Becoming a Massage Teacher in Wisconsin

Wisconsin established licensing for massage therapists in 2009 with Act 355Requirements for massage instructors are minimal, and any massage instructor hired after December 1st 2010 must have either two years experience as a practicing massage professional or some sort of formal massage teacher education.  It is expected that most massage therapists would opt for the 2 years of experience requirement, as formal massage teaching programs are difficult to find.

Instructors at massage schools teaching courses in  anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and pathology must have at least professional training of some sort and 2 years experience in a health related field or two years of post secondary education.

Educational Requirements for Massage Instructors

Massage therapy school instructors are required to have at least 2 years experience or have attended some sort of formal massage teacher education program.  The type of massage teacher education program is not specified.

It is also assumed that since you will be practicing massage upon students in a classroom setting, that all teachers are licensed to practice within the state of Wisconsin.

To become a licensed massage therapist, the state requires 600 hours of coursework, including:

  • Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and Kinesiology (125 hours)
  • Business, Law and Ethics (50 hours)
  • Massage Therapy Or Bodywork Theory, Technique and Practice (300 hours)
  • Student Clinic (20 hours)
  • CPR (5 hours)
  • Massage Electives (100 hours)

Massage schools must certify that a student has completed the required hours by filling out an administrative form.  Therapists must apply for a license, and pass the Wisconsin State license examination with a score of 85% or better.

The exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions.  Therapists are also required to show proof of liability insurance and current CPR certification to receive and renew a license.

Recommended Experience

Assuming the teacher has not had the opportunity to attend some form of formal massage therapy teacher education, they are required to have a minimum of 2 years professional experience.  This requirement is waved if some form of formal massage teaching education has been received.

Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers

There are no formal continuing education requirements for massage teachers, but massage therapist license holders are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education every 2 years, with a minimum of 2 hours in ethics.

Insurance Requirements

The state of Wisconsin requires all therapists to carry liability insurance.  There is no supplemental insurance requirement for massage teachers, but they should carry the baseline $1 million dollars of liability insurance that is required of massage practitioners.

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.


Initial licensure costs $150, and renewing a massage license cost $82 every 2 years, and requires additional expense for 24 hours of continuing education.  Liability insurance is also required, which varies between $199 to $235 dollars annually.

Relevant Links

Massage Therapist License Application

Wisconsin Continuing Education Requirements for Massage Therapists

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

2 comments on “Becoming a Massage Teacher in Wisconsin
  1. Michelle Alvermann says:

    Hello I was just wondering how I would go about becoming a person that can teach massage therapy course? What would be the steps that I would have to take I’ve been doing massage therapy for 8 years now and I am looking into possibly teaching the course

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Michelle – have you read our comprehensive articles on how to become a massage instructor as well as how to start your own massage business? Please do so and let us know if any specific information is missing.

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