The 10 Steps to Becoming a Massage Therapist

The 10 Steps to Becoming a Massage Therapist

Becoming a massage therapist is a process that can take months or even years. But if you’re passionate about helping people feel their best, it’s worth it.

Massage therapy is a growing field with many opportunities. As more and more people seek alternatives to traditional medical treatments, massage therapists are in high demand.

Becoming a massage therapist can be a rewarding career move, both financially and emotionally.

A license for a massage therapist is a state-issued license that allows professionals to practice massage therapy on patients. Most Massage therapists complete this before beginning their careers. 

How To Be A Massage Therapist?

Here are the ten steps you’ll need to take to become a licensed massage therapist.

1. Study And Complete An Accredited Massage Therapy Program

The first step to becoming a certified massage therapist is researching the field.

This means learning about the massage therapy career, the training and education requirements, and the job outlook.

It would be best if you also considered whether or not you have the personality traits necessary for success in this field.

Massage therapy is not for everyone, so it’s essential to make sure that it’s the right fit for you before moving on to step two.

You’ll need to complete an accredited massage therapy program.

Most programs take at least 600 hours, but some may be as long as 1,000 hours to ensure the highest quality massage therapy education.

There are massage therapy schools that offer quality programs across the country.

You’ll also get hands-on experience in massage techniques like Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy.

2. Pass The Massage Licensing Exam

The second step is to complete an accredited massage therapy program.

There are many different types of programs available, so it’s important to do your research and find one that meets your needs.

Once you’ve graduated from your massage therapy program, you’ll need to pass the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) to become licensed in your state.

Pass the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork after completing your accredited massage therapy program, you will then need to pass the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB).

This exam is administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Once you have passed this exam, you will be able to apply for state licensure (if required in your state).

The MBLEx is a written exam that tests your knowledge of massage therapy and its related subjects.

3. Complete Continuing Education Requirements 

Most states require licensed massage therapists to complete continuing education (CE) credits regularly in order to renew their licenses.

CE requirements vary from state to state, but they typically involve taking courses or attending workshops on topics related to massage therapy.

4. Get Insurance 

As a massage therapist license, you’ll need to obtain liability insurance to protect yourself financially in case of any accidents or injuries during a session.

Many states also require massage therapists to carry insurance to be licensed.

5. Join A Professional Organization 

Joining a professional organization like the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is a great way to network with other professionals and stay up-to-date on industry news and developments.

Plus, many organizations offer members discounts on liability insurance and continuing education courses.

This ensures you are eligible to take a national exam called the MBLEX. MBLEx is an appreciation for the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination.

This standard exam was created to test the critical knowledge required to practice massage.

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) administers this test and has received recognition as a United States professional organization. 

6. Find A Job 

Once you’ve completed all the above steps, you’ll be ready to start looking for a job as a massage therapist!

You can search for open positions online or contact local businesses directly to inquire about opportunities.

Massage therapists’ work can be found in a wide variety of settings, including:

  • Health clubs
  • Spas
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Hospitals
  • Chiropractic offices
  • Physical therapy clinics
  • Private practices

7. Market Yourself 

In addition to finding a job, you may also want to market yourself as a freelance massage therapist.

This could involve creating a website or social media profile showcasing your work or distributing flyers or business cards in local businesses or community centers.

You may also want to offer discounted rates for new clients so that you can build up your client base quickly.

8. Set Your Rates 

When setting your rates as a freelance massage therapist, make sure to factor in your overhead costs (e.g., liability insurance), the time required for each session, and your desired profit margin.

It’s also essential to research the going rates for massage therapists in your area to be competitive while still making the income you need to support yourself financially.

Remember that you can constantly adjust your rates as needed based on feedback from clients or changes in your overhead costs!

9. Stay Up-To-Date On Industry News 

The world of healthcare is constantly changing, so it’s essential to stay up-to-date on industry news by reading trade publications or blogs, attending conferences or webinars, or participating in online forums or discussion groups related to massage therapy.

This will help ensure that you’re providing the best possible care for your clients and keeping abreast of any new developments that could impact your business!

10. Enjoy What You Do!

Last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy what you do! Helping people feel their best through the power of touch is a gratifying profession, so make sure to savor every moment—both the good and the challenging ones!

Some Massage Certifications


The massage therapy license process can vary slightly from state to state. Still, in general, it involves completing an accredited training program, passing the MBLEx exam, getting certifications, and meeting any other requirements set forth by your state’s licensing board.

Once you’ve obtained your license, you’ll be ready to start your career as a massage therapist! And don’t forget to market yourself effectively and set your rates competitively to build up a thriving clientele in no time.

Chenie Taton