How to Get Your Massage License
Whether you are pursuing your massage therapist license or advanced certification, there are some consistent steps in the process across state lines. In order to get licensed or certified for massage and bodywork in your state, it all begins with education.
Most states require you to attend an approved school of massage therapy for a minimum number of hours, get hands-on training in the student clinic, and sit for the state's board exams.A few states do allow apprenticeship in lieu of or as a supplement to school to get those massage training hours.
Once you have passed the board exams specific to your state, you are required to renew regularly, usually every two years. Some states require massage continuing education hours to renew your license, and some require taking a safety and sanitation quiz to renew, while others simply require the license renewal fee.
Steps to Getting Your Massage Therapist License
During your education to become a massage therapist, you will learn about human physiology, explore muscle groups, train for different types of massage and review therapist ethics. You may also get other valuable information that is relevant to becoming a successful licensed massage therapist (LMT), such as business and economics courses.
You should also get the opportunity to apply your knowledge under the guidance of an experienced massage therapist by working in a student clinic. this is where you will learn to perfect your technique and may even start to build your clientele.
Upon completion of most massage and bodywork training programs, you will have a diploma or certificate in massage therapy. You might still be required to take an exam to be certified by the state you want to work in. The current test is the MBLEx. In addition, some states have certifications versus licensure.
If you have specific questions about the requirements for a massage therapy career in your state, the chart below will help you find the massage requirements in your state. Or to learn more about licensing for other beauty- and wellness-related programs in your state, visit our State Beauty License Requirements page.
Most states will require massage therapists to take continuing education courses (CEU) to remain certified. The classes keep your skills up to date and help you continue to improve your skills as an LMT. You can find a list of NCBTMB-approved CEU providers on their website as well.
State-by-State Massage License Hour Requirements
In order to become a licensed massage therapist, you will need to meet the requirements of your state. Although the specifics vary from state to state, the national average is a minimum of 500 to 600 hours of education and many require an exam.
Look through the list below to find out what your state's requirements are to be able to sit for the board exams and get licensed. Note that some states have varying levels of massage licenses, and some states leave the minimum number of hours required up to the counties or cities within the state.
Last updated December 21, 2015
|Alaska||Varies by Municipality|
|California||250 Practitioner / 500 Therapist|
|Delaware||300 Technician / 500 Therapist|
|Kansas||Varies by Municipality|
|Maryland||560 Therapist / 500 Practitioner|
|Minnesota||Varies by Municipality|
|Oklahoma||Varies by Municipality|
|Vermont||Varies by Municipality|
|Wyoming||Varies by Municipality|