Massage Therapy Continuing Education
Jump to Your Question:
- Why is massage continuing education important?
- What should someone look for in massage continuing education units (CEUs)?
- What types of massage therapy continuing education options are available?
- What types of classes might one look for to get massage therapist CEU hours?
- What are the massage continuing education requirements for each state?
Continuing education is essential to help therapists provide clients with the best possible experience. Continuing education demonstrates the therapist's commitment to professionalism. Classes allow therapists to train in other areas of the massage therapy field or in new techniques. During continuing education classes, you can network with other therapists, and may help further your career. Taking courses helps therapists stay interested and perform their work with more enthusiasm, skill and quality technique. This attracts more clients and makes the therapist more valuable to an employer. More clients and more value can mean more income for many therapists. Massage continuing education also helps therapists become more competent and productive in their areas of focus. Ongoing education fills in the gaps in basic massage therapy training, because even the best program cannot fully prepare a therapist for the complex nature of clinical practice.
What should someone look for in continuing education units (CEUs)? National board approved? State board approved?
States that require CEUs for relicensing generally require either NCBTMB or NCETM boards approve the classes. Most states that do not have statewide licensing of massage therapists require licensure through the city in which the therapist practices. Therapists are encouraged to check their state or city licensing board for specific approval requirements. NCBTMB continuing education courses must enhance or expand the knowledge base of the student. Courses designed to promote a product for use or resales to the public are not acceptable to these boards. Some states require a specific amount of "hands-on" or in-person classes. Check with the CEU provider to ensure they have either a state or an NCBTMB provider number to ensure the classes count towards the requirement.
Continuing education is available in many formats, but be aware that the types of classes accepted by the boards will vary from state to state, and& some states restrict the number of hours allowed for classes taken on line or in a home study program.
- In-person seminars or classes
- Home study
- Classes by mail
- Combination home study courses with an online exam
- Classes at conferences and conventions
- Events with the state or local chapter of a massage therapy association
- Regional workshops
CEU classes generally focus on using massage and bodywork techniques, addressing specific needs and conditions, or working with specific populations of clients. Many therapists choose classes to learn new techniques and learn about new advances in the field of massage therapy. Other classes may include business skills such as record keeping, business and practice management and business ethics. Therapists may choose to learn about new applications such as heat, cold and sound therapies. Some states require ongoing education on state laws and professional ethics and boundaries. Others require continuing education in infectious disease control, hygiene and management of the treatment environment. Marketing and business skills classes are popular, especially with private practice therapists.
Many states with no current massage CEU requirement are in the process of developing CE mandates for massage therapist license renewal. As of March 2013, these states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Of the states that do have a CEU requirement, some are very specific regarding the classes that are acceptable. It is important to check with your state prior to your renewal date to obtain the most up-to-date information. Following is a list of states that currently have continuing education requirements to renew massage therapist licenses:
|State||CEU Hours||How Often|
|Alabama||16 Hours||2 Years|
|Arizona||25 Hours||2 Years|
|Arkansas||18 Hours||2 Years|
|Connecticut||24 Hours||4 Years|
|Delaware||24 Hours||2 Years|
|District of Columbia||12 Hours||2 Years|
|Florida||24 Hours||2 Years|
|Georgia||24 Hours||2 Years|
|Illinois||24 Hours||2 Years|
|Iowa||24 Hours||2 Years|
|Kentucky||24 Hours||2 Years|
|Louisiana||12 Hours||1 Year|
|Maryland||24 Hours||2 Years|
|Michigan||18 Hours||3 Years|
|Mississippi||24 Hours||2 Years|
|Missouri||12 Hours||2 Years|
|Montana||24 Hours||2 Years|
|Nebraska||24 Hours||2 Years|
|New Hampshire||12 Hours||2 Years|
|New Jersey||16 Hours||2 Years|
|New Mexico||16 Hours||2 Years|
|New York||36 Hours||3 Years|
|North Carolina||24 Hours||2 Years|
|North Dakota||32 Hours||2 Years|
|Oregon||25 Hours||2 Years|
|Pennsylvania||24 Hours||2 Years|
|South Carolina||12 Years||2 Years|
|South Dakota||8 Hours||2 Years|
|Tennessee||25 Hours||2 Years|
|Texas||12 Hours||2 Years|
|Virginia||24 Hours||2 Years|
|Washington||24 Hours||2 Years|
|West Virginia||24 Hours||2 Years|
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