Massage Therapy Laws and Legislation

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MASSAGE THERAPY LAWS AND LEGISLATION – VALUABLE MASSAGE THERAPY CERTIFICATION AND LICENSURE INFORMATION

Most every state in the nation has a different set of laws and legislation for the credentials required to practice massage therapy.  Included in the legislation for massage therapist candidates are a variety of obligatory standards for education, examinations, and licensure.  Some cities or counties may even have their own complementary ordinances.  To make sure that you have all the facts you’ll need to prepare for your massage therapist career, Massage Magazine has compiled a list with the most up to date facts and figures for each state. 

  • Alabama: Number of massage therapists – 1,400; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 650hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • Arizona: Number of massage therapists – 9,410; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 700hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • Arkansas: Number of massage therapists – 2,700; Credential – Massage Therapist/License/Master Massage/Therapist/Instructor; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by MBLEx
  • California: Number of massage therapists – 5,800; Credential – Voluntary Certification- contact state or local entity for information
  • Colorado: Credential – Massage Therapist/Certification; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • Connecticut: Number of massage therapists – 3,024; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • Delaware: Number of massage therapists – 1,167; Credential – Massage Technician/Certified Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 200-500hr(depending on credential)/Written or Practical; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • Florida: Number of massage therapists – 27,993; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB, NESL or MBLEx
  • Georgia: Number of massage therapists – 5,535; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written & Practical; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • Hawaii: Number of massage therapists – 6,841; Credential – Massage Therapist/License/Massage Apprentice/Permit; Required Education and Exams – 570hr/Written; Exam administered is a State Exam
  • Idaho: Freedom of Access laws in effect – contact state or location entity for information
  • Illinois: Number of massage therapists – 9,063; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • Indiana: Number of massage therapists – 3,344; Credential – Massage Therapist/Certification; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • Iowa: Number of massage therapists – 2,396; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • Kentucky: Number of massage therapists – 2,009; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 600hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • Louisiana: Number of massage therapists – 2,400; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written & Oral; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • Maine: Number of massage therapists – 2,423; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr or Exam; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • Maryland: Number of massage therapists – 3,275; Credential – Massage Practitioner/Registration/Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/RMP/Written (MP/R) 500hr+60 college credits/LMT/Written (MT/L); Exam administered by NCETMB or NCCAOM
  • Massachusetts: Number of massage therapists – 8,600; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 650hr/written; Exam administered by N/A
  • Michigan: Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • Minnesota: Freedom of Access laws in effect – contact state or local entity for information
  • Mississippi: Number of massage therapists – 1,559; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 700hr/Written or Practical; Exam administered by NESL, MBLEx or State Exam
  • Missouri: Number of massage therapists – 4,370; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB, MBLEx, NCCAOM, AMMANCE
  • Montana: Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written (Grandfather clause=100hr by 7/1/2010); Exam administered by NCETMB, NCETM or MBLEx
  • Nebraska: Number of massage therapists – 1,111; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 1,000hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • Nevada: Number of massage therapists – 3,700 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • New Hampshire: Number of massage therapists – 1,869 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 750hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • New Jersey: Number of massage therapists – 761; Credential – Massage Therapist/Certification; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or NCCAOM
  • New Mexico: Number of massage therapists – 2,919 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 650hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • New York: Number of massage therapists – 14,908 Credential – Massage Therapist/License/Registration; Required Education and Exams – 1,000hr/Written; Exam administered State Exam
  • North Carolina: Number of massage therapists – 6,181 Credential – Massage and Bodywork/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB, NCCAOM or MBLEx
  • North Dakota: Number of massage therapists – 617 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 750hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • Ohio: Number of massage therapists – 11,043 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 750hr/Written; Exam administered State Exam
  • Oregon: Number of massage therapists – 6,392 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written & Practical; Exam administered by MBLEx
  • Rhode Island: Number of massage therapists – 963 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • South Carolina: Number of massage therapists – 3,617 Credential – Massage and Bodywork/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • South Dakota: Number of massage therapists – 730 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB, NESL or AMMANCE
  • Tennessee: Number of massage therapists – 4,413 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • Texas: Number of massage therapists – 26,347 Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB or MBLEx
  • Utah: Number of massage therapists – 5,265; Credential – Massage Therapist/License/Apprentice; Required Education and Exams – 600hr(LMT) 1,000(Apprenticeship/AMT); Exam administered by NCETMB, NESL or MBLEx
  • Virginia: Number of massage therapists – 5,489 Credential – Massage Therapist/Certification; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB
  • Washington: Number of massage therapists – 13,339; Credential – Massage Practitioner/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written; Exam administered by NCETMB, NESL or MBLEx
  • Washington,D.C.: Number of massage therapists – 638; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written & Practical; Exam administered by NCETMB, NESL or MBLEx
  • West Virginia: Number of massage therapists – 1,178 Number of massage therapists – 638; Credential – Massage Therapist/License; Required Education and Exams – 500hr/Written & Practical; Exam administered by NCETMB, NESL or MBLEx
  • Wisconsin: Number of massage therapists – 3,042; Credential – Massage Therapist or Bodyworker/Certification; Required Education and Exams – 600hr/Writte; Exam administered by NCETMB, or NCCAOM “1


Some states including Michigan and Pennsylvania have passed laws for massage therapy legislation, but these laws are not yet in effect, and Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma are currently unregulated states.  Please see the July 2010 issue of Massage Magazine or call your local governments for more information.

To learn more about our massage school visit www.NMTI.edu or to schedule an appointment at our student massage clinic visit www.NMTIstudentclinic.com.

1 “Laws and Legislation.”  Massage Magazine July 2010: 94-95.  Print.