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Registered massage therapist or RMT is an in-demand job role that offers job security and a rewarding work environment. Working as an RMT allows you to help people reduce their physical pain and mental stress, so it’s a very worthwhile career choice. How do you become an RMT in Ontario?

Here are the steps required to become an RMT in Canada:

  • Obtain massage therapy diploma
  • Fulfill hands-on training requirements
  • Obtain registration through the CMTO and complete a third-party licensing exam
  • Job opportunities will actually come to you as a regulated health practitioner

This guide will be the blueprint to working as an RMT in Ontario. Ahead, we’ll explain further every step listed above so you can create an actionable plan to fulfill your career aspirations.

Want to Become an RMT in Ontario? Follow These Steps:

Step 1: Obtain a Massage Therapy Diploma from a Registered College

The first step on your road to becoming an RMT is enrolling in a college program to earn your massage therapy diploma. The school you select must be approved by the Ministry of Education with your province, in addition to other certification boards such as The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO).

Bryan College’s Massage Therapy Program is one example of an Ontario school you might consider. This school is approved by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities (MTCU), and registered as a private career college under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. Bryan College is also a member of the Ontario Council of Private Massage Therapy Colleges and prepares massage therapy students for the Registered Massage Therapy (RMT) exam in Ontario.

As a student in the program, you’ll become acquainted with all modalities an RMT must know to excel at their job, including:

  • Clinical therapy
  • Therapeutic relations
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Friction therapy
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Therapeutic rehabilitation
  • Pregnancy massage
  • Sports massage
  • Swedish massage
  • Foot massage
  • Deep tissue massage

Outside of massage modalities, your time in a massage therapy program will also educate you in physiology, anatomy, massage ethics, and body mechanics.

Step 2: Fulfill Hands-on Training Requirements

As part of your diploma education from an approved massage therapy program, you’re required to obtain hands-on experience before you can take your RMT exam.

This experience is a great opportunity to apply your knowledge of the massage therapy modalities that you learned during your time enrolled in school. As you work with real people, you’ll refine your skills and develop techniques that make you a better RMT.

All along, you will be supervised by a professional RMT who can offer feedback and assessments of your abilities as you progress.

You must spend a certain number of hours on hands-on training. If you attend a college to obtain your accredited degree, then you may be able to fulfill your training requirements there. For example, Bryan College has a massage clinic that is open to the public. You’ll have the opportunity to work directly with clients to improve your skills in a real-world setting.

Step 3: Obtain a Massage Therapy Registration and Complete a Licensing Exam

In Ontario, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario is the board that provides the requirements for RMT registration.

To obtain registration, you must pass certification examinations. These exams include the Objectively Structured Clinical Evaluation or OSCE and the Multiple-Choice Question or MCQ exam. To pass both tests, you must obtain a score of 70 or higher.

The OSCE clinical exam includes seven test stations. The test stations demand your knowledge of current massage therapy skills and modalities. Up to 24 percent of the criteria points are dedicated towards professional practice, 38 percent towards treatment, and another 38 percent towards assessment.

This test lasts 90 minutes. You can take the OSCE anytime between May and December of any given calendar year.

The MCQ computer-based exam asks you 150 questions in all. The questions are centered around massage therapy topics such as clinical science (15 percent of the criteria points), treatment (42 percent), assessment (25 percent), and professional practice (18 percent).

This exam lasts for approximately 180 minutes. You can choose to start with the MCQ and then do the OSCE or vice-versa.

In addition to the examination requirements, you’ll also need to submit a copy of your college transcripts to the CMTO and pass a first aid and CPR certification.

Step 4: Begin Looking for Jobs

Now that you hold the credentials and experience that prove you’re an RMT, you can begin applying for jobs at hospice centers, nursing homes, pain management centers, health and wellness centers, physical therapy clinics, med spas, and more.

You may even opt to become a self-employed RMT. That would require renting out or making space for your own practice. You’d then have to obtain a client base.

Assuming you want to work for an employer, the first step is to update your resume. Be sure to add your experience in academia, your hands-on supervised physical therapy experience, and your license to you. Ontario is currently experiencing a shortage of RMT’s. With your resume full of relevant experience, and your designation as an RMT/regulated health professional, jobs are plentiful.

If you attended a massage therapy school such as Bryan College, the school offers a job placement assistance program. You can work with professionals at Bryan College to strengthen your resume and cover letter as well as find the best position for you.

You also gain access to an alumni network full of graduates from Bryan College’s massage therapist program. You never know who might have a job opportunity within this network!

Selecting a Massage Therapy School

If you’re ready to get on the road to working as an RMT, Bryan College could be the school for you.

As a student at Bryan College, our massage therapy education program will prepare you to earn your certification through the College of Massage Therapy Ontario.

Obtain hands-on experience at our on-campus student massage clinic. We also offer a Student Outreach program where you can obtain an internship at a corporate spa, sporting arena, hospital, or residential setting.

Even once you get to work as an RMT, you can always come back to Bryan College to audit any courses you completed. This is free and a great opportunity to brush up on information to keep your certifications current! 

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