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How to Get My Massage License

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Everybody loves a good massage. Massage therapy can treat sore muscles, fatigue, poor circulation and even depression. If you are considering a career in massage therapy, you should be well versed in the requirements specific to your state. Currently, 37 states (plus Washington D.C.) regulate the practice of massage therapy. These states issue licensing in conjunction with certification from The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB), a nonprofit organization that offers a nationalized standard for massage therapy licensing.

Become educated. The NCBTMB requires at least 500 hours of instruction and practice at an NCB-accredited school. Make sure that you choose a school that will allow you to certify with NCBTMB. Alternately, those without formalized education can submit a portfolio of their past work and education for certification review.

Order your transcripts from your school once you have completed the program. These will be submitted with your application to NCBTMB.

Download the application at and fill it out, or complete the online version and submit through the website.

Sign the background check consent, statement of understanding and candidate compliance and mail to NCBTMB. This must be done in conjunction to a printed application or in addition to a web application.

Pay the $225 application fee. This must be done in the form of a check mailed with the applications (if any) and consents.

Wait for an Authorization to Test, which should arrive in three to four weeks if your application is accepted.

Make your exam reservation. This can be done online or using the phone number provided in your authorization to test.

Take test on the day scheduled. You will receive your results (pass/fail) in one to two days.


Certification must be renewed every four years. Continuing education is required for renewal. The NCBTMB certification is nationally recognized, and can be transferred between states.


About the Author

Kristen Radford Price began writing in 2005 for her campus newspaper. She has served as a feature writer for the life-and-style section of the "Daily Herald," a contributor to "Utah Valley Weekly," an editor for a small publishing house and now as director of communications for an Internet company. Radford has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.

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  • lit de massage image by dominique touchard from