The smallest state in the United States provides attractive opportunities for licensed massage therapists. Thirty-seven miles wide and forty-eight miles long, Rhode Island offers easy travel opportunities both for independent massage therapists and for contract employees at larger institutions. The state’s population is just over one million, providing providing a deep potential client base. Home to many world class institutions, Rhode Island has a median household income of approximately $42,000.
Massage therapists are licensed by the state. Requirements include five hundred hours in an approved curriculum and a passing score of at least 300 on the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Licensed massage therapists must possess a fluent knowledge in anatomy and physiology, massage assessment and application, pathology, and kinesiology. A knowledge of ethical considerations applied in the therapeutic massage therapy business is also essential to maintain a state license.
Providence, Warwick and Cranston are the state’s three largest cities, all of them clustered at the head of Narragansett Bay. The state is also home to Newport, famous as a vacation destination and an enclave of wealthy and famous citizens. Each summer, Newport’s population swells with thousands of tourists who enjoy physical activities and recreation.
Accredited training for massage therapists is available at many locations in the Ocean State. Lincoln Technical Institute in the town of Lincoln is one institution that offers a full program of study. The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), the largest community college system in New England, offers a program in therapeutic massage therapy. The college maintains convenient locations throughout the state for prerequisites while the message therapy program is currently held on an evening and weekend basis at its Newport County campus. Though a degree is not required to obtain licensure in Rhode Island, CCRI has the added benefit of offering the only Associates’ Degree program in massage therapy in the state.
Healthcare is Rhode Island’s primary industry, followed by tourism. Manufacturing remains important to the state’s economy. All of these provide unique opportunities for massage therapists. Massage therapists are employed in many of the state’s hospitals and clinics. Tourists provide an ever changing clientele. Those employed in industry appreciate the regular, therapeutic benefits of massage.
The average price for a massage therapy session is $60.00 in Rhode Island. Depending on the service, rates for a massage therapy session can command more than $100.00. Massage therapists in Rhode Island do not only rely on cash clients for business. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s largest insurer and it is the primary insurance carrier for the state’s public sector employees. Blue Cross Blue Shield is a progressive insurer that offers massage therapy benefits to a wide variety of its beneficiaries. By enrolling as a Blue Cross Blue Shield provider, Rhode Island massage therapists capture a large segment of the therapy market that may be unwilling to pay out of pocket but are willing to enjoy the benefits of therapeutic massage therapy as one of their covered insurance benefits.