How To Become A Massage Therapist
Updated: Oct 13
Have you ever thought about becoming a massage therapist? To guide our prospective massage therapists, we have composed a 4 steps guide on how to become a massage therapist and continue being one.
Step 1: Enroll in a massage therapy program
The first step for a prospective students to pursue a career in massage therapy is to enroll in an accredited massage therapy program, usually offered by trade schools, community colleges, and specialized massage therapy schools. Students must complete the required education hours set by the states that they want to practice in. For example, Pennsylvania requires the following for education:
Complete a minimum of 600 hours of training
Program hours must consist of at least: 175 hours of Anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and pathology; 250 hours of massage theory and practice; 25 hours of business and ethics; and 150 hours of other coursework appropriate to massage therapy study.
The ATS Massage Therapy Certificate Programs are proven to provide the best chance of success in becoming a massage therapist. We offers both full/part time, and weekend classes, so you can balance your career training with family, work, and other responsibilities. Our programs are affordable with payment options.
Step 2: Pass the MBLEx exam
Most states require Massage Therapist candidates to pass approved licensing exam/exams. Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination(MBLEx) is widely accepted. It is currently utilized for licensure in 46 of 49 regulated jurisdictions. The MBLEx serves as an entry-level licensure exam to test the candidate’s knowledge of massage therapy and real world application. To take the MBLEx exam:
Register directly with the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB)
Verify that the student has had appropriate training by the school
Pay registration fee of $195
Take the exam within 90 days
Step 3: Apply for your state license
Congrats for graduated from massage therapy school and passed the MBLEx exam. You’re almost there to becoming a licensed massage therapist. Your last step is to apply for the license in the state that your are practicing massage. Use state of Pennsylvania as an example, to apply for massage license, you will need:
Apply online via PALS
Pay the application fee of $100
Transcripts sent directly to the Pennsylvania Board from your school.
Current CPR certification
Copy of a driver’s license or other valid ID.
High school graduation (or equivalency)
Supporting information if any of the following apply: criminal history, disciplinary history, denial of licensure, or conditions or substance dependencies that would impair practice.
Background check of previous 5 years.
All supporting documentation must be submitted within six months of application or reapply is necessary.
Step 4: Maintain your Licensing status
Once the Pennsylvania Board reviews and approves your application, you are now official Licensed Massage Therapist(LMT). To enhance your massage technique and to renew your biannual license, you must seek for continue education. For Pennsylvania therapists, you biannual license renewal needs:
24 CE credits, renews on January 31st of every odd year
Online class credits cannot exceed 8 credit hours
License renewal fee is $150
Submit proof of current CPR certification
2 hours of child abuse recognition and reporting
Ace Training School offers continuing education courses including medical massage, sports massage, reflexology, shiatsu massage, medical Qi-gong, and prenatal massage. All standard CE courses come with a CPR certification training for free!