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Massage Therapy License Requirements by State

4.9/5
4.9/5

Massage Therapy License Requirements for All 50 States

We’ve made it easy for you to get the information you need to get started on your massage therapy career. From educational requirements to whether massage therapy insurance is required, the exams you’ll have to pass, and where to apply, here are all of the massage license requirements by state.

There are boards, exams, certifications, and other acronyms common to many state massage therapy licensing requirements to be aware of, such as:

  • NCBTMB: National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • NCETM/NCETMB: National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • MBLEx: Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination
  • FSMTB: Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards
  • NBCA NCE: National Board Certification Agency / National Certification Exam
  • AMMA NBCE: American Medical Massage Association / National Board Certification Exam
  • NCCAOM: National Certification. Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • ABT/ABTE: The Asian Bodywork Therapy Examination
  • ITEC: International Therapy Examination Council
  • CESI: Certification Exam for Structural Integration
  • TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language
  • CE: Continuing Education requirements (aka CEUs, or CECs)
  • CPR/AED: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation / automated external defibrillator

Note: This information is accurate at the time of writing and has been gathered from external sources. Please verify the most current requirements with the official sources within your local jurisdiction.

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Alabama

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For more information

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Alaska

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Arizona

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Arkansas

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California

The California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) issues a voluntary certification to massage therapists meeting requirements. Some cities or counties may require massage therapists to have a CAMTC certification or a local permit. The following are requirements for the CAMTC certification:

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Colorado

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Connecticut

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Delaware

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Florida

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Georgia

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Hawaii

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Idaho

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Illinois

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Indiana

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Iowa

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Kansas

Kansas does not have statewide licensing for massage therapists, but some municipalities enforce requirements such as a minimum of 500 hours of education and passing scores on the MBLEx.

Check with your local city or county for specific regulations. You may choose to become voluntarily certified through a board such as the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) to ensure your education and training is up to standard.

Insurance Requirements

For more information

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Kentucky

Educational Requirements

Exam Requirements

*In accordance with KRS 309.358(5), the State of Ohio Massage Therapy Licensing Exam and the State of New York Massage Therapy Licensing Exam are considered approved by the board, though they are administered outside of Kentucky.

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Louisiana

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Maine

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Maryland

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Massachusetts

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Michigan

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Minnesota

Minnesota does not require massage therapists to be licensed at the state level. However, local cities or counties may have specific requirements such as a minimum of 500 hours of education and proof of passing the MBLEx.

Check with your jurisdiction for details about practicing massage therapy in your area.

Insurance Requirements

For more information

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Mississippi

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Missouri

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Missouri Massage Therapy Insurance, Info, and Statistics Page (coming soon)

Visit the Missouri Board of Therapeutic Massage

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Montana

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Nebraska

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Nevada

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New Hampshire

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New Jersey

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New Mexico

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New York

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North Carolina

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North Dakota

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Ohio

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Oklahoma

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Oregon

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Pennsylvania

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Rhode Island

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South Carolina

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South Dakota

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Tennessee

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Texas

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Utah

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Vermont

Vermont does not require licensing for massage therapists. Massage therapists must instead register with the state to be included in the state registry of massage therapists.

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Virginia

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Washington

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West Virginia

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Wisconsin

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Wyoming

Wyoming does not issue a statewide license for massage therapists. Check with your local city or county for their specific requirements for massage therapy practice This may include a minimum of education hours from an approved school and proof of passing scores on a national massage exam such as the MBLEx.

Insurance Requirements

For more information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

California, Kansas, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wyoming do not require a state-issued license for massage therapists. However, certain cities or counties within those states have specific requirements for the practice of massage therapy such as a minimum of education hours or proof of passing scores on a national massage therapy exam.

The cost of obtaining a massage therapy license ranges from $50 to $500 and varies from state to state. For the most accurate information, check with your state board of massage therapy for the current fee schedule.

The education hours required to become a licensed massage therapist range from 500 to 1,000 hours of study at a board-approved massage therapy school (on top of minimal requirements like a high school diploma or GED). It varies from state to state, and most states also require licensed massage therapists to complete continuing education (CE) hours prior to renewal.

For the most accurate information, check with your state board of massage therapy for their education requirements, including a breakdown of in-class instruction, curriculum, and practical training.

Certain states require massage therapists to carry liability insurance in order to obtain a license. At the time of writing, these states are Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

However, in most if not all states, you’ll be required to have insurance to practice For example, employers, landlords, spaces you rent, and other third parties may require you to be insured and add them to your policy as an additional insured.

Regardless of your state requirements, carrying massage therapy liability insurance protects your practice and demonstrates your commitment to safety, professionalism, and care. Check with your state board of massage therapy for their most current requirements regarding liability insurance.

In addition to your massage therapy license, consider earning a certification to enhance your credentials. Here are some certifications you can pursue after becoming a licensed massage therapist:

  • Board Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB): This industry-respected credential is offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and demonstrates advanced skill and ability in massage therapy.
  • Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Massage Therapy: This degree provides a comprehensive education in massage therapy, including subjects such as anatomy and physiology, massage techniques, pathology, and more to give graduates an edge in the industry.
  • Certification Exam for Structural Integration (CESI): Offered by the Certification Board for Structural Integration (CBSI), this program offers an in-depth education on SI, a massage approach that systematically addresses the body as a whole to release tension.

Other areas of specialization include medical massage, sports massage, stone massage, and prenatal massage. These are just a few voluntary certifications that can increase your credibility as a massage therapist.

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