Become a Massage Therapist

How to Become a Massage Therapist

Want to become a massage therapist and wondering where to start? Here are the steps to take for your massage therapy career.

First, check out the following resources, if you haven't already:

Still think a career in massage therapy is right for you? Great! Here is an overview of the process.

  • Determine what the state or local requirements are for massage therapy certification in the area you want to work. Most states require around 500 hours from an accredited school before you can become licensed to practice there.

  • Select a massage school that offers the types of massage therapy you're are interested in.

  • Complete the required coursework and clinic hours at the school of your choice. Congratulations, you are now ready to start practicing massage therapy!

  • Apply for your state or local massage therapy license. This may be called massage therapy certification or registration in some states.

  • Purchase massage therapy insurance. You are nearly always required to carry your own massage therapy liability insurance, but occasionally an employer will cover you with their insurance. Check with your prospective employer if you think this is the case.

  • Some employers will hire you as an employee and others will hire you as an independent contractor.

  • If you will be working as an independent contractor, you may need to obtain an independent contractor license for each city in which you work. Your massage school can provide you with information for what is required in your area. Also, you can call or visit each city's website for local requirements.

  • Planning to start your own business? You will need to obtain a business license and insurance in addition to your massage therapist liability insurance. Massage therapy schools typically do not give adequate training in this area, so you will need to education yourself further in starting and running a business if this is the path you choose.