Requirements to Become a Massage Therapy Instructor in Illinois

The state Illinois requires that massage therapists be licensed to practice massage therapy within the state, which requires 600 hours of instruction at an approved massage school and passing the MBLEX exam.  Instructors are not required to have supplemental qualifications, but some schools require that applicants demonstrate hours of experience, requiring as much as 6,000 documented hours of hands on professional work to be considered as a candidate.

Educational Requirements for Massage Instructors

Massage instructors teaching massage technique or theory courses are required to have a massage license, which requires 600 hours of massage education and passing the MBLEX exam.  The 600 hours of education at an approved Illinois massage school must include:

  • Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and Kinesiology
  • Massage Theory, Technique and Practice
  • Contraindications, Benefits and Precautions
  • Ethics and Professionalism

Recommended Experience

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.  Some institutions in Illinios require teachers to document as many as 6,000 hours of professional experience before applying.

Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers

Continuing education requirements are not specifically spelled out for instructors, but massage licensure requires a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education every two years.

Insurance Requirements

The state of Illinois 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 Illinois if a teacher is teaching massage theory.  An initial 2 year license costs $175.  After that, licenses must be renewed every 2 years at a cost of $175, plus the cost of at least 24 hours of continuing education.

Relevant Links

Illinois Massage Therapy Board Professional Licensing Website

Illinois Massage Administrative Code

Illinois General Assembly Massage Licensing Act


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+

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