How Can I Become a Licensed Massage Therapy Technician?

A person wishing to become a licensed massage therapy technician must complete an approved massage therapy training program and fulfill individual state licensing requirements. Many states require licensed massage therapy technicians to pass a national exam. Schools offering Holistic Health Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Industry Overview

As of 2016, the practice of massage therapy was regulated through licensure or certification in 45 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Licensed massage therapy technicians can also choose to get national certification from an accredited certification agency.

Important Facts About Licensed Massage Therapy Technicians

Median Salary (2018) $41,420*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 26%*
Work Environment Spas, resorts, health clubs, cruise lines
Key Skills Physical strength and stamina, excellent communication skills

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education

A massage therapy technician training program teaches graduates the skills and knowledge necessary to pass a certification or licensure examination. States that license massage therapy technicians require between 500 and 1,000 hours of education, including clinical experience hours. A typical program teaches students about massage tools and techniques; students learn the different modalities of massage and study anatomy and physiology. Typical core courses cover:

  • Body analysis
  • Body mechanics
  • Practice management
  • Deep tissue techniques
  • Therapeutic exercise strategies
  • Stretching

Licensing

Individual states regulate the practice of massage therapy technicians through medical boards, massage boards, or health departments. To become a licensed massage therapy technician, graduates of an approved training program must apply to the appropriate board, pay a fee, and pass an exam, such as the nationally recognized Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination. Licensed technicians must take continuing education classes to maintain their licenses.

National Certification

Many massage therapists choose to become nationally certified by passing exams administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Future massage therapists must complete an approved massage therapy technician training program and meet work experience requirements to qualify to take the national certification exam.

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