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Starting a Career in Massage Therapy

massage therapist carefully massaging woman's back

Massage therapy has been practiced around the world for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations found that natural healing and massage could relieve pain, heal and prevent injuries, and more. Massage therapy is a popular method of pain relief that people enjoy as a service and as careers in massage therapy.

Learning how to become a massage therapist doesn’t have to be difficult. At Beauty and Bodywork Insurance, we provide massage therapy insurance for professionals, but we also provide business advice. Today we’ll walk you through how to become a massage therapist and turn your passion into a sustainable career.

Do Some Research

The first step in starting a career in massage therapy is to do a little bit of research. You’ll need to figure out what you’d like to do with your license in massage therapy. Do you want to work in a clinic? Or would you want to start your own practice? What kind of massage therapy would you like to specialize in? Because there are various types of massage therapy, like deep tissue, sports, hot stone, thai, etc., do some research to see which one you’d like to base your career on.

You will also need to research your state-specific requirements so you can make sure you complete everything correctly. Your state massage board can get you this information, and you should be well-informed of the requirements before you enroll in a massage therapy school. Since each state is different, you can do a simple Google search with “massage therapy state board (insert your state)” to find yours or view the list of state member boards at FSMTB.

Select a Massage Therapy School

In order to become a licensed massage therapist, you must first have a high school diploma or GED. You will then need to attend an accredited or approved massage therapy program. Your location will likely determine the massage therapy school or program you attend, unless you are willing to relocate.

The best thing to do is to research massage therapy schools near you. You can create a list of all the schools around you and gather details about each school—like how much tuition costs, how long the program is (they can range from 6–15 months), what specific training is provided, and more. You can take a look at the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) page to help you find a massage school near you.

Your massage therapy training will include much more than massage theory and application. You should plan on having to take science classes, like physiology, body mechanics, medical terminology, anatomy, and more. Once you have completed your student courses and training hours, you’re ready to prepare for your exam.

Complete Your Clinical’s

Some states will require you to complete clinical hours at a student clinic. This will help you get hands-on experience, network with professionals in the industry, and help you have a leg up when applying for a job after graduation. Check with your state board to see if clinicals are required in your state.

Prepare for Your Exam

Each massage therapy student will need to take an exam to obtain a massage therapy license. Many states use the Massage Bodywork Licensing Exam, also known as the MBLEX. This exam makes sure you understand your training and are ready to be a licensed massage therapist (LMT). Once you take the exam, your results will likely be available to you within a day. However, if you fail the exam, you will need to wait an additional 30 days before making an additional attempt, and pay the fees again.

When you have completed and passed your exam, you’re ready to officially start your massage therapy career!

Purchase Massage Therapy Insurance

If you’re like 67% of all practicing massage therapists, you’ll be working solo, which means you need to purchase liability insurance. Even if you are working at a spa or clinic, we recommend purchasing individual liability insurance so you can have maximum coverage. Massage therapists face several risks each time they are with a client. You wouldn’t want to have to pay thousands of dollars out of your own pocket should an accident happen.

The professional liability policy is offered for all those who have passed the massage therapy licensure exam and costs just $96 per year.

You can also take a look at this blog to learn more about the coverage you will receive.

Best of Luck with Your Career in Massage Therapy!

We hope this guide was helpful for you to understand how to get started with your career in massage therapy. Follow these steps and you’re on your way to be a successful massage therapist! We wish you the best of luck with your career in massage therapy.

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Professional Liability Policy

This policy is for professionals who work in the Beauty and Bodywork Industry.



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