Iowa Massage Therapy School Teaching Requirements

The state of Iowa requires massage therapists to obtain a license to practice, which requires 600 hours of education and passing the MBLEX massage exam.  Massage therapy instructors at approved massage therapy schools do not have supplemental state based requirements for licensure or experience.

Educational Requirements for Massage Instructors

Massage instructors teaching massage technique or theory courses are required to have a massage license, which requires 600 hours of massage education and passing the MBLEX exam.  The 600 hours of education at an approved Iowa massage school must include:

  • 200 hours of massage theory, contraindications, anatomy and physiology to be completed before beginning clinical practice hours
  • Up to 100 hours of hands on clinical practice hours

Recommended Experience

There are no explicit requirements beyond a license for massage therapy teachers.  Most states require at least 2 years of experience in the field before teaching massage therapy, and applicants for massage therapy teaching positions should expect that hiring institutions would prefer at least 2 years experience to consider a candidate.

Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers

Continuing education requirements are not specifically spelled out for instructors, but massage licensure requires a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education every two years.

Insurance Requirements

The state of Iowa does not explicitly require its practitioners or teachers to carry professional liability insurance.  Given that insurance costs are relatively low, and risk can be potentially high, it is a good idea to carry insurance even though it is not required.

Liability insurance is available through a massage professional organization, such as AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) or ABMP (Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals).  AMTA’s professional membership explicitly includes insurance for massage professionals working as classroom teachers.


There are no specific fees associated with becoming an massage therapy school instructor, other than the license fee to practice massage in Iowa if a teacher is teaching massage theory.  An initial 2 year license costs $120.  After that, licenses must be renewed every 2 years at a cost of $120, plus the cost of at least 16 hours of continuing education.

Relevant Links

Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Home

Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Administrative Rules & Laws

Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Licensure of Massage Therapists Statutes

Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Massage Therapy Education Curriculum

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

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