The state of Louisiana has extensive requirements for massage therapy instructors, varying by subject taught. The requirements are detailed on the Instructor Qualification page of the Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy’s Website.
In order to teach massage theory or practice, and instructor must be licensed, have 4 years hands on massage experience, and have taken at least 2 times the number of hours they will teach in that subject.
- A licensed massage therapist with at least 4 years experienced (or)
- Have a minimum of an associates degree from an accredited college in the subject they will teach (or)
- be a licensed physician, osteopath, chiropractor or registered nurse
To teach business practice, the instructor must be a massage therapist with 4 years running an independent practice or hold a minimum of a bachelors degree in the subject.
To teach massage law, rules or ethics, an instructor must be a massage therapist with 4 years experience or be a practicing lawyer in Louisiana.
To teach first aid, safety, hygiene or sanitary practices, an instructor must be a licensed massage therapists with at least 4 years experience, or a registered nurse, or have a bachelors degree in nursing.
To teach CPR, the instructor must be certified by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.
Educational Requirements for Massage Instructors
Though there are specific exceptions and alternative paths listed above, in general 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:
- 325 hours massage techniques & hands on clinical practice
- 125 hours anatomy and physiology
- 50 hours electives
Most massage therapy instructor positions require a minimum of 4 years practical experience in the field of massage therapy before becoming an instructor at a massage therapy school.
Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers
Continuing education requirements are not specifically spelled out for instructors, but massage licensure requires a minimum of 12 hours per year.
The state of Louisiana 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 Louisiana if a teacher is teaching massage theory. An initial 1 year license costs $75, plus a background check. After that, licenses must be renewed every year at a cost of $125, plus the cost of at least 12 hours of continuing education.