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International Massage Therapy License Requirements

Massage Therapist Licensing Requirements

Massage Therapy School Requirements in Georgia

Massage therapist licensing requirements vary by state, country, and even region. Here are a few of the most common massage therapist licensing requirements:

Licensed Massage Therapist: All states require a license for massage therapists. Each states department of health regulates rights. The majority of states also require that massage therapists have completed an accredited massage therapy program to obtain their license. Most states also require that massage therapists be at least 18 years old to get their license. In addition, most states require that massage therapists undergo periodic continuing education to retain their license and renew it yearly.

Salaried Massage Therapist: Some states have licensure requirements for salaried masseurs or masseuses. Some states require that salaried massage therapists be registered with the states massage therapy board. Others require that salaried massage therapists have taken a national exam and have passed the exam to obtain their license.

Licensed Massage Therapy Practitioner: A limited number of states require that massage therapists be licensed. Most states require that massage therapists be registered with the states massage therapy board. Some states require that salaried massage therapists have completed a national exam and have passed the exam to obtain their license.

What Exams Do I Take After Graduation To Get Licensed

In order to get a massage therapy license, most states require you to pass the MBLEx administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards .

The exam consists of eight sections. The different sections and the percentage of questions in each section as a portion of the whole exam are as follows:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Populations
  • Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue
  • Client Assessment, Reassessment & Treatment Planning
  • Ethics, Boundaries, Laws, Regulations
  • Guidelines for Professional Practice
  • Education record provided to the Board directly from the source


  • You may apply online or fill out and mail in a paper form.
  • Education records must be submitted directly to FSMTB from the educational institution.
  • Allow 5 business days for processing once a completed application, including education record, is received.
  • A confirmation of your appointment to test will be emailed to you.
  • Take the exam. You can get an unofficial exam result at the testing center. Official notification of results will be sent to your designated state board or agency within 24 hours.

By submitting a completed MBLEx application, you acknowledge that you have reviewed the MBLEx Candidate Handbook and attest that you have completed the required education and training. You also agree to follow all policies and procedures outlined in the handbook.

Prospects For Career Advancement

Highly-experienced Massage Therapists working in spa establishments can be promoted to a supervisory or managerial position after they have demonstrated the skill and competency requirements of the position. Those with entrepreneurial skills may go into their own business as owners of spa establishments. As entrepreneurs, they have the opportunity to expand their client base and increase client fee which means higher earnings and income.

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Have A Passion And Interest For The Massage Therapist Industry

Before entering any profession, its important to have a genuine interest in what youre doing. A massage therapist is a health care professional with a massage certification that helps relieve stress and tension every day. If youre interested in massage therapy, you should be interested in a hands-on career and the well-being of your patients. Before training as a massage therapist, ask yourself if you are interested in any of the following: a physical yet rewarding career, starting your own business, and flexible hours, among many other attributes. In addition, many massage therapists have high satisfaction in their jobs.

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Massage Therapy Licensing State Of Iowa

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Becoming a massage therapist is an intrinsically and financially rewarding career. Most states require an individual to obtain a license prior to being able to practice within the state. State licensing requirements usually include a certain number of educational and hands-on practice hours as well as a passing score on a competency exam. Massage therapist licensing requirements vary by state and the minimum requirements and hours are subject to change at any time.

Iowa Massage Therapist Licensing Requirements

The Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Examiners recently increased the number of required massage therapist training hours from 500 to 600. To receive state licensing, an individual must undertake the minimum 600 hours of training at an accredited school and be able to provide proof of graduation. A passing score on the MBLEx or NCETMB exam is required to receive massage therapist licensing. State licensing requirements also include current CPR and First Aid course certification. As a LaJames College Graduate, we offer assistance not only for the licensing exam requirements but we also offer a free placement service. This includes but is not limited to helping with resumes, cover letters, employment research, licensing requirements in other states , etc As long as we are here, we offer this assistance at no cost to our graduates. Thats our commitment to you, our graduate.

Massage Therapist Licensing Term / Renewal

State Licensing Application Process

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Massage Therapy Licensing & Certification Requirements

Licensing and certification are two different things. Licensing is mandatory, while certification is voluntary. Massage therapy certificates are often given by accredited schools/colleges to show that a student has successfully finished the required coursework. You may receive a certificate or diploma when you complete your massage therapy training.

A license, on the other hand, is issued by a government agency to regulate a profession. Once a state licensing law has been passed, it’s illegal to engage in that occupation without a license.

The field of massage therapy is regulated at the state level. To get a massage therapy license, you must complete specific education and examination requirements laid out by the state licensing board. Both the number of education hours required and the mandatory examination vary by state. Many states also require a background check.

New York and Maryland have developed their own state licensing exams, but most states require massage therapists to pass the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination .

