When it comes to choosing continuing education classes, there are several factors massage therapists and bodyworkers should keep in mind. By carefully weighing these various aspects of your decision on which continuing education class or classes to take, you stand a better chance of getting the most of your investment in both time and money in that particular course.

Now you are most likely wondering what these factors may be and how to go about investigating each angle of the potential continuing education class. The answer is not a simple one. The fact is, the variables you take into account as you make your decision about a continuing education class will depend mostly on you as an individual massage therapist or bodyworker.

We will begin with the easier factors to consider—those factors that may have more of a blanket application for vast numbers of massage therapists and bodyworkers. The first is state regulation. You need to know if you are living in a state, region or local area where the field of massage therapy and bodywork is regulated by some sort of governing body.

If you are living and practicing in such a state, region or area, then you should already be aware of that fact, for you most likely had to follow a specific protocol, mandated by the governing board, in order to receive your license to practice in the first place. If this is the case, then it is this same governing board that can tell you whether or not earning continuing education credits is a requirement for continued practice.

This is the first factor you should consider when you begin thinking about continuing education. You need to know whether you are required to earn these credits and, if so, how many of them you need, how often you need them and whether there are any specific guidelines in terms of what kind of continuing education courses you need to take. For example, some state or local governing boards may require a course on ethics every so often, or perhaps one on safety and hygiene in the workplace.

By taking the time to carefully weight this part of the continuing education equation, you can be sure to make the most of your time and money. Once you have this aspect squared away, you can begin investigating those aspects of continuing education that are far more personal to you as a massage therapist or bodyworker.

The next most important factor may be your budget. The use of the word budget here refers not only to money, but also to time. Begin by deciding how much money you are comfortable spending on continuing education, then stick to that number throughout your search for classes. There is no sense in adding undue stress to your life by enrolling in a course that pushes the boundaries of your financial budget.

Next, decide how you can best fit a class into your current schedule. This could mean you need to take an online continuing education course for optimal flexibility, or it may mean a vacation to a destination continuing education class.

–Brandi Schlossberg