You have become a Thai Massage teacher, but then, where to teach your training courses and workshops?
There are several options to choose from and you can stick to one or simply combine various modes of teaching, all depending on what suits you best and moreover, what is possible for you practically and financially.
Teaching at Your Own Teaching Location
You could setup your own school or teaching facility. If you have money to invest (and this is of course a very important prerequisite), you could rent a place or buy a place. Think through the differences between renting and buying, such as aspects of maintenance, contracts, dependencies, and so on, before making a choice there.
The feasibility of setting up a fixed teaching location depends on the market you could expect, that is, are you setting up a school in a city, village or region where you could expect enough students to make a living. It also depends on the financial breath you have, because it will take time before things start rolling. I’ve already talked about feasibility issues in the previous posts Nomadic Thai Massage Teachers and Independent, Freelancer or Employee, so I will omit repeating those aspects in this article.
Nevertheless, if feasible, setting up your own teaching facility will finally give you the most freedom for yourself and the most freedom in teaching the way you want if you would compare it with the options mentioned further below.
Teaching at an Existing Thai Massage school
This could perhaps be the easiest option to start with. You gain teaching experience, you enter an already set situation and environment, and many infrastructural issues are simply not your concern.
Of course, your freedom in teaching the way you like or want is rather limited, that is, you will need to follow the rules and study curriculum of the school or institute you teach for.
On the other hand, financial investment is little and furthermore you create a sort of stable financial situation for yourself, depending a bit on the contractual form, that is, as an employee or freelancer.
Teaching at Other Bodywork Establishments
This is a very nice way of teaching, besides the fact that it can be rather profitable, but it requires quite a lot of organization, networking, and traveling.
It would mean that you connect with, for instance, Yoga schools, AcroYoga centers, Fitness schools, and Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) training centers, and such, and try to get your courses or workshops hosted by them.
The advantage of such an approach is that there are many options, that is, many types of schools and centers all over, and more important, you could hop on their customer base who’d they inform of your workshop via their social media and/or via announcements in their school premises.
Furthermore, you will have a perfect infrastructure because there will most likely be a good working space (they give bodywork trainings also), and often also materials available like mats, props, towels, lockers, and such.
As said in the beginning of this section, it will require time and organization, and moreover, you will really need to present yourself well, with a nice website, social media, and other promotional material. If you have something special to offer, like a certain specialization in Thai Massage, that would be an extra plus.
Of course, financially you will need to share the revenue with the establishment, sure. Also, there’s a risk of not getting enough students for the event you plan and you need to make good arrangements with the hosting center on how to handle that, both in terms of course cancellation time frames and finances.
Teaching at Events and Retreats
This is a very common way of teaching for the so-called Nomadic Teachers. Around the world you will find massage, bodywork, AcroYoga or Yoga events organized and Thai Massage (or Thai Yoga Massage, if you wish) fits well as an extra modality at those types of events. Of course, there are also international Thai Massage Events, but those are really not many.
In any case, the type of events I talk about are typically organized on a yearly basis spanning a few days, maybe a week, but rarely longer. Here counts that you will need to network heavily and I think that you really need to bring something extra, that is, an already established name for yourself or a Thai Massage specialization.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot of who-knows-who involved here, and as said, networking and lobbying is of key importance to score your gigs.
There are also special AcroYoga, Yoga or Thai Massage retreats that span two weeks to four weeks usually, often also yearly, where you could join offering your services, but all that is said here above counts perhaps even more for such retreats: strong networking, lobbying, knowing people, fitting with the ambiance and kind of people, having established a name, and bringing something special, and the like.
Working at events and retreats will mean travelling a lot and you will also need to ensure that the proper space and materials to work with (like massage mats and props) are readily available. The question of financial feasibility is an issue here, because you will have quite some travel expenses and you will need to really negotiate well to make a sensible profit out of this.
Teaching at Education Factories
I think you know those. On the Internet you’ll find these education providers where you can study anything you like: from languages to cooking, from psychology to music, and from car repair to massage, well, you name it.
I call these kinds of learning centers the Education Factories. In fact, they don’t teach anything, they generally only work with freelancers i.e. guest teachers who do the courses and workshops for them.
They are facilitators, they do the marketing, and they supply the infrastructure. In fact, they take a percentage of the tuition price and that’s it. Often they have a strict format in the way courses need to be presented to the public and there are certain codes of conduct applicable.
If you would teach Thai Massage via these centers, you will basically become a freelancer. Mind that you will have very little opportunity to present yourself or market yourself; you will be “used” as the face of the company.
Nevertheless, if you have no other options, or if you need some extra income, it could do the job. It’s really not an uncommon way of going about and there are plenty of Thai Massage teachers who do this or have done this at some point in their career.
Teaching in the Virtual World
And finally — offering your Thai Massage courses and workshops online. We have written a dedicated piece about this topic, which you can read at Pros and Cons of Teaching Thai Massage Online.