The state of New Jersey began licensing massage therapists in September of 2012. To practice massage in New Jersey, a therapist must have 500 hours of education at an approved massage school and pass a background check. To teach massage therapy, a massage therapy instructor must hold a valid license in the state of New Jersey or a comparable license in the state in which they reside.
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. The 500 hours of education at an approved New Jersey massage school must include:
- 90 Hours of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology
- 100 Hours of Supervised Clinical Practices
- Ethics, Law, Theory and Practice as well as massage related electives
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 20 hours of continuing education every two years, including at least 2 hours in professional ethics.
The state of New Jersey 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 New Jersey if a teacher is teaching massage theory.
An initial 2 year license costs $195 plus $78 for a background check. After that, licenses must be renewed every 2 years at a cost of $120, plus the cost of at least 20 hours of continuing education.