Massage State Boards/Laws

This information is always changing. Please be sure to check with your state board for exact requirements for massage licensing.
These links are for informational gathering only. The states listed have state requirements for practicing massage. Please check your local city, state and county for further information on what you need to practice massage in your area. If a state is not listed there is no state licensing required. Check with you city, county or town for further information.
Please let me know if you have any to add!



Alabama Board of Massage Therapy
610 S. McDonough St.
Montgomery, AL 36104
Tel: 334-269-9990
Fax: 334-263-6115

Title: Licensed Massage Therapist Requirements: 650hrs from an accredited massage school and NCETMB, Practical Exam
CE for renewal:16hrs/2yrs
 Board Approved Providers
Laws & Rules & Regulations License Search

Each Massage Therapist applicant must also produce evidence of a $1,000,000 Personal Liability Insurance coverage along with certified transcripts and verification of their national certification

532×1.02 Definitions

g.  Massage Therapist is a person licensed under this Act who practices massage therapy or touch modalities upon a patron of either gender for compensation, working to alleviate pain, reduce stress and instigate the normalization of the soft tissue, muscles, tendons and connective tissues of the patron. A Massage therapist shall not be designated as a massage parlor employee. 

h) Massage therapy is the profession in which the practitioner applies massage techniques and related touch therapy modalities with the intention of positively affecting the health and well being of the client as defined in the Act.  massage therapy does not include diagnosis except to the extent of determining whether massage therapy is indicated..  Massage Therapy may be applied in response to physician, osteopathic, chiropractic, podiatric, or other prescription by a licensed practitioner in that field acting within the scope of practice of their profession.


No State Licensing but some city licensing Alaska State Department of HealthAlaska Division of Corporations Business and Professional Licensing

Fairbanks Massage Practitioner Requirements

Anchorage Massage Practitioner Information

Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy
1400 W. Washington, Suite 230
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-542-8604
Fax: 602-542-3093

Title: Licensed Massage Therapist
Requirements: 700 hours & NCETMB or MBLEx
CE Renewal: 25hrs/2yrs
Max 12 hrs online

list of approved schools (pdf)Rules and Laws

“Massage therapy” means the following that are undertaken to increase wellness, relaxation, stress reduction, pain relief and postural improvement or provide general or specific therapeutic benefits:

(a) The manual application of compression, stretch, vibration or mobilization of the organs and tissues beneath the dermis, including the components of the musculoskeletal system, peripheral vessels of the circulatory system and fascia, when applied primarily to parts of the body other than the hands, feet and head.

(b) The manual application of compression, stretch, vibration or mobilization using the forearms, elbows, knees or feet or handheld mechanical or electrical devices.

(c) Any combination of range of motion, directed, assisted or passive movements of the joints.

(d) Hydrotherapy, including the therapeutic applications of water, heat, cold, wraps, essential oils, skin brushing, salt glows and similar applications of products to the skin.

6. “Practice of massage therapy” means the application of massage therapy to any person for a fee or other consideration. Practice of massage therapy does not include the diagnosis of illness or disease, medical procedures, naturopathic manipulative medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine, chiropractic adjustive procedures, homeopathic neuromuscular integration, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, prescription of medicines or the use of modalities for which a license to practice medicine, chiropractic, nursing, occupational therapy, athletic training,physical therapy, acupuncture or podiatry is required by law.


Arkansas State Board of Massage Therapy
PO Box 20739
Hot Springs, AR 71903
Tel: 501-683-1448

Title: Licensed Massage Therapist, Master Massage Therapist, Instructor
Requirements: 500 hrs and MBLEx
CE Renewal: 18hrs/2yrs approved CE List (PDF)
Online CE hrs not accepted by the state
Rules and Regulations (PDF)
“Massage therapy” means to engage in the practice of any of the following procedures:(A) All massage therapy techniques and procedures, either hands-on or with mechanical devices;(B) Therapeutic application and use of oils, herbal or chemical preparations, lubricants, nonprescription creams, lotions, scrubs, powders, and other spa services;(C) Therapeutic application of hot or cold packs;

(D) Hydrotherapy techniques;

(E) Heliotherapy;

(F) Electrotherapy;

(G) Any hands-on bodywork techniques and procedures rising to the level of the techniques and procedures intended to be regulated under this chapter and not covered under specific licensing laws of other boards.

