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How can a foreign massage therapist without a diploma get a job in Slovakia?

For a foreign massage specialist, after moving to Slovakia, there are several ways of professional integration. This article provides information on what to do if you are a massage therapist from a third country (non-EU country) and your diploma cannot be recognized in Slovakia (due to non-compliance with standards loss, inability to obtain a copy or restore, etc.)

Massage services from the point of view of Slovak legislation

Providing massage services in Slovakia is a licensed activity (Viazaná živnosť). Licensed activity is an activity in which, in addition to the general conditions, the condition for carrying out the activity is the fulfillment of the condition of professional competence acquired in another way. In the list of specialized activities (Príloha č. 2 zákona č. 455/1991 Zb. o živnostenskom podnikaní) you can find two types of activities related to massage services and the corresponding certificates of competence required to perform these types of activities:
Massage services (Masérske služby)
  • graduation from a secondary medical school or
  • graduation from medical college or medical university, or
  • graduating from the University of Physical Education.
Wellness massage services (Wellness masérske služby)
  • certificate of incomplete qualification or
  • certificate of full qualification.

Obtaining professional qualifications for activities in the field of wellness - massage services

Since we are considering the situation of a foreign massage therapist who finds himself in Slovakia without a diploma or who does not have the opportunity to recognize this diploma, the specialty available to you in Slovakia is called “Wellness worker - massage services” (Profession code (code SK ISCO-08): 5142009 massage therapist (except for massage therapists in healthcare)). This specialization is regulated. That is, you cannot officially work or provide services in this specialty without appropriate confirmation of qualifications in the form of one of the two certificates indicated above.
From December 31, 2021, documents on professional qualifications for the activity of “sports massage therapist”, which were provided by accredited educational institutions through “classical and sports massage” courses or similar courses, have become invalid. From January 1, 2019, it is possible to perform massage services outside a medical institution only after acquiring the qualification “Wellness worker – massage services.”

How to obtain the qualification “Wellness worker – massage services” in Slovakia?

You can acquire a partial qualification by completing the educational program “wellness worker - massage services” in one of the accredited institutions.

Accredited massage courses in Slovakia

The Information System of Continuing Education of the Ministry of Education of Slovakia has a list of accredited educational programs “Wellness Worker – Massage Services”. As of mid-2024, it looked like this:
After successfully passing the course exam, the graduate cannot perform massage services on his own behalf, but, for example, can work as an employee of a wellness establishment (under the supervision of a fully qualified massage therapist).

You can obtain a full qualification in the specialty “Wellness worker - massage services” as a result of successfully passing a (paid) professional qualification examination (skúšky na overenie odbornej spôsobilosti). Having received full qualifications, a specialist can work on his own behalf, as well as become a guarantor in a wellness establishment or massage parlor.

Who has the right to take the professional qualification examination (skúška na overenie odbornej spôsobilosti)

The exam can only be taken by a person who:
  • will provide a document confirming completion of the educational program “wellness worker – massage services” and successful passing of the final exam, or
  • confirms having at least 5 years of experience in the field of classical or sports massage - this professional experience is confirmed by a certificate from the employer in the field of classical or sports massage (in the case of employment) or an honest statement and proof of social insurance (in the case of self-employed work).

Where to take the qualification exam as a massage therapist in Slovakia

As of mid-2024, the following are authorized to take the professional qualification examination (skúška na overenie odbornej spôsobilosti) in the field of “Wellness worker - massage services”:
  • Comenius University in Bratislava (Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave - FTVŠ)
  • Slovak Chamber of Wellness Workers and Massage Services (Slovenská komora wellness pracovníkov a masérskych služieb)

What is the cost of the exam to verify the professional qualifications “Wellness worker – massage services”

At the Slovak Chamber of Wellness Workers and Massage Services

The cost of the exam for a massage therapist in Slovakia is 280 euros.

If you take the exam at the Slovak Chamber of Wellness Workers and Massage Services, the payment must be made to the account of the relevant regional division of the chamber where you will take the professional qualification exam. As of mid-2024, the Chamber has two divisions, in cities:
  1. Vrutky,
  2. Košice.

In the note to the recipient, please indicate:
EXAM, your name and exam date (SKUSKA, vaše priezvisko a dátum skúšky).

If you fail the exam, the fee for retaking the exam is as follows: the fee is only for the part of the exam that you failed, meaning you do not have to retake the entire exam and pay for each part, only for the part you failed.

