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Massage Therapy Credentials

When you have credentials in your field of work, it gives a sense of legitimacy to your clients or customers. For massage therapists, credentials are important. Massage therapist credentials provide the customer with proof of your competency.


Most states require massage therapists to be licensed, registered, or certified. It is illegal to work as a massage therapist without one of those three things. There may be a state-specific exam required, or you may have to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx), which is offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.


As a massage therapist, you may choose to become certified through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). This board certification demonstrates that you possess all the necessary skills to practice in the field of massage therapy.


The recommended number of in-class hours for massage therapist training is 500. These hours must include anatomy and physiology, the study of organs and tissues, kinesiology, pathology, business management, ethics, and the theory and practice of massage therapy. Every state has its own set of regulations, so make sure to check with yours to find out specifics. Programs may focus on specialties or modalities of massage. Many programs will help with job placement, as well. It is also important to be certain the massage therapy class is accredited. To even begin with a massage therapy education, you must have graduated from high school or have a GED.

Professional Association

Founded in 1943, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is a non-profit, professional association for massage therapists. Membership to this organization provides a higher level of professional representation. There is a minimum educational requirement and a responsibility to pursue continuing education. AMTA also has a stringent code of conduct that is expected of its massage therapists.

Past The Credentials: Personal Traits

To be a respectable massage therapist and one who is highly sought after, you should have excellent interpersonal, communication, decision-making, and time management skills. Massage therapists should also possess strength and stamina due to the extended periods of time standing and using upper body strength to perform the massages. You should also have integrity as well as empathy. If this sounds like you, then go get started on your career. Training begins at a massage therapy school near you.

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