The state of Michigan requires licensure of massage therapists practicing in the state, but no additional credentials are required to teach massage therapy at a massage therapy school. Licensure can be achieved by attending a 500 hour state approved secondary school, passing the MBLEX exam and passing a criminal background check. Licensure is also available by endorsement if the practitioner is licensed in another state.
Educational Requirements for Massage Instructors
Massage instructors teaching massage technique or theory courses are required to have a massage license, which requires 500 hours of massage education, a background check and passing the MBLEX exam.
As of August 2017, new students will be required to attend 650 hours of education to receive a license, but the specific curriculum in the additional 150 hours has not yet been specified. The 500 hours of education at an approved Michigan massage school must include:
- 200 Hours of massage assessment, theory and application
- 125 Hours of Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology
- 40 Hours of Pathology
- 6 Hours of Ethics
- 4 Hours of Business
- 125 Hours Electives, including at least 40 hours of supervised clinic 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. That said, current job postings for the state of Michigan do no require any experience from candidates.
Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers
Continuing education requirements are not specifically spelled out for instructors, but massage licensure requires a minimum of 18 hours of continuing education every three years.
The state of Michigan 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 Michigan if a teacher is teaching massage theory. A 3 year license costs $225, and renewals would require the additional expense of at least 18 hours of continuing education.