In the past you were required to score at least 630/900, or 70%, in order to pass the exam. In 2019 the exam changed to pass/fail. When you finish your exam, you can find out if you passed the test at the test site. Your formal exam report will indicate how you did on each section of the exam. If you don’t pass the test, you have to wait 30 days, but you can take it again.

How To Apply For A Massage And Special Treatment Licence

Applications must be made via your local council. Each council will have its own application process and some may differ accordingly.

To find out what council you fall under and to begin the application process please visit the Official Government Website.

Once directed on the website, you will be asked to enter your postcode. From here you will be provided the contact details for the relevant governing council.


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Best Accredited Program: Sochi

  • Not fully online

SOCHi’s online massage therapy school features several videoconferencing and interactive tech platforms for live lectures and pre-recorded material. Students also gain hands-on experience by working with the direct supervision of a licensed massage therapist instructor locally.

Most massage modalities are covered in this program to enable a student to sit for ACCET or CAMTC certification. Over the course of nine months, students learn medical massage, kinesiology, physiology, spa treatment modalities, and lymph drainage. They also learn about proper hygiene, professional ethics, and business principles in massage therapy. In addition, the program enables students to earn first aid certification.

The total cost of the SOCHi program is $16,165, which is higher than most, but students gain excellent massage therapy insights and work with a licensed, experienced massage therapist instructor through an interactive online class. This cost includes equipment, supplies, books, and all registration fees. While not fully online, this may be the best combination of both learning methods when in-depth education is the goal. Financing opportunities are also available to some students.

Board Exams To Take After Graduation

Massage Therapy Schools & Certification Requirements in Kentucky

NCBTMB is the only certifying body for the massage therapy and bodywork profession. Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is the highest credential available in the massage therapy profession.

Requirements for board certification include:

  • Graduate from NCBTMB approved school
  • Complete and pass the NCBTMB Board certification exam
  • Provide verification that you passed the MBLEx and have at least six months experience legally practicing in your state
  • Agree to uphold the NCBTMB Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

If you did not graduate from a school approved by NCBTMB, or if you completed international training, you may apply for board certification via portfolio review. Portfolio review is a process whereby you prove your existing education credentials, though different from the standard credentials required by the NCBTMB, are similar enough that they count towards your board certification.


  • $25 Background Check Fee
  • $75 Portfolio Review Fee

Meeting the certification requirements and passing the exam shows that you have advanced beyond entry-level massage therapy state licensure requirements. It communicates to your clients that you’re a highly skilled, trained professional who can complete an assessment and a develop treatment plan to achieve positive results.

NCBTM certification must be renewed every two years. This helps assure clients that you are committed to continuing to learn and staying current in your field.

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Difference Between Licensing And Board Certification

Most states require you to hold a license in order to work professionally. Before you can get a license you have to take an exam, but passing the exam doesn’t automatically allow you to practice massage therapy. You still have to apply for a license, pay the licensing fee, and prove that you’ve met the education requirements. You may also be required to pass a background check. If you’re setting up your own massage therapy business, you’ll need a business license and, in some municipalities, proof of liability insurance.

Board certification is a separate credential above entry-level massage therapy state licensure. It’s voluntary and provides an external validation of professional knowledge and expertise that you can frame and hang in your business to let clients know you’re a true pro.

There are also specialty certifications available in different areas of focus, such as sports massage therapy, medical massage, and prenatal massage. Holding specialty certifications can help focus your practice in the area you most enjoy while conveying a high level of accomplishment.

Certification credentials can enhance your reputation as a massage therapist, which can lead to more customers and higher earnings.

State-by-State Massage License Hour Requirements

Each state establishes its own massage therapy licensing and continuing education requirements. These requirements can vary significantly, so be sure to check below for the requirements for your state.

How To Become A Massage Therapist

Looking to take your job into your own hands? You should be a Massage Therapist

Massage Therapists use a range of techniques to manipulate their clients muscles and soft body tissue, with the overall aim of improving health and wellbeing.

There are a number of different types of massage therapy they could employ , and benefits of regular treatments could include pain relief, improving circulation, injury recovery and even alleviating the effects of stress, depression and anxiety.

Typical duties for a Massage Therapist could include:

  • Consulting with clients to determine problem areas
  • Learning more about medical history & lifestyle, and devising treatment plans
  • Applying pressure to ease tension areas
  • Administering specialised treatments, such as deep tissue massages
  • Advising on how to maintain improvements in life, such as changing posture
  • Booking follow-up appointments, and completing courses of treatment
  • Referring to medical professionals if further care is required

Excellent interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to build trust in clients from all walks of life, is essential for anyone looking to become a Massage Therapist.

Regardless of why theyre there, having a massage is an incredibly intimate experience for a client. Being able to put them at ease right away, and having the confidence to deal with their issues personably and professionally, will be similarly key to your success.

N.B. Those with intimacy issues need not apply

  • Manual dexterity

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Applicants Licensed In Another Jurisdiction

If you are licensed in another state, country or territory based on specific education and examination requirements, and have practiced massage therapy in that state, country or territory for at least two years, you may be eligible for licensure by endorsement.

