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USA National Massage License Requirements

Qualified massage therapists are in high demand in the USA now days, and where anyone could once set up a bed with a bottle of oil and call them self a professional, most states in the US now have strict requirements.

There is controversy currently running through the American massage therapist community as opinions are divided over national massage license requirements:  While some believe a national massage license should be mandatory, others are advocates for freedom of access. 

Unlicensed complimentary practitioners are permitted to practice in some states currently, but the NCBTMB is fighting for this to be changed.  The NCBTMB are calling for regulation of all areas of massage licensing requirements for all states in the US.

national massage licenseAlaska, Kansas, Idaho and Michigan are examples of states that don’t currently have any requirements for massage license acquisition.  Alternatively, New York, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Ohio already have strict rules in place, so the idea of an enforced national massage license is less unappealing to people in those states.  The problem is for the professionals who have been working as massage therapists for ten years or more but don’t have the education levels possibly required by the NCBTMB standards:  They will be forced to retire, practice illegally or return to school to re-learn something they have been doing for a long-term career. 

Massage Licensing is Viewed as Consumer Protection

Although no ruling has been made in relation to national massage license requirements, it is on the cards for the future.  The variations in laws across the states can mean misleading and even mistreating clients, and the responsibility to ensure everyone is educated to prevent this lies at a national level.  A person requesting a massage has the right to presume their massage therapist has been educated appropriately and does meet the requirements of a governing body who can maintain records relating to complaints and past issues.  Otherwise you could allow someone into your home who can't help with your problem but can rip you off like they did to ten other people in Colorado, all because there is no record or board for victims to complain to.  Having the NCBTMB or the like oversee the practices of massage therapists nationally will help to keep them honest, protect the clients and improve skills and standards of therapists overall.

massage licenseDepending what state you are in, the requirements to currently become a massage therapist differ.  New York, as an example, requires prospective therapists to undertake 1000hrs of study along with a written exam, whereas Texas' prerequisite is 250hrs of study with 50hrs internship time along with a written and a practical exam.  Most states require around 500hrs of study with a written assessment at the end.  On passing, you pay a licensing fee that ranges anywhere from $15 to $100 per year, and payment is commonly made bi-annually.  There are also continuing education requirements (CEU's), so the best option is to find out exactly what you need to do in your state to practice legally. 

Table of National Massage License Requirements

You can look up your state's massage licensing requirements in the table below.

State

Title

Study Required

Exam

Registration Fee

CEU Req'd

Alabama

Massage Therapist

650 hrs

NCETMB

$100 every 2yrs

16 p/2yrs

Alaska

None

None

None

None

N/A

Arkansas

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$30 yr

6 p/yr

Arizona

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$75 every 2yrs

25 p/2yrs

California

None

None

None

None

N/A

Colorado

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Connecticut

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$200 every 2yrs

24 p/4yrs

Delaware

Licensed Massage
Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$123 every 2yrs

24 p/2yrs

Florida

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$155 every 2yrs

24 p/2yrs +
HIV course

Georgia

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB + Practical

$85 every 2ys

25 p/2yrs

Hawaii

Massage Therapist

570 hrs

Written

$120 every 2yrs

None

Idaho

None

None

None

None

N/A

Illinois

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$175 every 2yrs

24 p/2yrs

Indiana

None

None

None

None

N/A

Iowa

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$60 every 2yrs

24 p/2yrs

Kansas

None

None

None

None

N/A

Kentucky

Massage Therapist

600 hrs

NCETMB

$100 every 2yrs

24 p/2yrs

Louisiana

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB +
Oral

$125 yr

12 p/yr

Maine

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

None

$25 yr

None

Maryland

Massage Therapist
(Certified or Registered)

500 hrs +
60 college credits

NCETMB

$200 every 2yrs

24 p/2yrs

Massachusetts

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

Written +
Practical

None

None

Michigan

None

None

None

None

N/A

Minnesota

Describes Service

None

None

None

N/A

Mississippi

Registered
Massage Therapist

700 hrs

NCETMB

$192 every 2yrs

24 p/2yrs

Missouri

Licensed
Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$200 every 2yrs

12 p/2yrs

Montana

None

None

None

None

N/A

Nebraska

Massage Therapist

1000 hrs

NCETMB

$27 every 2yrs

24 p/2yrs

Nevada

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$150 yr

12 p/yr

New Hampshire

Massage Therapist

750 hrs

NCETMB

$100 every 2yrs

12 p/2yrs

New Jersey

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB   or NCCAOM

$120 every 2yrs

20 p/2yrs

New Mexico

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$125 every 2yrs

16 p/2yrs

New York

Massage Therapist

1000 hrs

Written

$55 every 3yrs

None

North Carolina

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$100 every 2yrs

25 p/2yrs

North Dakota

Massage Therapist

750 hrs

NCETMB

$100 yr

18 p/yr

Ohio

Massage Therapist

750 hrs

Written +
Practical

$50 every 2yrs

None

Oklahoma

None

None

None

None

N/A

Oregon

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB +
Practical

$100 every 2ys

$25 p/2yrs

Pennsylvania

None

None

None

None

N/A

Rhode Island

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$37.50 yr

None

South Carolina

Massage / Bodywork

500 hrs

NCETMB

$175 every 2yrs

12 p/2yrs

South Dakota

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$200 every 2yrs

16 p/2yrs

Tennessee

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$110 every 2yrs

25 p/2yrs

Texas

Massage Therapist

250 hrs +
50 hrs internship

Written +
Practical

$106 every 2yrs

12 p/2yrs

Utah

Massage Therapist

600 hrs

NCETMB +
Practical

$52 every 2yrs

None

Virginia

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$70 every 2yrs

25 p/2yrs

Washington

Massage Practitioner

500 hrs

NCETMB

$10 yr

16 p/2yrs

Washington D.C.

Massage Therapist

500 hrs

NCETMB

$111 every 2yrs

12 p/2yrs

West Virginia

Licensed
Massage Therapist

500 hrs

None

$100 every 2yrs

24 p/2yrs

Wisconsin

Massage Therapist

600 hrs

NCETMB

$53 every 2yrs

None

Wyoming

None

None

None

None

N/A

 

Step 2 Index
 

For massage therapists who wish to travel and practice nationally, you will need to complete the requirements for licensing in the areas you wish to practice.  This means if you live in Colorado where there is no massage licensing but you wish to work in New York, you will need to complete the 1000 hours of study and the written exam for their state and pay a fee of $55 for two years before you can take any appointments.

Regardless of national massage license requirements possibly being introduced, if you are a giving person who wants to help others, it will be worth the work it takes you to get there. Although massage therapy can be draining, hard and grueling work, it is also very rewarding, and nothing beats that satisfied, relaxed glow a person has when they dreamily rise from the massage table. 

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