Licensed Massage Therapist Requirements

Licensed Massage Therapist are regulated state by state. Each state regulates requirements, credentials, education and accreditation for each massage therapist looking to become a licensed massage therapist. Below is some resource information to help you become more familiar with becoming a licensed massage therapist.

Licensed Massage Therapist State Requirements:
Currently different states have different regulations around licensed massage therapist. The same state could also have regulations impacting massage therapy but not other forms of bodywork. As the regulation of licensed massage therapy and bodywork changes, you can anticipate the continued evolution of credential acronyms. Check your current state requirements for licensed massage therapist as well as other bodyworkers and cross reference it with your massage therapists credentials.

Licensed Massage Therapist Credentials:
The credential acronyms that suffix practitioners names are numerous. A Massage Therapist (MT) is used to generally refer to massage therapists. Therapists practicing in states that do not regulate massage may not need official credentials and use MT to indicate their craft. Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) is used by therapist that practice in a state that requires them to register with the health department and pass a written or practical examination. Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) is used by therapists practicing in states that require a license. The licenser defines the scope of the therapists practice. To become a licensed massage therapist a therapist must prove a level of education and or other requirements. Therapists can also be certified by either governmental or private agencies. There are also numerous certification agents in bodywork. The NCE, National Certification Exam is used by many states to determine applicants competence on becoming a licensed massage therapist. The NCTMB, National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork , is an independent, private, and nonprofit organization will offered 3 levels of certification by the end of 2003. NCTMB indicates certification as an entry level massage therapist. NCTM-A offers a distinction for massage therapists that have shown an advanced level of knowledge and competence in massage. NCTMB is a more encompassing certification that covers the larger bodywork scope.

Licensed Massage Therapist Education / Accreditation:
The quality of education in massage therapy and bodywork varies dramatically. Two massage accrediting agents are COMTA and IMSTAC. Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) is an independent accrediting commission of massage therapy education institutions and programs and is affiliated with the American Massage Therapy Association . In 2002, COMTA became the only accrediting licensed massage therapy and bodywork agency recognized by the US Department of Education. Among other things, this offers Title IV (federal funding and financial aid) eligibility. A second agency is the IMSTAC, Integrative Massage and Somatic Therapies Accreditation Council which is a division of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.