Massage & Bodywork

JULY | AUGUST 2021

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10 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j u l y/a u g u s t 2 0 2 1 ABMP SCHOOL SURVEY Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) conducts a census of all state-approved massage programs every two years, and recently completed its analysis of 2020 massage program results and trends. It is an understatement to say that 2020 was a year like no other, and while that reality is reflected in the results we received, as well as the comments and stories we heard directly from schools, the results show the majority of massage therapy schools showed impressive resilience in the midst of the hardships of the past year. ABMP's census was conducted January 2021–March 2021, during which time ABMP representatives attempted to contact 965 programs. Seventy percent of approved programs responded to the survey, and nearly 50 programs were found to be closed. Those who were reached (and still in operation) were asked, "How many students graduated from your primary massage program in 2020?" Using state and program Massage Schools Stay Resilient During COVID-19 Pandemic Types of Programs ABMP categorizes massage programs into six organizational types: Career School—multiprogram institutions offering many career training programs in addition to massage therapy, typically medical and dental assisting, medical recordkeeping, etc. 150 programs College—massage program offered at a community, junior, or technical college. 144 programs Corporate School—massage therapy and spa programs as part of a multicampus, multistate, larger corporate entity. 44 programs Nonprofit—programs whose organization is incorporated as a nonprofit entity. 6 programs Proprietary—traditionally and typically "Mom & Pop" programs; single owner at a single campus. 563 programs Public—programs offered through the public education system/school district. 12 programs data, we projected results for the segment of schools we did not receive an answer from. According to the results of the survey, the number of massage therapy training programs in the United States, and the number of graduates from those programs, have declined from our 2018 survey (abmp. com/updates/blog-posts/number-massage- program-graduates-continues-decline). Combining survey data and projections, ABMP estimates there were 20,598 graduates from 919 programs in 2020, putting the average number of graduates per school at just over 22 students. These are the lowest numbers we've seen since 2000, and are down from 23,877 graduates from 965 schools in our 2018 survey. Given the environment for the country generally, and in-person education specifically, these numbers are a testament to the hard work, perseverance, and passion displayed by the owners, faculty, and students at these schools. Average Graduates per School 22 ABMP Biennial Census 2020 47,940 58,207 71,272 62,784 54,246 48,271 39,251 36,070 28,263 23,877 20,598 818 1,047 1,419 1,530 1,600 1,440 1,319 1,274 1,098 965 919 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 Thousands Graduates per School Graduates Schools 9 1 9 P r o g r a m s S u r v ey e d 7 0 % R e s po n de d N e a r l y 5 0 S c h o o l s C l o s ed By Jed Heneberry, ABMP Senior Director, Marketing

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