California Massage Therapy Council
One Capitol Mall, Suite 320
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: 916-669-5336
Fax: 916-444-7462

Title: Certified Massage Therapist or Certified Massage Practitioner
Renewal every 2 years, NO CE Required. California Massage Council San Francisco San Diego

California Massage Licensing Explained by James Mally

Professions code (PDF)Voluntary Certification :Two levels of training one requiring 250 hour of education and the second requiring 500 hour of training starting in Sept 2009 (SB 731) Find out what it means for you at

Massage Magazine – update on SB 731


Colorado State Office of MT Registration
Division of Professions and Occupations
1560 Broadway, Ste 1350
Denver, CO 80202
Tel: 303-894-7800
Fax: 303-894-7764

Title: Registered Massage Therapist
“massage therapist”, “registered massage therapist”, “massage practitioner”, “masseuse”, “masseur”, the letters “M.T.” or “R.M.T.”,
Requirements: 500 hours and MBLEX or NCETMB
Renewal: no CEU req/2yrs
License Verification
Massage Therapists Practice Act Massage Therapy Rules and Regulations,

“Massage” or “massage therapy” means a system of structured touch, palpation, or movement of the soft tissue of another person’s body in order to enhance or restore the general health and well-being of the recipient. Such system includes, but is not limited to, techniques such as effleurage, commonly called stroking or gliding; petrissage, commonly called kneading; tapotement or percussion; friction; vibration; compression; passive and active stretching within the normal anatomical range of movement; hydromassage; and thermal massage. Such techniques may be applied with or without the aid of lubricants, salt or herbal preparations, water, heat, or a massage device that mimics or enhances the actions possible by human hands. “Massage” or “massage therapy” does not include therapeutic exercise, intentional joint mobilization or manipulation, or any of the methods described in section 12-35. 5-110 (1) (e). (8) “Massage therapist” means an individual registered by this state to engage in the practice of massage therapy. The terms “masseuse” and “masseur” are synonymous with the term “massage therapist”.


Connecticut Department of Public Health

Connecticut Department of Public Health

Massage Therapist Licensure

410 Capitol Ave., MS # 12 APP

P.O. Box 340308

Hartford, CT 06134

Phone: (860) 509-7603

Fax: (860) 707-1982



500 hour, NCETMB exam

24 hours of qualifying continuing education every 4 years.


Graduation from a school of massage therapy offering a course of study of not less than five hundred (500) classroom hours with the instructor present, and at the time of the applicant’s graduation held a current school code assigned by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and was either (A) accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or by a state board of post-secondary technical trade and business schools; or (B) accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA).  Please note that on-line instruction is not acceptable towards meeting the 500 classroom hours:


The continuing education shall be in areas related to the licensee’s practice, including, but not limited to, courses offered by providers that are approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.  No more than 6 hours of continuing education can be achieved in via Internet-based or distance learning programs.  No more than 12 hours can be obtained from programs not approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).  The Department does not approve continuing education courses, pre-approve specific coursework for individual licensees or  maintain a list of continuing education courses.

Delaware Board of Massage and Bodywork

Board of Massage and Bodywork

Mailing address:
Cannon Building,
Suite 203
861 Silver Lake Blvd.
Dover, DE 19904

(302) 744-4500
(302) 739-2711

500 hours Therapist, 100 hour tech.. NCETMB Approved CE

“Massage and bodywork therapist” shall mean a person who represents himself or herself to the public by any title or description of services incorporating the words “bodywork,” “massage,” “massage therapist,” “massage therapy,” “massage practitioner,” “massagist,” “masseur,” “masseuse,” or who engages in the practice of massage and bodywork for a fee, monetary or otherwise.

(4) “Massage technician” shall mean a person, who is certified with the Board to perform certain functions within the practice of massage therapy, and who is authorized by the Board to use any title or description of services incorporating the words “bodywork,” “massage,” “massage practitioner,” “massagist,” “masseur,” “masseuse,” or certified massage technician” but shall be prohibited from using the words “therapist” or “therapy.

(6) “Practice of massage and bodywork” shall mean a system of structured touch applied to the superficial or deep tissue, muscle, or connective tissue, by applying pressure with manual means. Such application may include, but is not limited to, friction, gliding, rocking, tapping, kneading, or nonspecific stretching, whether or not aided by massage oils or the application of hot and cold treatments. The practice of massage and bodywork is designed to promote general relaxation, enhance circulation, improve joint mobilization and/or relieve stress and muscle tension, and to promote a general sense of well-being.

