On Monday, October 15th, Janez Kutzke and Joan Hughes from the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) came in to our weekly massage open lab time, and talked about the benefits and member services available from the American Massage Therapy Association for our massage therapy students and new graduates. Joan Hughes is on the board of the local MN chapter. In her role as a local chapter board member, Joan does a lot of volunteer outreach activities to local massage schools. Janez is the national account executive in charge of recruiting schools and students for the AMTA and is in Minnesota this week visiting area massage schools.
For our students, one of the primary benefits of becoming a student member of the AMTA, is that they will receive additional liability insurance while they are attending school. The insurance coverage which the school provides covers the students in the classroom and at any school-sponsored outside events when there is a massage therapy instructor present who is supervising them. However, did you know that if you are practicing massage outside of the classroom on friends and family members during your time at school, you are NOT covered by this insurance? That means if you work on someone who does not disclose a contraindicated medical condition to you, or if you accidentally injure someone, you could be personally liable.
Student membership in the AMTA is very affordable, at only $45 for a full year’s membership cost. Liability insurance may be the reason people initially seek out membership in the AMTA, but it is not the only benefit of membership. The membership offers additional benefits as well, including access to many online resources for massage students, free webinars, online career guidance, discounts on supplies from Massage Warehouse and a free copy of the acclaimed textbook, the Anatomy Coloring Book.
Students who are about to graduate or just graduated, can opt to join the ABMP at the graduate level. This offers the insurance coverage you will need, once you begin your career and start earning money for the work you are doing, at a price which is reduced for new graduates.The first year’s cost of membership for a new graduate, is only $89 plus the $30 local chapter fee.
Membership benefits for graduates, beyond the liability insurance, include:
- a subscription to the mtj, the award-winning magazine published by the AMTA
- access to many online resources including newsletters
- AMTA webinars and online training
- access to the Career Success Series
- national conventions, local chapter meetings
- the opportunity to network and volunteer locally with the AMTA
- the mentoring program.
The mentoring program will match a graduate with an experienced AMTA volunteer who will help the graduate to build connections in the community and get their career started off on the right foot. The AMTA has mentor volunteers across the nation, so even if you relocate, you can find a mentor who will help you to navigate licensing laws and network and make new connections. Other tools available to help the member with establishing their professional practice include online career guidance, a free job bank, many practice-building resources, a free website builder to help you easily create your own 5-page business website in just a few minutes, and access to discounted supplies and services you may need to run your business.
I personally learned a lot from our speakers, which I did not know about some key differences between the ABMP (Associated Massage and Bodywork Professionals) and the AMTA, and the many benefits of belonging to the AMTA on a local level. Although I have been a long term member of the ABMP, I am thinking of joining the AMTA also, just to be able to participate in the local chapter activities. AMTA is a non-profit organization; and they are involved in many activities to promote and support the massage therapy practice both locally and nationally, including volunteer activities and efforts to support legislative efforts benefiting our profession. The AMTA also has an active local chapter, which provides opportunities for networking, volunteer activities, and continuing education.