  • You may be eligible for licensure by endorsement if you:
  • Submit a completed application for licensure to New York State and the appropriate fee
  • Are at least 21 years of age
  • Present evidence of graduation from high school or its equivalent
  • Have not taken and failed the New York State Massage Therapy examination
  • Are a United States citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States
  • Have been determined by the Department to be of good moral character
  • Are in good standing as a licensee in each state, country or territory in which you are licensed to practice massage therapy
  • Received a certificate for completing a course in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation within the three years prior to New York State licensure
  • In addition to meeting the requirements of Section A, you must satisfy the following requirements:

    If you have been licensed and practiced 2 – 4 years in another state, country or territory, you must:

  • Meet the New York State 1,000-hour education requirement for licensure
  • *One year of experience is defined as 52 weeks in which massage therapy is practiced an average of 12 hours each week.

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    ABM College Blog: Reasons to become a Massage Therapist

    Many people in Markham, Ontario, are dealing with stress. If you have been feeling this way and want to try something new, consider professional massage therapy services. Massage therapy is a form of physical therapy that can help reduce tension in the body by increasing blood flow and circulation. Its also a great way to kick back after a long day at work or school!

    Massage therapy is a great way to relax and relieve stress, pain, and tension in your muscles. Our massage therapists are experts at finding the right pressure points on your body that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Its like taking a mini-vacation from all of lifes stresses!

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    Richmond Hill Massage Therapy is a multidisciplinary clinic that offers massage therapy. Our team of licensed professionals is dedicated to providing our clients with the best possible care from start to finish. We offer a full range of wellness programs aimed at helping you achieve your goals for health and fitness. Visit us today!

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    Massage Therapist Job Requirements:

    • North American candidates for massage therapist position must hold a license in massage therapy or a diploma in Swedish massage with Anatomy and Physiology . Any additional courses, e.g. aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage, Reiki, remedial massage is beneficial

    • European candidates must be qualified in Swedish/Sports massage with NVQ, ITEC, VTCT, . Any additional courses, e.g. aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage, Reiki, remedial massage would be considered as a plus. Massage with Facial Electrics, Level 2 NVQ and Level 3 NVQ

    • Candidates from Australia and New Zealand must be qualified in Swedish/Sports massage with ITEC, Cert 4, . Any additional courses, e.g. aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage, Reiki, remedial massage would be considered as a plus

    • Candidates from Australia and New Zealand must be qualified in Swedish/Sports massage with ITEC, Cert 4, . Any additional courses, e.g. aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian head massage, Reiki, remedial massage would be considered as a plus

    • South African candidates for cruise ship massage therapist position must be qualified in Swedish/Sports massage with NVQ, ITEC, VTCT, . Any additional courses, e.g. aroma therapy, reflexology, Indian head massage, Reiki, remedial massage would be considered as a plus

    • Candidates from all countries must be qualified in Swedish Massage. Any additional qualifications like Aromatherapy, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Reiki Healing or Sports Therapy is a definite plus

    Massage Therapist Educational Requirements

    Massage therapists must complete programs that are in accordance with the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations for Massage Therapy .

    The District of Columbia will accept programs that are accredited or approved by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation or that are deemed equivalent. The licensing agency can also accept education from schools that hold regional accreditation, accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Education and Training, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, or other agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education.

    DC programs are to be licensed by the District of Columbia Educational Licensing Commission. Out-of-state programs are to be appropriately licensed in their own jurisdictions.

    Programs must be at least 500 hours. At least 100 hours are to be in the fields of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. The majority of the remaining hours should be in theory and practice, but there should also be coverage of health and hygiene, first aid and CPR, massage contraindications, ethics, and business practices. Other topics may be covered as well. There must be a minimum of three hours of ethics coursework.

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    What Are The Differences Between Certification Licensing And Accreditation In The Massage Profession

    Professional certification uses a formal process to identify and acknowledge individuals who have met a recognized standard and is typically a voluntary process. Usually this standard includes education, experience, and an exam of knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the job.

    When an individual meets the standard, he or she receives certification from a certifying agency. The credibility and integrity of the certifying agency determines whether the agencys certification means anything to the public, and therefore, ultimately, its value. Accordingly, certification agencies may seek out recognition by an outside agency that will, in turn, attest to the certifying agency meeting a standard.

    Generally, this standard involves the requirements to take the exam, whether the exam meets accepted psychometric standards for exam development, how the exam is given and scored, how the agency is administered, and whether its rules are fair. A non-governmental professional organization grants recognition to an individual who has met certain qualifications. The National Organization for Competency Assurance operates the National Commission for Certifying Agencies for that purpose.

    Two regulatory variations are state certification and registration. These generally are somewhat less restrictive than licensing, but how each is defined can vary from state to state.

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