The 11 students who completed the massage therapy program at Robeson Community College hold their certificates while having a group photograph made on the campus of the college in Lumberton.
LUMBERTON — Eleven students recently completed the massage therapy program at Robeson Community College.
Completing the program’s requirements were Kaliyah Bell, Alicia Chavis, Heather Chavis, Anthony Corbett, Billie Jo Corbitt-Shampy, Ariel Grooms, Ventina Jacobs, Tarisha N. Lee, Mary Locklear, Erguecie Lormantus and Taji McLellan.
Completion of the massage therapy program allows students to take the licensure exam offered by the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy.
“Our program is extremely affordable. We have state-of-the-art massage labs that provide hands-on training for our students,” said Christy Locklear, Health Occupations coordinator at RCC. “We have excellent instructors who are highly sought after.”
Licensed massage therapist can gain employment with day spas, resorts and hotels, and as health care facilities, such as doctor’s offices, hospitals and chiropractors.
“Once a student gets licensed, they can decide what field of massage therapy to get specialized in – spa or medical,” said Beth Locklear, program instructor. “They can get certified in deep tissue, medical, or sports medicine.”
The average starting pay for students who complete the program ranges from $15 to $17 per hour, with the potential to earn more with experience and by earning additional credentials for specializations, the instructor said.
“It just depends on which setting they go into, their experience, and what field they choose to focus on,” she said. “The more credentials they get under their belt the more they can earn.”
And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS), employment of massage therapists is projected to rise by 21% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average rate of professions. Currently, there are about 166,700 massage therapists in the United States and the need is expected to grow by about 34,400 jobs over the next 10 years.
“There is a demand for massage therapists,” Christy Locklear said. “Out of the 11 students who completed the massage therapy program in June, six students already had jobs lined up before they graduated.”
She added, “Our students graduate prepared to enter the workforce and ready to go to work.”
The next massage therapy course at RCC will begin Aug. 9 and end June 20, 2022. The class will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays at the RCC ComTech Campus in Pembroke. Seating is limited, so those who wish to enroll are encourage to start the process now by contacting Christy Locklear at 910-272-3609 or [email protected]
2175 N. Roberts Ave,
Lumberton, NC 28358