- Massage Therapist
- Master Massage Therapist
- Master Massage Therapist, Instructor
To become a licensed massage therapist, a student must have 500 hours of education at an approved Arkansas massage therapy school. Once they have 2 years experience and 125 hours of continuing education, they can apply to become credentialed as a Master Massage Therapist.
With the new designation, the therapist can now teach continuing education courses. Add on another 3 years experience practicing as a Master Massage Therapist, as well as 250 more continuing education hours, and they can now apply to be credentialed as a Master Massage Therapist Instructor.
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. Those 500 hours must include:
- 175 Hours of Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and Contraindications
- 225 Hours of Massage Technique
- 25 Hours of Hydrotherapy, electotherapy and heliotherapy
- 25 Hours of hygiene and infection control
- 25 Hours of Massage Business, Law, Management and Ethics
- 25 Hours of Massage Related Electives
Past receiving a massage license, the instructor must become credentialed as a Master Massage Therapist which requires 125 hours of additional continuing education and then as a Master Massage therapist Instructor, which requires an additional 250 hours of continuing education. In total, the instructor will have 875 hours of professional education, over 6 years of study and practical experience time.
A Licensed Master Massage Therapy Instructor must have at least 5 years of professional experience, two of those years as a massage therapist, and then another 3 years as a Master Massage Therapist, before applying for an upgraded license to become a Master Massage Therapy Instructor. This is significantly more experience than most states require.
Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers
Continuing education requirements are not specifically spelled out for instructors once they have become Licensed Massage Therapy Instructors. In order to achieve the Instructor designation, 375 hours of continuing education are required above and beyond the initial 500 hours of massage therapy education.
The state of Arkansas 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.
The fee to become a licensed massage therapist is $180 for the initial license, and then another $30 per year for renewal. To upgrade to a Master Massage Therapist License is $155, with a $40 annual renewal.
The final upgrade to a Master Massage Therapy Instructor License is another $155, and $45 per year for renewal. In addition, the instructor will need to pay for 375 hours of continuing education beyond their initial 500 hours of massage licensure school.