Continuing education requirements are a way of life for massage therapists. There’s no getting around it, they are part of your professional certification.

You can get this required training by attending various conferences throughout the country, spending your well-earned money on courses, travel, hotel reservations and restaurant food. Or, you could opt to take a massage home-study course to learn some of the required material. It can come at a significantly cheaper cost and you can stay at home and make your own schedule.

Before enrolling in your next continuing education class, take some time to consider the benefits of home-study courses that can help to ensure your continuing education experience is as educational and hassle-free as possible.

Last week, the first five advantages of home study courses were discussed and this week the top five are profiled here:

5. Pacing. Not everyone learns at the same rate. In live classes, the course’s pacing is set by the instructor and often in a limited amount of time. Depending on the student, the courses can often be either too fast or too slow. Home-study courses allow students to learn at their own pace, taking as little or as much time as they need to complete the class.

4. Environment. An auditorium or conference center can be an intimidating place to ask questions of instructors, even if you aren’t afraid of public speaking. It can also be unsettling to do hands-on demonstrations or take tests alongside fellow students in an unfamiliar setting. By taking home-study courses, your home can be your classroom. These courses give the student control of their environment and tailor it to best suit their needs.

3. Review. Have a fast-talking instructor who gives lectures faster than your hands can take notes? Good luck asking them to constantly repeat themselves. You can’t do that in a live class. But in home-study courses, the speed of the instructors speech is at your control. Miss something important? Press the rewind button on your DVD remote. Feel like you need to see a particular technique again…and again…and again? Repeat the above instructions. It’s up to you on how fast or slow you want to review the material.

2. Costs. Live seminars and classes often have hidden costs that go beyond just the cost of tuition and course materials. Don’t forget to take in travel, lodging, food and transportation costs in determining your course budget. Even if you reside near a live class, you’re still paying for gas or cab fare to get yourself there, plus you lose income for the time you’re away from work. With home study, the cost of the course is the only thing you have to pay for, while the flexible scheduling enables you to maintain a normal work schedule—and income.

1. Comfort. Home-study courses can provide you with the highest amount of comfort and flexibility in your busy schedule, compared to live classroom teaching. The courses can remove that added stress and allow you to focus on what matters the most–becoming a better, more educated, therapist.

When you decide what courses might be right for you, make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.