Massage Therapist Credentials

Massage Therapist Tulsa manipulates a client’s soft body tissues (muscles, tendons, and connective tissue). Massage therapists may specialize in one or more types of techniques.


Medical massage therapists work in hospitals or clinics, often at a patient’s bedside. They must be flexible and adjust to the healthcare environment, which can involve interruptions and working around medical equipment.

If you have an interest in health and wellness and enjoy working with your hands, then massage therapy may be the right career for you. It’s an exciting and rewarding field that offers the opportunity to help people feel better physically, emotionally and mentally.

The first step is getting the necessary training to become a certified massage therapist. Many states require a minimum of 500 to 1,000 hours in an approved program. These programs may be offered at community colleges, vocational schools or private institutes. There are also programs that are available online and incorporate an in-person component.

Depending on your state’s requirements, most massage therapy programs include a combination of in-class studying and hands-on practice. For example, it require 130 hours of anatomy and physiology with a minimum of 40 hours of kinesiology, 50 hours of pathology and 265 hours of theory and practice. Most massage programs also include a student clinic, where students work with clients under the supervision of instructors and trainers.

Massage therapists must also complete a course in CPR to ensure they can respond to an emergency situation. In addition, all massage therapists must be aware of the general guidelines set by their state’s Board of Regents and professional organizations.

While many people choose to pursue a full-time massage therapist career, there are also some who use this as a second career or as an alternative to traditional employment. In fact, about half of all massage therapists are self-employed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a popular choice for people who want to control their schedule and be able to focus on a particular client base.

While massage therapists can work in any setting, it is often preferable for them to have access to massage equipment and a space that will allow them to work comfortably. In addition, they may need to travel in order to see their clients, especially if they are working as independent contractors. This can be challenging for some people, particularly if they have other commitments or children.

Licensing Requirements

Obtaining your massage therapist license can be a lengthy process. Many states require that you complete an approved education program and pass a national certification exam. In addition, you may have to fulfill state regulations and complete a licensing application. You can find more information about these requirements by visiting your state’s regulating department website. Often, these websites contain a lot of information about the specific laws and regulations for Massage Therapists making it difficult to find the information you are looking for.

Approved massage therapy programs include courses in human anatomy and physiology, hygiene, and therapeutic techniques. Some have a hands-on clinical component where students practice on actual clients under the supervision of a professional massage therapist. Some schools offer additional coursework in areas such as sports medicine and spa management.

Most states require that you complete a minimum number of massage therapy practice hours to meet the licensing requirements. These may be as few as 500 hours of classroom and clinical training, or as many as 1,000. Some massage therapists choose to pursue a credential through non-governmental organizations in order to avoid the requirement of completing a licensure examination.

Once you have completed your education and fulfilled all other requirements, you will be ready to sit for the massage therapist licensure exam.

While completing your licensure requirements, you should consider getting Massage Therapy insurance. This can help protect you against unforeseen expenses and legal complications. Many Massage Therapy insurance policies have different coverage limits based on whether you are a full-time or part-time Massage Therapist.

Massage Therapists are required to maintain documentation of all sessions with clients, as well as any other relevant information. They must also follow strict confidentiality guidelines in order to protect the privacy of their clients. Moreover, Massage Therapists must not disclose any confidential or private information to anyone, except for the client’s recommending physician or medical professionals. This obligation extends beyond the course of a client’s treatment, and extends to any subsequent communications with that client.

Certification Requirements

The word “credential” is a term that means “something that proves that you are qualified for something.” For massage therapists, professional certification is a credential that demonstrates that you have completed advanced or specialized training. You must meet minimum education requirements and pass a certification exam to become certified. Some states also require massage therapists to get licensed before they work. Licensing typically involves meeting minimum education and training standards, passing a massage examination, and adhering to a code of ethics.

Almost all massage therapy programs require you to complete at least 150 hours of clinical practice in our Academic Health Care Teaching Clinic. This gives you the opportunity to learn and practice a variety of massage techniques under the supervision of instructors, as well as gain hands-on experience in working with real clients.

In addition to supervised clinical work, you will also take classes that cover the fundamentals of massage therapy, including anatomy and physiology (including the location, structures and functions of skin-integumentary, muscular (including origins, insertions and actions), skeletal, lymphatic, cardiovascular, digestive, immune and respiratory systems); pathology; client assessment; and professional ethics. Your school may also offer options to add specialized coursework in areas such as rehabilitative and sports massage, myofascial release, cranial sacral therapy, integrative medical massage, reflexology, and energy medicine.

Once you have successfully completed your degree program, you will be ready to sit for the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) administered by the FSMTB. Some states use their own state exam instead, and some only require the national certification exam.

A professional massage certification can help you stand out from other therapists and attract more clients to your practice. It is a great way to demonstrate that you have taken additional training to expand your skillset or gain experience in a particular area of practice, such as working with pregnant women, athletes, the elderly, or those recovering from cancer and other medical conditions.

If you have questions about your state’s licensing or credentialing requirements, we recommend that you contact your state’s massage therapy regulatory agency directly to find out more information.

Work Environment

Whether working in a spa, a sports clinic or self-employed as a sole practitioner, Massage Therapists must maintain professionalism before, during, and after their sessions. This includes treating patients with respect and ensuring they have informed consent. Additionally, Massage Therapists must adhere to professional codes of ethics.

A successful Massage Therapist has a passion for the profession and loves to work with people. They take the time to identify their ideal clients and have a strong desire to provide them with a positive experience. They also understand the value of client retention and referral business. Massage therapists who excel at customer service are able to establish trust with their clients, leading to long-term relationships and continued success.

Massage Therapy is a physically demanding career. Successful therapists use good posture and body mechanics to avoid injuries, and they take care of their own physical health by eating well and exercising regularly. They also practice stress management techniques to keep their energy levels high and are mindful of their body’s limits.

As a client-facing position, Massage Therapists must be empathetic towards their clients’ emotional and physical needs. However, they must be able to maintain healthy boundaries with their clients and not let themselves become emotionally entangled in the process. Whether they are in a spa setting or at a client’s home, Massage Therapists must be able to set themselves apart from the crowd and make their clients feel special.

Many Massage Therapists enjoy flexible schedules and the freedom of self-employment. For example, a massage therapist who works out of their own home may be able to offer flexible appointment times for their clients or travel with portable equipment to a client’s location.

In addition, some Massage Therapists expand their professional skills and qualifications by combining roles like massage therapist with other health or fitness-related careers. This can allow them to reach a wider audience of potential clients, and grow their revenue streams. In addition, these supplementary roles can add value to the massage therapist’s services and help to distinguish them from their competition. For example, a Massage Therapist can offer additional services like fitness and nutrition coaching to their clients to enhance the overall client experience.