Cost of retaking the exam at the Slovak Chamber of Wellness Workers and Massage Services
Theoretical part
  • Test 30 questions – 80 euros
  • Oral response – 80 euros
Practical part
  • Practical implementation – 80 euros

Dates for professional competence exams “Wellness worker – massage services” in Kosice for 2024

  • 22.06.2024
  • 20.07.2024
  • 17.08.2024
  • 21.09.2024
  • 19.10.2024
  • 16.11.2024
  • 14.12.2024

Dates for professional competency exams “Wellness worker – massage services” in the city of Vrútky for 2024

  • 10.06.2024
  • 22.07.2024
  • 26.08.2024
  • 16.09.2024
  • 28.10.2024
  • 25.11.2024
  • 09.12.2024

At the Faculty of Physical Culture and Sports of the Comenius University in Bratislava

Unfortunately, at the time of collecting information for the article, the exam schedule for 2024/2025, as well as the cost of taking the exam, were not yet available at Comenius University. We will be sure to update the information as soon as it becomes available.

Definition of some terms of the professional qualification examination (skúška na overenie odbornej spôsobilosti)

Professional qualification (Odborná spôsobilosť) is a set of knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to perform work activities.

A professional qualification examination (Skúška na overenie odbornej spôsobilosti) is a test of the knowledge, skills and abilities of an individual in accordance with the qualification standard and assessment standard of a given partial or full qualification.

The qualification standard (Kvalifikačný štandard) expresses the totality of knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to obtain the corresponding partial qualification and full qualification.

An assessment standard (Hodnotiaci štandard) is a set of criteria, organizational and methodological procedures, material, technical and spatial conditions for checking and assessing the achieved professional qualifications in accordance with established qualification standards.

How is the examination for testing professional qualifications “Wellness worker - massage services” (skúška na overenie odbornej spôsobilosti "Wellness pracovník - masérske služby") passed?

The professional qualification examination consists of:
Written test including questions on anatomy, physiology, massage theory, hygiene requirements and sauna
Practical exam on the practice of massage and bath (sauna) rituals
Oral exam.

First, a written exam is conducted in the form of a test; after checking it, the exam participant proceeds to the next two parts: the practical part and the oral exam, where he chooses one question each from theory and practice.

How can a massage therapist qualitatively prepare for the professional qualification exam in Slovakia?

In this section we collect tests, questions and recommended literature to prepare for the qualification exam for massage therapists in Slovakia. However, it is worth remembering that in order to fully prepare for the exam to be tested by prof. To qualify as a massage therapist and successfully pass it, you need to master the Slovak language at a sufficient level.

If you have a lot of free time and iron discipline, you can learn the Slovak language using dozens of free and non-core Internet resources. But if you want to quickly and efficiently master specialized Slovak for massage therapists, pay attention to the series of courses “Slovak language for doctors”.

Examples of written test questions to test the professional qualifications of a massage therapist

What gases do we call respiratory (Ktoré plyny označujeme ako dýchacie)?
  1. N2
  2. CO2
  3. CO
  4. O2

When inhaled, they participate (Na vdychu sa podieľajú)
  1. Diaphragm (bránica)
  2. Internal intercostal muscles (vnútorné medzirebrové svaly)
  3. External intercostal muscles (vonkajšie medzirebrové svaly)
  4. Muscles of the larynx (svaly hrtana)

More sample exam preparation questions >>>

Questions from the practical part of the exam to test the professional qualifications of a massage therapist

Practical part of the exam: massage - practice with understanding

  1. Demonstrate a massage of the lower limb from behind and list the muscles that you massage (Ukážte masáž dolnej končatiny zo zadu a vymenujte svaly ktoré masírujete).
  2. Demonstrate massage of the lower extremity from the front, paying particular attention to massage of the knee in a healthy client (Ukážte masáž dolnej končatiny spredu so zameraním na masáž kolena u zdravého klienta).
  3. Show the process of palpation, its types and use on individual parts of the body (Ukážte hmat tepanie, jeho druhy a použitie na jednotlivyćh častiach tela).
  4. Massage of the shoulder girdle - demonstration with simultaneous indication of individual muscles (Masáž oblasti ramena - ukážka so súčasným pomenovaním jednotlivých svalov).

Practical part of the exam: bath rituals - practice with understanding

  1. Demonstrate the technique of working with the Helicopter towel (Ukážte techniku ​​s uterákom Helikoptéra).
  2. Demonstrate the Pizza technique or simple towel rotation (Predveďte techniku ​​Pizza alebo jednoduché točenie uterákom).
More sample questions to prepare for the practical part of the exam >>>

Questions and example answers for the practical part of the exam to test the professional qualifications of a massage therapist

Hygienické zásady masírovaného. Čo musíme dodržiavať z pohľadu hygienických zásad pri saunových rituáloch?

