If you have questions about Vicars School, being a massage therapy student, or working as an RMT, you’re in the right place! We’ve collected a few of the most popular questions we get from future Vicars students right here in one convenient place.
You can also email our admissions team or continue exploring our website for more information about the program and career. We’re here to help!
Is Vicars School accredited and licensed?
Yes! Vicars School of Massage Therapy is accredited by the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation (CMTCA). We were the second school in the province to receive full accreditation and the first private one to do so.
CMTCA accreditation is only granted to programs that meet the highest massage therapy education standards in Canada. We hold ourselves to this high standard voluntarily, for the sake of our students, as the province of Alberta does not currently regulate the massage profession or the education standards of massage schools.
This means that when you choose Vicars for your professional training, you can be confident that you’re getting the best massage education that Canada has to offer—and that you’ll be trained to the same level as therapists in regulated provinces.
We are also licensed by the Private Career Colleges branch of Alberta Advanced Education. This helps safeguard your tuition investment. But when you are considering career education, it is important to look beyond consumer protection to judge how well a program will prepare you to succeed in the career itself.
How long is the RMT program at Vicars School?
The Vicars program is a two-year, 2200-hour diploma program that will prepare you for a successful career as an RMT. New classes start in Edmonton and Calgary in September and March each year. We do not have part-time or one-year programs, but we do have an advanced placement option if you have completed training that is equivalent to our Year One program.
Do you offer a one-year or part-time program?
Vicars school only offers one program: a two-year, full-time diploma that will prepare you for a successful career as a massage therapist. While some schools do offer a certificate or one-year course (sometimes called relaxation, spa, or bodywork training), this type of training will not prepare you to be a professional massage therapist.
Massage therapy is a health care profession and it serves the public better if all massage professionals have the academic and skills training to assess and understand a range of conditions, and to create and safely carry out effective treatment, including relaxation techniques.
Our schedules are designed to help students manage their other life commitments. Read more about our class schedules here.
We do have an advanced placement option that is available to students who have already completed a portion of their training. For more information about direct entry into the second year of our program, visit our Advanced Placement page.
Is this an online course?
Not completely! Students are in class four days a month for hands-on instruction. When you’re not in class, you’ll access your schoolwork, including our core science courses, on our online platform, Moodle. As well as resource material and assignments, access to Moodle also gives you access to instructors and to your classmates when you’re not on campus.
Is the program full time?
Yes, the Vicars School massage therapy program is full-time. Our RMT program combines a limited amount of on-campus training with work you do from home. Expect to put in 30-35 hours a week. While your schedule will be flexible, it does take dedication. This approach is called blended learning, and it works.
It’s a full-time commitment, and you get all the benefits of being a full-time student (like access to more financial aid), but you’ll still be in control of your schedule!
When do I need to be on campus?
You will be in class four days a month. If you are in a weekly class, you come to school the same day each week. If you are in a weekend class, you attend every other weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. If you are in a monthly class, you are on campus four days in a row, over a weekend. Learn more about our schedule options here.
Beginning midway during Year One, you will also work in our supervised student clinics, and will need to budget on-campus time for those.
How much does massage therapy school cost?
Can I get financial aid?
Yes! Vicars School is a full-time licensed program, which means that most of our students qualify for provincial and federal student loans and scholarships and grants from other sources. As well, we have our own no-fee, no-interest, tuition installment plan available for everyone, and a limited number of in-house grants and bursaries.
Can I make a good living as a massage therapist?
Yes, if you graduate from a great school! Your income prospects depend a LOT on the quality of your education. Vicars graduates are always in demand. More than 90% of them are working in massage within their first year, either as entrepreneurs or employees. Many of our grads have jobs waiting for them as soon as they get their diplomas. Employers know (and tell us!) that Vicars grads are knowledgeable, skilled, and fully prepared to succeed as soon as they start work.
But many massage therapists prefer to work for themselves – most Vicars graduates, for example, go on to be self-employed or employ others. As an entrepreneur your income will depend on the local market, the number of clients you see every week, and the expenses you have.
Income statistics for massage therapists can be misleading. Some RMTs prefer to take salaried or hourly-wage positions at spas or wellness centres, just to have marketing, booking, and laundry taken care of by the employer so they can focus on their work. Others choose to achieve their best work-life balance by working part time.
Can I work anywhere in Canada with a Vicars diploma?
If you are planning to work in one of the five regulated provinces: BC, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and PEI, you will have to write a board exam. Our CMTCA-accredited program meets the highest national standards and ensures that our grads are academically prepared to challenge the entry-to-practice exams. We recommend reaching out to the regulatory college of that province to find out about the criteria for writing their registration exam and for up-to-date information regarding the exam process and preparing for the exams, which vary somewhat from province to province.
Once registered in one regulated province, you can practice in any of them. This career mobility is the main reason Vicars School has always supported regulation of the massage industry in Alberta.
Do all the massage associations recognize Vicars graduates?
Vicars School is recognized by all major professional associations in Western Canada, including:
- Massage Therapist Association of Alberta
- Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan
- Natural Health Practitioners of Canada
- Canadian Massage and Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association
- Certified Registered Massage Therapist Association
Professional associations provide many services to massage therapists, including liability insurance and professional development. The associations provide member therapists with a billing number that verifies the RMT is qualified, so clients can be reimbursed through private or work-related extended health insurance plans.
I’m ready to apply. How do I get started?
That’s easy! You will find our Tell Me More form on this page or elsewhere on the website. Filling in this form is the fastest way to get in touch with us. We don’t have a call centre or admissions reps on commission, just friendly and knowledgeable admissions advisors who will help you decide for yourself if Vicars school is a good fit for you.
They can answer your curriculum or financial aid questions, book a campus tour, or invite you to an on-campus or online Information Session. To reach the registrar’s office during office hours, call 780-491-0574, extension 1, or text 587-715-0600. Or email welcome@VicarsSchool.com any time.