Legal Regulations and Requirements for Licensing and Certification

Most states regulate the practice of massage therapy and accreditation of massage therapy schools. The process entails certification, licensing, and registration. A certification is documentation that a massage therapist has gone through training. It does not allow someone to practice the therapy, but simply acknowledges the person had training. A license is a document from the government that gives permission to do massage therapy. Licenses will have a set of standards that have to be obtained and a stipulation about training. Registration is a government document that lists your certifications, license, and length of time you have held your license. Licensing and certification information is posted for the public on government websites.

An accredited training program records the criteria for admission to document that a person has met the state standards for entrance into the program. In states with a regulatory board, the program logs in classes and practical trainings. Once all classes and expectations meet the standards, the program issues a certificate and the student graduates. The program or the student then contacts the board to register for the exam. Exam scores are sent to the board. The board documents the information and issues the license. Once the license is issued, it is recorded for registration purposes in the state archives that this person is certified and licensed to practice massage therapy. If there is no regulatory board issuing licenses, the decision is made by local authorities or the person is expected to contact the appropriate state agencies for information on the process.