Requirements to teach massage therapy in the state of North Carolina are set out in the Rules and Regulations of the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy. In general, massage therapy teachers at massage schools are required to be licensed therapists and have a minimum of 2 years professional experience.
They’re also required to have received instruction in instruction methods, and maintain certain skills including presentation skills.
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 and passing the MBLEX exam.
The specific curriculum is not set out by the North Carolina Massage therapy board, other than to specify that the schools be approved by the state to offer licensure programs.
In addition to licensure, massage therapists must also pass a background check.
There are certain exceptions to the licensure rule, assuming that an individual has other qualifications to teach, including:
- The massage therapy instructor has a baccalaureate degree from an accredited post-secondary institution with at least 12 semester credit hours of academic course work in the subject area they teach.
- The massage therapy teacher is a licensed physician, dentist, chiropractor, osteopath, registered nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, acupuncturist.
- The massage therapy instructor holds a state license or certification from a state other than North Carolina in massage and bodywork therapy for at least two years.
In addition to these requirements, massage therapy instructors at accredited massage therapy schools must also receive instruction in:
- Presentation skills
- Development and implementation of lesson plans
- Dynamics of the teacher/student relationship
- Management of the classroom environment
- Evaluation of student performance
- Instructional strategies for the adult learner
- Accommodations for students with special needs
- Knowledge of the school’s administrative policies and procedures
All massage therapy school instructors are required to have a minimum of two years of professional practice experience after completing licensure within the state of North Carolina.
Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers
To maintain a professional license, which is required to teach massage therapy, an instructor must complete a minimum of 24 continuing education hours every 2 years.
The state of North Carolina 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 North Carolina, which is $150 for the initial license, plus a $20 application fee and $40 background check fee. License renewals cost $100 every 2 years.