Read the requirements to attend massage schools in California.
California is one of the most beautiful and attractive states to live and work in. And while it is also one of the most populated states in the country, it is also home to the most trained massage therapists in America.
There are 43,200 professional massage therapists in the state. Additionally, there is quite a bit of variation when it comes to the California massage therapist salary.
Depending upon the location you decide to settle into, your salary will differ among others. For example, in Anaheim, California your salary could range from $35,000 to $65,000 a year; to whereas, in San Francisco, salaries are much higher ranging from $40,000 to about $70,000 a year.
Continue reading this article to find out more information regarding the massage industry in California. Come be a part of such a beautiful, opportunistic region in the United States.
Scroll straight to the bottom to see a list of the top massage therapy schools in California.
Requirements to Attend Massage Schools in California
The state of California is a promising place to complete and obtain your massage therapy certification. To support that, the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) has created and regulates the massage industry in this particular state.
In this article you will find the rules and regulations, massage therapist certification process and what massage schools in California are the best for following your dream of becoming a massage therapist.
You must fully complete the requirements stated below. Keep in mind however that competition is vast in California.
Continue reading to find out more on how you can become a fully certified and successful massage therapist in the state of California.
Note: California grants a State certification or local City Permits to practice massage. Only those with the state certification from CAMTC are allowed to call themselves CMT (Certified Massage Therapist).
Practitioners who opt not to get the California state certification for massage need to get a permit from each of the cities / localities in which they plan to practice massage. Each city has its own requirements.
Schooling Details and Requirements (Credit Hours)
Massage therapy schools in California were created under the California Massage Therapy Council to provide you as the aspiring massage therapist the most qualified and exceptional education available in the United States.
With clear standards and professional instruction you can become one of the following in California:
- A Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) – to become a CMT you must meet the required minimum of 500 hours of massage education and training at approved massage schools in California.
- A Certified Massage Practitioner (CMP) – the CMP is not required to undergo as much education, but must complete at least 250 hours of education and training.
After you have begun your education you will find that the approved massage therapy schools in California provide you with all the courses you need to become fully certified to work in the entire state of California.
Additionally, the fees are very affordable and the education is beyond compare. At the California Massage Therapy Council website, you can find printable brochures and posters that fully describe the education process in the state of California. You can find these printable documents by visiting the link provided here.
The school you decide to attend must be nationally accredited and state approved by the California Bureau for Private Post secondary Education, a California community college, or an approved school by another body listed in California Business and Professions Code Section 4600(a).
It is important to note that the Council does not accredit the massage schools in California, but it does approve schools in the state of California.
License Qualifying Massage Schools in California
The following is a brief list of some of the approved massage therapy schools in the state of California.
However, there are other massage schools in California (more than 40) that you can look into prior to choosing your education. You may visit this website to locate additional massage therapy schools in California.
25 South Raymond Ave. #300
Alhambra, CA 91801
2215 W. Mission Road
Alhambra, CA 91803
1126 North Brookhurst Street
Anaheim, CA 92801
1533 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94709
3580 Wilshire Blvd. #400
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Depending upon your education and career path, there are differing licensing and certification requirements that are not set by massage schools in California.
The following is a brief description of each career pathway set by the California Massage Therapy Council:
250-499 Hours of Massage Education
Consequently this particular career path grants you the title of becoming a CMP, or Certified Massage Practitioner. If you want to learn more about this career path, you may visit this link.
However if you want to become a Certified Massage Practitioner, you must have 250 massage education hours, including 100 hours in anatomy and physiology, contraindications, health and hygiene, and business and ethics at approved massage schools in California.
To apply to become a Certified Massage Practitioner, visit this website provided by the California Massage Therapy Council in which you will find the forms and online payment options for applications.
500+ Hours of Massage Education
If you have at least 500 hours of massage education, then you are eligible for applying to become a CMT, or Certified Massage Therapist in California.
Hence, 250 hours of this should come from approved massage schools in California, with the remaining 250 hours required coming from an approved school, or from a continuing education provider. To apply for a Certified Massage Therapist, please visit this provided link.
Most noteworthy in the state of California is the requirement to take and pass either the MBLEx or the NCETMB examinations, only if you are applying to become a Certified Massage Therapist, rather than the Certified Massage Practitioner. For additional information about these examinations, please visit the following linked websites:
- MBLEx – the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination
- NCETMB – the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
To apply to become a certified massage therapist in California, be sure to look over the CAMTC Application Checklist. The required documents and actions that you must take for applying include the following:
- Download and fully complete the CAMTC Application for Certification
- Find and send in your school transcripts to the California Massage Therapy Council
- Send in proof of your passing an exam, although passing an exam is not a requirement
- Send in your scanned fingerprints completed in the State of California – The live scan instructions can be found here.
- Pay your application fee of $150
- Submit a passport size photo
- Photocopy and send in your driver’s license or state ID
Key Agencies/Boards involved and their contact information
The California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) is the main governing organization that oversees and regulates the massage industry within the state of California.
