pueppi » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:03 pm

ColoradoKitsune wrote: I have a lot of personal anatomy/pathology experience as I worked as a pathology lab tech for several years.

I am a little late coming into this thread, and I know you've pretty much closed it up by now, but something struck me that you may have already touched on somewhere (I'll be honest, I have not read the whole thread, just saw the one item that jumped out at me, noted in qoutes above).


No matter where you go or what you decide to do, make sure and pull together any anatomy/physiology/pathology transcripts or documentation of work you have done in these areas. Many times you can get credit for your prior work, and skip out of that portion in the massage school you choose. It may save you some time, or at least hours.

Best of wishes... please post often! :)
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Re: Apprenticeship vs School

Post by megsjls » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:58 am

Here is something to think about......what happens to you if you decide you have to relocate out of state for whatever reason and your license from Washington or Ohio will not transfer to that state?

Also, you might get a reputation of not actually having received a proper education which could hinder your chances of getting clients. You are kind of treading on a slippery slope here and my gut feeling is you are going to have problems in the long run from not going the traditional path towards becoming a MT.

I know what it is like to put your spouse through college and hold off your own career, but by jumping the gun and going the route of an apprenticeship vs traditional school, you might just be shooting yourself in the foot in the long run.

Really think about the consequences of not going to school. You will just be limited to the views of this one MT and his/her education they received. In school you will encounter many individuals who can teach you different styles and different modes for treating a client. There are so many different options in massage and I really think you are going to limit yourself in what you can do.

If this were me, I would totally find a traditional program and go from there. I hope things work out for you in whatever you decide and that you finally become a MT after so many years of longing to do so.

Megs

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