How to Obtain a Massage Therapy License

massage therapy license

Getting your first Massage Therapy License is a complex process and takes some time to complete. The best policy is to plan ahead before graduating from the training institute you are attending to become a massage therapist.


Complete Training before Obtaining Massage Therapy License


As a first step in getting your first massage therapy license, complete Massage Training Program at Accredited Massage School or State Approved Training Institute. Be sure to know your state’s rules, laws, and regulations. Become familiar with NCETMB – National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork testing eligibility requirements to prepare for testing certification for your Massage Therapy License.


Pass NCETMB before Obtaining Massage Therapy License


Secondly, take the NCETMB – National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork – This provides the highest national standard in the massage field.

  • Testing Procedure
  • Complete and sign application form
  • Provide copy of government issued ID with photo
  • Include notarized certificate or diploma, government issued ID and recent photo of yours.
  • Request your school to send a sealed copy of official transcript to NCBTMB
  • Enclose required payment – $225 is the current amount – be sure to check with NCBTMB – National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork for any possible fee changes
  • Send completed application form, supporting documentation, and examination fee
  • Applications are processed in two to three weeks time
  • You will receive an Authorization To Test (ATT) or a Letter of Incomplete Application or a Denial Letter
  • With Authorization To Test (ATT) letter you will receive information on how to make examination reservation
  • On the day of the examination you will be required to bring proper supporting ID – and for this check with NCETMB for qualified ID type
  • You will be photographed and an electronic finger print will be taken
  • On the day of the test you will receive an unofficial score report after completion. Test performance rated Pass or Fail
  • Official Score reports mailed approximately two days after taking the examination


For complete instructions and current details visit the NCBTMB web site at to know how to obtain a massage therapy license.



Check your State Requirements before Obtaining Massage Therapy License


Some states require certification of a separate state examination in addition to national testing and NCETMB provides these to several states as well. Massage Therapy licensing boards decide which certifications and tests must be taken to obtain your Massage Therapy License and supporting Credentials. This is conducted on a state-by-state requirement basis and varies from one state to the next.


Get the Credentials before Obtaining Massage Therapy License


After passing the NCETMB, you gain the credential of NCTMB or Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage. Responsibilities include renewal of this credential every 4 years, perform 200 hours of therapeutic massage and complete continuing credit requirements during this time period to remain certified. Be sure to visit the NCBTMB website for current standards and new updates.


Always review your state and local requirements where you intend to practice and be sure to keep current on your legal requirements related to massage therapy license.


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