General CPD

How to Train to be a Sports Massage Therapist

Dr. Carl Clarkson • October 15, 2021

If you’re looking into how to become a sports massage therapist, this blog post answers your questions on sports massage qualifications, sports massage courses, and sports massage salaries in the UK.

Keep reading to learn more about how to become a sports massage therapist.

How to become a sports massage therapist

Those wishing to become a sports massage therapist need to complete a relevant, accredited sports massage course. In the UK, a Level 3 sports massage course is the minimum requirement to become a sports massage therapist.

Can you become a sports massage therapist without a degree?

You can become a sports massage therapist without a degree by completing a relevant, accredited sports massage course. The most widely recognised sports massage courses outside of a degree are the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy, and the Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy.

These are entry level, and progression level sports massage courses, and are the minimum level of qualification required to practice sports massages in the UK.

What qualifications does a sports massage therapist need?

Beginners will need to first take the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy to be able to practice sports massage. The Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy follows on from Level 3, providing a more in-depth knowledge of a broader range of techniques, and injuries.

However, these courses do not allow massage therapists to be able to diagnose conditions. Patients must have been previously diagnosed elsewhere to be treated by somebody with only Level 3 or 4 qualifications.

To be able to diagnose patients, degree-level study must be achieved in a relevant subject. This helps to provide a good level of knowledge and understanding of human anatomy, and will also provide a wider knowledge of the industry, which may be useful throughout a career.

At mainstream universities in the UK, these courses could be billed as Sports Therapy, Sports and Exercise Therapy, or Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation. Physiotherapy is another alternative.

How long does it take to be a sports massage therapist?

Level 3, 4, and 5 sports massage course lengths will depend entirely on the provider. Some can be taken intensively but, on average, courses can be completed in around 12 months. Accelerated courses, which offer theoretical components online, and the practical elements in a 3-day workshop, are specifically designed for busy people looking to upskill around their existing work. Breeze Academy offers this course, which you can find more about, here.

Degree-level courses will take three years of full-time study, or 5-6 years of part-time study. Some courses may also offer a year in industry to gain experience; this will usually take place between the second and third years of study.

What is the salary of a sports massage therapist?

According to HFE, full-time sports massage therapists classed as ‘employed’ rather than ‘self-employed’ can earn between £22,000 and £40,000 per year. However, there are a number of variables influencing these figures

Self-employed sports massage therapists can earn between £35-£50 per hour, but annual salaries depend entirely on how much they work, overheads, other expenses, and tax.

Sports Massage Courses at Breeze Academy

Breeze Academy, a globally trusted education provider for over 10 years, offers accredited sports massage therapy courses for those wishing to become a qualified sports massage therapist. Our courses are consistently rated 5 stars, and offer flexible plans to suit your needs.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our range of courses.

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