Massage Therapy Schools & Requirements in Arizona

Arizona is known for its warm desert climate and beautiful sunsets over the Grand Canyon.  If you are considering relocating to this area to work as a massage therapist or start a massage business, be sure to check out the northern part of the state, which features beautiful mountain ranges and canyons, including the Grand Canyon.

One of the many perks of working and operating a massage business in the state of Arizona is that the climate changes, beautiful landmarks and tourist attractions bring thousands upon thousands of people here to relax and indulge in the serene atmosphere that Arizona has to offer.  So why not include a welcoming massage therapy business here for others to enjoy?

Aside from its beauty, Arizona is known for being home to many institutes that provide you as the aspiring massage specialist with the proper certification and licensing to make a successful career and dream come true.  In this article, you will discover some of the important rules, regulations, guidelines and other information regarding your pathway towards starting your massage career in the beautiful area of Arizona.

Scroll straight to the bottom to see a list of the top massage therapy schools in Arizona.

Brief Introduction

In order for you to become a massage therapist in the state of Arizona, you must obtain your massage therapy license from a State licensed organization similar to that of the National Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

For you to successfully be licensed, you must first pass one of the approved massage therapy exams.  However, if you attended a school in Arizona that is accredited by an agency recognized by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, they you may be exempt from taking an examination.  Otherwise, you are required to take either of the following exams:

These tests contain more than 120 multiple choice questions about the ethical and legal issues regarding the massage industry. Along with the certification you must have, other behavioral values like good temperament, moral character and no criminal record are required as well.

Schooling Details and Requirements (Credit Hours)

In order for you to receive your massage therapy certification, it is required that you complete 700 hours of education from a State licensed school. The list of these schools is given below. In addition to the completion of credit hours, you also must complete at least 250 hours of hands on work experience.  This work experience must include hands-on instruction, and many schools provide both First Aid and CPR certification.

Pursuing an education in the massage therapy field, as well as incorporating hands-on experience only allows you to further your success as a massage therapist in the state of Arizona.  You will learn the following subjects and techniques, giving your practice an edge up on other massage therapists:

  • Sports Injury Management
  • Rehabilitative Protocols
  • Hydrotherapy Treatment
  • Myokinetic Techniques

The test required for licensing is divided into major sections like General Knowledge of Body Systems, Knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology, Pathology, Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Assessment, Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Application, Professional Standards, Ethics, Business and Legal Practices.

Once you have successfully completed and passed the appropriate exam, you will be well on your way towards obtaining a massage therapy license.  Your official scores will be emailed to you within two business days after you have completed and left the examination room. The certificate of completion that you receive must be provided to the state in order for you to receive a massage therapy license.

Licensure Qualifying Programs

In Arizona, there are many colleges that provide you with quality massage therapy education. Some of the best institutes in the area include:

Licensing/Certification Requirements  

In order for you to receive your massage therapy license in the state of Arizona, there are a few requirements that you are required to meet,these are:

  • You must have a high school diploma in order to receive admission into a massage therapy degree program or institute.
  • You must be a citizen of the United States, or hold a green card in order for you to be accepted into any college or institute.
  • Completion of a basic written test
  • Passing of the nationally recognized NCBTMB, National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
  • A colored passport size photograph of yourself is required for your massage therapy license
  • 125 hours of experience in treating live patients.

Key Agencies / Boards Involved and Their Contact Information

The State of Arizona Board of Massage Therapy is the main organization that operates to oversee and regulate the massage therapy industry in the state.  If you would like to contact them or find out more information, please feel free to email or call them at the information mentioned below.

State of Arizona, Board of Massage Therapy, 1400 West Washington, Suite# 300
Phoenix, Arizona 85007, Email:
Phone: (602) 542-8604, Investigator/Complaints: 602-542-8225, FAX: (602) 542-8804

This is the board that provides you with a complete massage therapy license.

Requirements to Start a Massage Business in Arizona (Massage Establishment License)

To start a massage business in Arizona there are several requirements that you should be made aware of.  The following is the complete list of the information that you will need to acquire prior to opening your massage therapy practice in the state of Arizona.

  • Select the kind of business you hope to pursue.  Whether you want to be a sole proprietor or a partnership with one other practicioner.
  • Decide whether you want to provide static services of mobile massage services.
  • You should choose the name of your business early; this aids in speeding up the tax regristration process and solidifies what you will be calling your establishment.
  • If you would like, you can check into renting a room or facility in a health care facility.  By doing so, you will be exposed to those who are already in the field, as well as potential clientele.
  • Develop your relationship with yoga teachers, doctors and chiropractors in the surrounding areas.  This will help to launch your business further, additionally, if you acquire positive working relationships with these types of individuals, they can and will refer their clients to you for massage therapy services.
  • Obtain a Sellers Permit.
  • Federal tax ID EIN – This is required if you are hoping to hire on additional staff.

These are some essential steps to take while getting your business licensed in Arizona. In order to get more information please visit the link provided by clicking here.

Massage License Renewal Process

The following information is regarding the renewal process of your massage therapy license.  When your license is due for renewal, the Arizona Board of Massage Therapy will notify you by the mailing address that they have on file by a postcard or a green renewal application approximately 65 days prior to your expiration date.

It is your responsibility to renew your massage therapy license on time, whether or not you receive this renewal notice.  So please make sure that you understand, upon receiving your initial license, when you must renew and the methods of doing so.

To renew your massage therapy license, you must complete a certain amount of continuing education, CE, credits.  You are required, by the state of Arizona, to complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education credits.  12 of these hours must be completed in a workshop, seminar, lecture, conference, class or instruction related course to that of massage and the industry.  Additionally, a maximum of 12 hours must be completed in distance or correspondence learning.  The Arizona Board of Massage Therapy does not pre-approve any continuing education hours.  It is your responsibility to find out if the course is offered by an “Approved Provider”.  One good indication that a course or continuing education hour is acceptable is if it is NCBTMB approved.

Other requirements for renewing your massage therapy license include the following:

  • A renewal fee of $95
  • A legible copy of alien status document.  This document may include a Resident Card, or a Passport.
  • An Application signed and dated on the second page of the renewal form

Additional information regarding the renewal process for your massage therapy license can be found by following this link provided to you.  Here you will find all of the requirements set by the Arizona Board of Massage Therapy regarding renewal fees, rules and regulations.

Note: Specific personnel information, office addresses, fees, payments etc. may change over time. Although we do our best to keep this site up to date, please ensure you contact the state board to obtain the most recent information at the time of your application.  

Here is a list of the top massage therapy schools near you. We have an arrangement with all of them that allow you to request information for FREE. Please do so and take that first step toward a better future.

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Link to video lesson.

Read how to become a massage school instructor in Arizona here.

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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