• Blog
  • 5 Simple Steps to Quickly Get Your Massage Therapy Certification and Start Practicing
5 Simple Steps to Quickly Get Your Massage Therapy Certification and Start Practicing

Published on 04-17-2022

5 Simple Steps to Quickly Get Your Massage Therapy Certification and Start Practicing

The law in most states requires every massage therapist to acquire a certification to start practicing.

Although you may still practice massage therapy without certification, you’re recognized by the state and protected if you get your certification. Top-tier client businesses would only accept you to work with them only if you have a certification or license.

What is the difference between a massage therapist license and a massage therapist certification?

There is only a terminological difference between a massage therapist license and massage therapist certification – they imply the same thing; the terminology is only a state preference.

Licensed and certified massage therapists have both undertaken a study program in a national or regional massage therapy institution and successfully passed state-approved qualification exams for massage therapists.

5 step-by-step process to get your massage therapy practice certification or license


Step 1: Successfully complete the massage therapy program

You accomplish this step after enrolling and completing your certificate or diploma degree studies at a state or nationally accredited institution. This entry-level study program equips you with both coursework and hands-on skills in physiology, human anatomy, massage ethics, and essential medical terminologies.

Step 2: Satisfy the practical requirements

Enroll for an internship or your institution’s massage clinic to complete the set number of hours your state requires for you to qualify to proceed with the other steps required to apply for your license.

Although the number of hours may differ from one state to another it’s best for you to focus on the highest hands-on practice hours you can attain.

Step 3: Pass the massage therapy licensing examination

After you complete your coursework and hands-on practice hours, passing the licensing exam is your next step. Confirm whether your state offers a specialized exam for massage school graduates.

Some states require you to complete the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). It’s a 2-hour 100-question exam testing you on things you’ve studied in physiology, kinesiology, client assessments, and ethics.

Step 4: Apply for a state license

Submit your application for a massage therapy practice license and provide proof that you’ve met the license requirements. Check out your state licensing requirements at the website link American Massage Therapy Association.

Step 5: Complete your licensing or certification

Complete your certification by practicing some hour threshold. Though this is not mandatory to get your massage therapy license, it can make the process much easier for you in some instances.

Other massage therapy certifications are available in clinical rehabilitative massages, spa management, sports massage, palliative care, and veterinary massage.

Are you already a massage therapist practitioner?


Get the appointment scheduling and reminder software for smooth online appointment booking for your clients.

Are you ready to save time and money?

Appointment Reminder is designed with one goal in mind – to allow you to
make more money off of your clients, while wasting less time contacting them.