Are you interested in pursuing a career that allows you to help others and promote their well-being? Becoming a licensed massage therapist could be the perfect fit for you. As a massage therapist, you will have the opportunity to work with clients from all walks of life, using your skills and knowledge to help them relax, reduce stress, and alleviate pain. But before you can start working as a massage therapist, you’ll need to complete a rigorous training program and obtain a license. 

In this guide, we’ll explore what it takes to become a licensed massage therapist and provide you with the information you need to get started on this exciting career path.

5 Steps To Becoming a Massage Therapist

If you’re considering becoming a massage therapist, there are five essential steps that you’ll need to take to achieve your goal.

1. Finish massage therapy training

The first step to becoming a massage therapist is to finish massage therapy training. This usually entails completing a massage therapy program at a recognized school, which typically takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete. During this time, students will learn about the human body, various massage techniques, and other related topics.

2. Gain industry experience

After completing massage therapy training, it’s important to gain industry experience. This can be done by working at a spa, fitness center, or other related facility. Many massage therapists also choose to work for themselves and start their own private practice.

3. Pass state licensure exams

To practice massage therapy legally, individuals must pass state licensure exams. These exams typically assess a person’s knowledge of massage therapy techniques, anatomy, and other related topics. Each state has its own requirements for licensure, so it’s important to research the specific requirements for the state in which you plan to practice.

4. Get certified

Currently, 45 states have some form of licensing and regulation for massage therapy. Many states require practitioners to complete a training program, pass an examination and renew their credentials every four years. The examination may be the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB), the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), or one specifically developed by the state. Renewal of credentials with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork entails performing 100 hours of massage therapy and completing a continuing education program.

5. Keep your license updated

Finally, keeping your license updated is important by completing any necessary continuing education requirements. This ensures that you stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and trends in the industry and can continue to provide high-quality massage therapy services to your clients.

What Conditions Can Massage Therapy Treat?

Today, massage therapists play an important role in caring for a variety of medical issues, from the rehabilitation of injuries to clinical depression. Their role is to listen to their clients’ needs and provide a massage experience to treat these issues. Some of the medical issues massage therapy can be an appropriate adjunctive treatment include:

  • Low back pain
  • Upper back pain
  • Carpal tunnel-like symptoms
  • Sciatica-like symptoms
  • Calf cramps
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Knee pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ disorders)
  • Hip pain
  • Headaches
  • Iliotibial band friction syndrome

Is a Career In Message Therapy Worth It?

A career in massage therapy can be rewarding both personally and professionally. As a massage therapist, you have the opportunity to help people alleviate pain, reduce stress, and improve their overall well-being. Additionally, the demand for massage therapists is growing, with many healthcare professionals recognizing the benefits of massage therapy in treating various medical conditions.

However, it’s important to note that a career in massage therapy can be physically demanding and requires dedication to learning and mastering various techniques.

The Bottom Line

Becoming a massage therapist requires a combination of education, training, and practice. It’s important to choose a reputable school or program, gain hands-on experience, and obtain the necessary licenses or certifications.

If you are interested in learning more about a career in massage therapy, you should consider committing to AIAM’s School of Massage. These rigorous programs focus on giving prospective massage therapists the holistic and practical skills to connect, comfort, relieve and assist patients with overall wellness.


What qualifications do you need to massage?

The qualifications required to become a massage therapist vary from country to country and state to state. However, in general, you need to complete a recognized massage therapy program and obtain a license or certification to practice as a massage therapist.

What is the highest level of massage therapy?

The A.A.S. degree in Massage Therapy stands as the most esteemed and optional certification that one can obtain as a massage therapist.

Which course is best for massage therapist?

Here are some popular and valuable courses for massage therapists: 

  • Diploma in Spa Therapy.
  • Diploma in Massage.
  • Diploma in Beauty Therapy.
  • Certificate in Western Spa Therapies.
  • Certificate in Indian Head Massage.
  • Certificate in Aromatherapy.

Where do massage therapists make the most money?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the states where massage therapists make the most money on average are Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.

What are the 7 basic massage?

The 7 basic types of massage are Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, trigger point massage, reflexology, shiatsu massage, and Thai massage.

What is the easiest massage to learn?

The easiest massage to learn is likely the Swedish massage. It’s a gentle and relaxing massage technique that uses long strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the topmost layers of muscles.

Ready to Start Your Career as a Massage Therapist?

Apply Now