Massage and bodywork therapists licensed under this chapter may practice massage and/or bodywork therapy on referral or prescription from a licensed medical or osteopathic physician or chiropractor as deemed appropriate by the referring physician or chiropractor. Massage technicians certified under this chapter are prohibited from practicing on referral or prescription from a licensed medical or osteopathic physician or chiropractor and from treating medically diagnosed conditions.

From FAQ’s section“A Certified Massage Technician is prohibited from working on medically diagnosed conditions and from working on referrals from a physician or chiropractor. Only a Licensed Massage Therapist can work on medically diagnosed conditions. Also, the Certified Massage Technician may neither call himself or herself a “therapist” nor use the word “therapy” in describing his or her profession nor in anyway imply that he or she is certified to practice massage therapy.”

District of Columbia

899 North Capitol Street NE,
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 442-5955
Fax: (202) 442-4795
TTY: 711

500 hours, NCETMB/ MBLEx (pdf) Regulations

Health Professions Licensing Administrations

CE Requirements: ”

(a) Three (3) hours of professional ethics; and

(b) Nine (9) hours of massage-related course work provided by aBoard approved provider of which six (6) hours shall becompleted in a live classroom setting taught by an appropriateinstructor.”

510.1 A massage therapist or any person so authorized under the Act toperform massage therapy may perform therapeutic maneuvers in which the practitioner applies massage techniques, including use of the hand or limb, by applying touch and pressure to the human body. Such techniques include, but are not limited to the following:

(a) Stroking, (including but not limited to Effluerage);

(b) Kneading, (including but not limited to Petrissage);

(c) Tapping, (including but not limited to Tapotement);

(d) Flexibility training, (including but not limited to stretching, strengthening, and manual traction);

(e) Compression;

(f) Vibration;

(g) Friction;

(h) Application of heat, cold, and water;

(i) Non-prescription drug applications, (including mild abrasives) for the purpose of improving circulation, enhancing muscle relaxation, relieving muscle pain, reducing stress, or promotion health; or

(j) Holding, positioning, or causing movement of an individual’s body.

7510.2 Massage therapy does not include incidental use of soft tissue manipulation while primarily engaging in another technique or modality  in which a practitioner is qualified.



Department Of Healthpplicants are required to submit proof of completion of the following continuing education (CE) prior to issuance of license:

  • Ten (10) hours of Florida Laws & Rules for Massage Therapy
  • Two (2) hours relating to prevention of medical errors
  • Three (3) hours of HIV/AIDS

All courses must be obtained through a Board of Massage Therapy Approved Provider. To view approved CE providers and courses, please visit the website.


500 hours, NCETMBMBLEx


Georgia Board of Massage Therapy 500 hours & NCE or MBLEx


Att: Massage
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
(808) 586-2694


Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs: Division of Professional and Vocational Licensing

Approved Workshops

License Verification

570 hours
written exam (their own state exam : Not NCBTMB or MBLEx)
apprenticeship programs allowed.

“Massage”, “massage therapy”, and “Hawaiian massage” commonly known as lomilomi, means any method of treatment of the superficial soft parts of the body, consisting of rubbing, stroking, tapotement, pressing, shaking, or kneading with the hands, feet, elbow, or arms, and whether or not aided by any mechanical or electrical apparatus, appliances, or supplementary aids such as rubbing alcohol, liniments, antiseptics, oils, powder, creams, lotions, ointments, or other similar preparations commonly used in this practice. Any mechanical or electrical apparatus used as described in this chapter shall be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.” Massage therapy establishment” means premises occupied and used for the purpose of practicing massage therapy or massage therapy training; provided that when any massage therapy establishment is situated in any building used for residential purposes, the massage therapy establishment premises shall be set apart and shall not be used for any other purpose.” Massage therapist” means any person who engages in the occupation or practice of massage for compensation.

“Massage therapist apprentice” means any person who engages in the occupation or practice of massage under the direct supervision of a sponsoring massage therapist who is employed by or registered with an approved massage establishment.

“Massage therapist student” means any person who engages in the study or practice of massage therapy who is under the direct supervision of the teacher in a school setting.

Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses


Proposed Laws/ChangesState licensure is required as of July 1, 2013. Prior to July 1, 2013, please contact the individual city or cities you will be practicing in to verify if there are any massage license requirements.