Thus the purpose of the Council is to provide instruction and rules for the massage therapist certification process, to protect the public and to enforce laws and regulations as they relate to the massage profession.
The Mission of the CAMTC is “to protect the public by certifying qualified massage professionals in California.” This Council was created by the California Legislature through the enactment of California Business and Professions Code Section 4600 et seq.
If you would like to contact the California Massage Therapy Council about the massage therapy licensing process or the rules and regulations, please visit their website or consider the following information:
The California Massage Therapy Council
1 Capitol Mall, Suite 320
Sacramento, CA 95814
Requirements to Start a Massage Business in California
To start a massage business in California, it is advised that you contact and pursue assistance from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
Additionally, contacting the California Small Business Development Center is a step in the right direction as well. You can visit this website to learn more about them. Starting your business here involves many decisions, forms and fees.
Below is a list of some of the important information you will need to plan, prepare and operate your business in California:
- Research and Plan for your business prior to opening. This may include contacting the Small Business Development Center and writing out your goals and business plans. Hence you must figure out how you plan to raise money and how you hope to become successful.
- Choose a Location. Choosing the right location for your massage therapy business is very important, especially in such a large state such as California. For that reason, consider zoning regulations and ease of access. Visit this website to learn more about location choices.
- Decide How to Finance Your Business. You need to figure out how you will operate with the adequate amount of money and funding. Hopefully your goal is to grow and become successful, but this all begins with the adequate amount of monetary support.
- Choose Your Business Structure. Are you planning to be a sole proprietor, a partnership or a corporation? After you have decided on this, you will need to register with the state and set up the appropriate taxes for your organization.
- Name Your Business. Naming your business must be completed legally. Fictitious business names must be obtained through your local county Clerk Recorder office. You can find your local Clerk Recorder by clicking here.
Massage Certification Renewal Process
Massage schools in California most likely cannot help you with re certification or renewal processes. Thus you must renew your massage therapy certification every 2-years after you initially receive your certification. To renew, you may complete one of the following two requirements:
You can recertify 6-weeks before your certification expires. The California Massage Therapy Council will notify you by email or mail that your certificate is about to expire and that you need to renew. Thus you have enough time to update all contact information 30 days prior to recertification; this is considered a courtesy to the Council.
The two-year renewal fee is $150. However if you are late renewing your massage therapy certificate, then the Council may penalize you with a late fee.
Finally, once your certification has expired, you will not be able to recertify online, you must either be present or mail your application in. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Council at the following:
By Phone: 916-669-5336; or
By Mail: 1 Capitol Mall, Suite 320 – Sacramento, CA 95814
Massage Certificate / License Reciprocity
To be granted the title of Certified Massage Therapist in California through reciprocity, you must however first hold a valid certificate or license issued by another United States state or Canadian province whose licensing requirements meet or exceed California requirements.
So if your massage education is from a school in another country or a non-qualifying Canadian province, then please follow this link for the “CAMTC Policies Regarding Massage Education Received Outside of the United States.”
Although if your current massage certificate or license in another State is expired, make sure you first reactivate it before you apply for reciprocity.
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.
Below are top massage schools in California near you. We have an arrangement with all of them that allow you to request information for FREE.
Blue Cliff College was founded in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1987 with the goal of becoming one of the most respected Massage Therapy training centers in the nation. In June of 1989, the College in Louisiana received its Proprietary School License from the state. In 1998, the Continuing Education College was proud to receive accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) is a recognized accrediting agency by the US Department of Education.
- Massage Therapy - Diploma
- Massage Therapy
- Massage Therapy
At American Institute, we believe you can become whatever you want to be, and we’re ready to help you get there. We pride ourselves on working hard to deliver quality, innovative education to our students that gives them the skills to begin or enhance their careers. We try to help our students meet their goals of changing or enhancing their careers, and also help prospective employers of our graduates in meeting the workforce needs of the 21st century while actively participating in the communities we operate within.
- Massage Therapy
Cortiva Institute School of Massage Therapy's innovative program will help you learn the art of massage therapy and introduce you to a range of career opportunities. Through a holistic approach to education, you'll be well-trained to work in clinics, hospitals, health clubs, spas, with sport teams, or to start a private practice.
Classes start November 13!
- Professional Massage Therapy
Dorsey has been a trusted career training school in Michigan for over 80 years!
We offer training programs designed to prepare our students for careers in fields such as healthcare, beauty, culinary, and skilled trades
- Massage Therapy
- Massage Therapy
Get a hands-on education at Lincoln Tech. Designed for today’s tough job market, our in-depth programs cover many fields including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, Automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Programs vary by campus.
- Massage Therapy
Pursue your education with Platt College (Oklahoma). We offer hands-on training programs in the culinary arts, allied health, and nursing fields.
*Programs vary by location.
*High school diploma or GED required.
*Licensed by OBPVS.
- Massage Therapy
Arizona College prepares students to work in the 'real world' of medicine. With the use of lecture and laboratory teaching, we provide our students with hands on experience.
- Massage Therapy