Hygiena – čistota alebo očista
Delí sa na: hygiena masírovaného, hygiena masér, hygiena prostredia

Hygiena masírovaného:
  • vedieť taktne oznámiť, za akých podmienok masírujeme
  • nemá byť príliš napapkaný ale ani hladný, nemal by konzumovať pred masážou alkohol,
  • prísť čistý a voňavý, zdravie je samozrejmosť
  • „dochvíľnosť je výsada kráľov!“ – takže prísť na čas
Musíme zabezpečiť, aby bola na masérskom stole čistá plachta, deky, vyvetraná miestnosť.
Vypísaný dotazník z kontraindikáciami.....choroby, lieky, prekonané choroby, alergie.....

Saunový rituál:
  • dostatočne informovať o programe
  • vždy začať načas, príprava min. 20 minút dopredu
  • privítanie hostí, prípadne výdaj plachiet pod seba, uvedenie hostí do sauny
  • vyvetranie, zatvorenie dverí
  • privítanie, úvod, predstavenie sa, základné info, osveta o hygiene
  • info o ceremoniály (príbeh, priebeh, trvanie, použité vône,
  • správne dýchanie, pokyny k opusteniu sauny
  • polievanie lávových kameňov vodou, použitie ľadových gúľ, drte
  • rozvírenie vzduchu nad pecou, distribúcia tepla a esencií do priestoru sauny
  • parné nárazy, 3 kolá
  • rozlúčka, potlesk, informácia o správnom ochladení, doplnení tekutín, relaxe, občerstvení
  • info o ďalších akciách

Aký význam má stálosť vnútorného prostredia?

  • je stabilita vnútorného prostredia, ktorá umožňuje príjem živín a odstraňovanie odpadových látok.
  • či je telo v rovnováhe závisí aj od teploty tela.

Bunky pre svoj život potrebujú príjem a výdaj. Prijímajú živiny, ktoré sú potrebné na energiu a stavebný materiál, vydávajú metabolity a odpadové látky. Na to, aby mohlo všetko fungovať v rovnováhe potrebujeme O2 – kyslík dodáva energiu.

  • ľudský organizmus je endotermný – naša teplota nezávisí od teploty vonku
  • telo funguje ako dom : tepelné jadro (orgány) a tepelný obal (koža, svaly)
  • teplota na povrchu je cca o 1 stupeň nižšia ako vo vnútri, cez deň kolíše
  • v HYPOTALAMUSE v mozgu sa nachádza termoregulačné centrum
  • v tele sa nachádzajú termoreceptory, ktoré merajú teplotu a posielajú info do termoregulačného centra
  • keď je teplota pod 36,5 receptory ovplyvnia pečeň
  • keď je teplota nad 36,5, začneme sa potiť, očervenieme, roztiahnu sa cievy

pH – ďalší faktor ovplyvňujúci homeostázu. Naše PH je jemno zásadité, cca 7,3. Telo sa snaží tento stav udržovať.

Koncentrácie látok a minerálov:
Najdôležitejšie: sodík, draslík napr. pri dehydratácii sa musí podať fyziologický roztok s koncentráciou minerálov a nie čistá voda lebo tou by sa narušila homeostáza.
Pri vyššej aktivite sú vhodné izotonické nápoje (zelený čaj so soľou a medom)

More examples of questions to prepare for the oral part of the exam >>>

Recommended literature for preparing for the exam to test the professional qualifications of a massage therapist in Slovakia

  1. Anatómia a fyziológia človeka – dostupné učebnice a anatomické atlasy:
  2. Ivan Dilevský – „Základy anatomie a fyziologie člověka„,
  3. Ivan Dylevský – „Základy anatomie pro maséry
  4. Hygiena a epidemiológia – Zákon v zmysle § 23 zákona č. 355/2007 Z. z. o ochrane, podpore a rozvoji verejného zdravia a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov
  5. Bezpečnosť a ochrana zdravia pri práci – platná legislatíva
  6. PhDr. Tatiana Simona Demová a kolektív: Wellness Sauna Masáže – Wellness pracovník masérske služby, Polygraf centrum 2020
  7. Jánošdeák Ján.: Učebnica masáží, Vydavateľstvo osveta, 2007
  8. Flandera Stanislav.: Klasické masáže, Vydavateľstvo Poznání, 2005
  9. Matej M. a kol.: Sauna v zdraví a chorobe, vydavateľstvo Osveta, 2005
  10. Mullerová Alena, Roman Letošník.: Nové trendy v saunách , CPress, 2010
  11. Sedmík Ján.: Velká kniha masáží, NS Svoboda, 2015
  12. Vlastimil Tesař: Klasické masáže, Grada
  13. Bielik V.: Regenerácia v športe, SPORTDIAG, 2014
  14. Mikolášek A.: Saunovaním ke zdraví, ERA Group, 2004
  15. Storck U.: Technika masáže v rehabilitaci, vydavateľstvo Grada, 2010
  16. Blahušová V.: Wellness, fitness, Karolinum 2005
  17. Jánošdeák J.: Športová masáž. Šport, 1983