CE renewals:

Beginning with the second renewal of their license, a licensee shall be required to complete a minimum of six (6) hours of continuing education (which shall include 1.0 hour in ethics) within the preceding twelve (12) months that meet the requirements

IllinoisDepartment of Financial &
Professional Regulation

320 West Washington Street
Springfield, IL 62786
Phone: (217) 785-0800
Fax: (217) 782-7645

500 hours NCETMB/MBLEx CE: 24 hours of continuing education, including at least 2 hours of ethics. 
2) A prerenewal period is the 24 months preceding December 31 of each even-numbered year. 
Approved CE Sponsors and Programs 1)Sponsor shall mean: A) Entities approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB); B); The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and its chapters; C) Any approved massage therapy program or accredited school, college, university or State agency; and D) Any other person, firm, or association that has been approved and licensed by the Division pursuant to subsection (c)(2) to coordinate and present continuing education courses and programs in conjunction with this Section.

List of Approved CE Sponsors (PDF)

Massage Licensing ACt "Massage" or "massage therapy" means a system of structured palpation or movement of the soft tissue of the body. The system may include, but is not limited to, techniques such as effleurage or stroking and gliding, petrissage or kneading, tapotement or percussion, friction, vibration, compression, and stretching activities as they pertain to massage therapy. These techniques may be applied by a licensed massage therapist with or without the aid of lubricants, salt or herbal preparations, hydromassage, thermal massage, or a massage device that mimics or enhances the actions possible by human hands. The purpose of the practice of massage, as licensed under this Act, is to enhance the general health and well-being of the mind and body of the recipient. "Massage" does not include the diagnosis of a specific pathology. "Massage" does not include those acts of physical therapy or therapeutic or corrective measures that are outside the scope of massage therapy practice as defined in this Section.

Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
Attn: State Board of Massage Therapy
402 W Washington St, Room W072
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

MBLExIndiana Professional Licensing

Laws and Regulations

(a) Applicants for certification must have successfully completed a massage therapy school or program that: (1) requires at least five hundred (500) hours of supervised classroom and hands-on instruction on massage therapy; (2) is in good standing with a state, regional, or national agency of government charged with regulating massage therapy schools or programs; and (3) is: (A) accredited by: (i) the Indiana commission on proprietary education established by IC 21-17-2-1; or ii) another state where the standards for massage therapy education are substantially the same as the standards in Indiana; or (B) a program at an institution of higher learning that is approved by the board. (b) An applicant who has been educated as a massage therapist in a foreign country may be required to submit a certified copy of all academic records and an evaluation, from an accredited evaluation service approved by the board, of all academic records and credentials so that the board can determine if the applicant’s education is equivalent to the educational requirements in this section.


  IC 25-21.8-1-4 “Massage therapy” Sec. 4. “Massage therapy”:

(1) means the application of massage techniques on the human body;
(2) includes:
(A) the use of touch, pressure, percussion, kneading, movement, positioning, nonspecific stretching, stretching within the normal anatomical range of movement, and holding, with or without the use of massage devices that mimic or enhance manual measures; and
(B) the external application of heat, cold, water, ice, stones, lubricants, abrasives, and topical preparations that are not classified as prescription drugs; and
(3) does not include: (A) spinal manipulation; and (B) diagnosis or prescribing drugs for which a license is require

IC 25-21.8-4-3 Protection of title Sec. 3. An individual who is not certified under this article may not: (1) profess to be a certified massage therapist; or (2) use: (A) the title “Certified Massage Therapist” or “Massage Therapist”; or (B) the abbreviation “CMT” or “MT” to imply the person is a certified massage therapist

847 IAC 1-2-3 Client assessment and consent Authority: IC 25-21.8-2-9; IC 25-21.8-3-1 Affected: IC 25-21.8

Sec. 3. (a) Prior to providing massage therapy, the certificate holder shall obtain the following from the client: (1) Information about the reasons and expectations for the massage therapy session. 2) Health history and current health status to determine the indications and contraindications for the application of massage therapy. (3) Voluntary and informed consent, either oral or written, for the agreed upon massage therapy services. (4) Written consent of a parent or guardian for any massage therapy services to be provided to a client less than eighteen (18) years of age.

