Until recently, the state of Oklahoma left massage licensing up to individual municipalities to regulate as they saw fit. As of November 2015, OK Bill SB687 came into effect, and existing therapists were required to get a temporary license to practice massage within the state of Oklahoma through the Oklahoma board of Cosmetology.
As of late 2016, the state is still granting temporary licenses to grandfathered applicants because the governor has yet to appoint a massage advisory board to complete the official licensure process.
Currently, one may obtain a license by paying a $25 fee, showing proof of liability insurance and showing proof of 500 hours of education or 5 years practice experience or a passing score on the MBLEX national exam.
Given that the licensure process is so new, requirements for teachers are still minimal. They may only teach at a licensed massage school, and their school must submit an instructor qualification form for approval detailing their experience, along with proof of licensure, a statement attesting to any felony convictions and a resume documenting qualifications. Massage instructors are regulated through the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools.
Educational Requirements for Massage Instructors
Massage licensure per OK Bill SB687 will require 500 hours of instruction in massage therapy by a licensed school. An instructor must receive this training and become licensed to teach within the state of Oklahoma.
Specific curriculum has not yet been adopted, but schools will be regulated under the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools, which may at some point require a specific number of hours in various subjects. Additionally, they must pass the MBLEX national licensing exam.
There is no specific state requirement for experience to teach massage therapy within the state of Oklahoma because licensure is so new.
Teachers are required to prove relevant qualifications beyond a license, and to be approved by the State Board of Private vocational schools. Given the example of other states, it is likely that at least 2 years of experience will be expected.
Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers
Continuing education requirements are not specifically spelled out for instructors, and continuing education requirements for licensed massage therapists have yet to be adopted.
Oklahoma Bill SB 687 does reference a requirement for continuing education, but that requirement will not be established until a massage advisory board has been appointed.
The state of Oklahoma requires its practitioners or teachers to carry professional liability insurance. Specific liability claim amounts are not specified, thus the accepted 1 million in professional liability provided by most insurers will likely suffice.
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.
Final licensure fees have not been established as of yet, though a temporary license can be purchased for $25 to practice massage therapy.
Instructors will need to pay fees for licensure once they are established, as well as liability insurance fees which vary, but are typically around $200 per year for comprehensive insurance.
There is no additional state fee to become an instructor, beyond the paperwork requirement of proving qualifications.