(b) The certificate holder shall do the following: (1) Request from the client only information that is relevant to the professional client-massage therapist relationship. (2) Display a fee schedule or discuss fees and payment with the client prior to providing massage therapy services. (3) Maintain documentation for each massage therapy session, when practicable, including the following: (A) The date of service. (B) Client assessment. (C) Nature of treatment and services provided. (D) Treatment plan, when applicable. (4) Refer the client to a licensed health care professional when appropriate. (5) Respect the client’s right to refuse, modify, or terminate services at any point, regardless of the client’s prior consent. (c) The certificate holder shall not do the following: (1) Massage the breasts of a female client unless the certificate holder has: (A) training in techniques related to therapeutic massage of mammary tissue; and (B) first obtained informed written consent for the treatment from the client. (2) Perform pregnancy massage unless the certificate holder has: (A) training in techniques related to pregnancy or prenatal massage; and (B) first obtained informed written consent for the treatment from the client.

Iowa  Department of Public Health

Iowa Department of Public Health

321 E. 12th Street,

Des Moines, Iowa, 50319-0075

 (515) 281-7689 or toll-free at 1-866-227-9878

500 hours, NCETMBMBLEx

Massage therapy” means performance for compensation of massage, myotherapy,massotherapy, bodywork, bodywork therapy, or therapeutic massage including hydrotherapy, superficial hot and cold applications, vibration and topical applications, or other therapy which involves manipulation of the muscle and connective tissue of the body, excluding osseous tissue, to treat the muscle tonus system for the purpose of enhancing health, muscle relaxation, increasing range of motion, reducing stress, relieving pain, or improving circulation.

4. “Reflexology” means manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body which isrestricted to the hands, feet, or ears, performed by persons who do not hold themselves out to be massage therapists or to be performing massage therapy.

It is unlawful for a person to engage in or offer to engage in thepractice of massage therapy, or use in connection with the person’s name, the initials “L. M. T.”or the words “licensed massage therapist”, “massage therapist”, “masseur”, “masseuse”, or any other word or title that implies or represents that the person practices massage therapy,unless the person possesses a license issued under the provisions of section 152C.3.

Exemptions: Reflexologists, Feldenkrais Practitioners, Trager, Mind/Body Centering programs


No licensing 2008 Senate Bill 572  bill dead


Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinent 500 hours and NCETMB or MBLEx


Louisiana board of Massage  500 hours, NCETMBMBLEx


Office of Licensing and Registration 500 hours, No exam


Board of Chiropractic Examiners 500 hours, NCETMB


Board of Registration for Massage Therapy 500 hoursMBLEx


House bill 5651


Freedom of Access but some licensing attempts being made


State Board of Massage 700 hours, NCETMBMBLEx


State board of Therapeutic Massage 500 hours, NCETMBMBLEx


no current licensing or movements (In process: see www.


Health and Human Services 1,000 hours, NCETMB


Board of Massage Therapy 500 hours, NCETMB

New Hampshire

Dept of Health and Human Services 750hrs, NCETMB and practical exam MBLEx

New Jersey

board of NursingFact sheet

New Mexico

Massage Therapy Board 650 hours, NCETMBMBLEx

New York 

Office of Professions 1000 hours.  State Exam.

North Carolina

  Board of Massage 500 hours, NCETMB MBLEx

North Dakota

Board of Massage 750 hours,
written and practical exam, NCETMB


State of Ohio Medical Board 600 hours, written examMBLEx


2/26/08: House Bill 3199


Board of Massage 500 hours, NCETMBMBLEx


06/26/08: House Bill 2499,

Rhode Island

Health Professions Regulations 500 hours,
written and practical exam, NCETMB

South Carolina:

Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation 500 hours, NCETMBMBLEx

South Dakota

Board of Massage 500 hours, NCETMB or MBLEx, and CPR


Dept of Health Massage Licensure Board 500 hours,  NCETMBMBLEx


Department of State Health Services
500 hours and an approved exam (MBLEx or NCETM or NCETMB)


Occupational and Professional licensing therapist -600 hours,
apprentice – 1,000 hours NCETMB


 No licensing requirements but business licensing may be required.


Board of Nursing 500 hours, NCETMBMBLEx


State Dept of Health 500 hours, NCETMB or state examMBLEx

West Virginia 

Massage Therapy Licensure Board 500 hours,  no examMBLEx


Dept of Regulations and Licensing 600 hours, 1 million liability ins, NCETMB


no licensing or current movements

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