Massage School Requirements in Florida

The state of Florida is a very desirable place to work as a massage therapist.  Here you can enjoy the warm weather alongside the blossoming and continuous tourist seasons year-round.  Many spas, hotels and attractions geared towards the rich and famous are located right here in the “Sunny State of the United States”.

Be sure, however, to meet and exceed the requirements that are set for any and all massage therapists working in this state.  In this article, we will be offering an overview of information regarding the industry as a whole for the state of Florida.

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

Brief Summary of the Main Highlights

In the state of Florida, all massage therapy establishments and professionals operate under the Florida Board of Massage Therapy.  This particular board is a part of the Florida Department of Health and regulates, creates rules and oversees all practices regarding the massage industry in the state.  This particular board has set out to pass many laws and regulations, including terms and conditions regarding the massage workforce and other similar therapies.

It is also to be noted that there are approximately 28,000 registered massage practitioners working in the state of Florida that provide massage therapy services to the general public. In order to apply for a massage license the applicant is required to pass the National Certificate Examination for Massage. It is also worth mentioning that the Florida Board of Massage Therapy requires you to renew your license every two years along with an associated fee.

Schooling Details and Requirements (Credit Hours)

The state of Florida is the home to nearly 80 noteworthy massage schools.  In order to be eligible for acquiring a license and pursuing your massage therapy education, you must be of at least 18 years of age.  Additionally, you must either pass the Massage Certificate Program with a minimum of 500 working and training hours, or complete an Apprenticeship Training Program, which can last up to 12 months in the state of Florida.

Aside from this you must also pass a two-hour medical errors course.  Needless to say, the requirements in the state of Florida are stringent and require much attention on the applicant’s part.

Licensure Qualifying Programs

The following are some of the top quality schools that you can attend in the state of Florida, along with contact information:

  • Barbara Brennan School of Healing 500 NE Spanish River Blvd. #208 Boca Raton, FL 33431 (800)924.2564
  • Boca Beauty Academy 7820 Glades Rd. Boca Raton, FL 33434 (561)487.1191
  • International Institute for Health Care Professionals 600 South Dixie Hwy #211 Boca Raton, FL 33432 (561)394.5822
  • Bonita Springs School of Massage and Cosmetology 10915 Bonita Beach Road SE #2111 Bonita Springs, FL 34135 (239)495.0714

For detailed information about the schools and the training departments you can follow the link by clicking here.

Licensing/Certification Requirements

In order to become a registered massage practitioner in the state of Florida, you need to complete the certificate requirements that are recognized by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. Also understand that the state of Florida also accepts the Advance Exam that should be passed by the applicant with a minimum of 250 hours post graduation hands on massage therapy experience.

In addition to all this, the state of Florida also requires you to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Graduation from a recognized and approved school in the state of Florida.
  • Complete a Florida State Massage application.
  • Completion of the following courses:
    1. Two hours from taking the medical error course.
    2. HIV course comprising of 3 hours.
    3. Laws and rules of the state; 10 hours form an accredited school.
  • A complete criminal record background check.
  • Passing either of NCETM/NCETMB or MBLEx.

You can keep a tab on your application status online at this link.

Key Agencies / Boards involved and their contact information

The organization associated with regulating all massage therapy rules in the state is the Florida Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Board of Massage Therapy. The physical and the mailing address are as follows:

  • Physical: Tallahassee, Florida 32399 Phone: 850-245-4161 Fax: 850-921-6184
  • Mailing: Department of Health Payment Management PO Box 6330 Tallahassee, FL 32314

Alternatively, you can also visit the board’s official website or check here.

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

In order to start a massage business in the state of Florida, you must first complete and file an application. You can find the PDF version of the form here. You will need to include all of the requested information in order for your application to be processed successfully.  Also be aware that your application will be screened for any falsely provided information.

It is advisable to provide only true and acceptable information when submitting your application. Any false information will cause your application to be terminated.  The total application fee is $255, which includes the following:

  • $150 application fee,
  • $ 100 License fee,
  • Unlicensed activity fee is $5.

The Florida Board of Massage Therapy also requires proof of insurance.  This insurance must be in the original business owner’s name, and this individual can only receive the massage therapy license and associated benefits.

Massage License Renewal Process

Ninety days before your massage therapy license expires, the Florida Department of Health sends out a letter of notice. You can submit your renewal application online if your business meets the following criteria:

  • Does not change the license status.
  • Credit or debit card is available to complete the transaction.
  • License is not military active.
  • If the license has not been revoked and is under active status.

If the license has been renewed before the expiration date, then the total fee will be $105.  If done after the renewal date, the fee charged is $180, which includes extra levied charges.  Also understand that if your license is not renewed within 6 months of the expiration date, then the Florida Board of Massage Therapy will cancel it all together.

Massage License Reciprocity

For endorsement you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be of 18 years of age.
  • Submit application or license.
  • Have passed the high school or graduate equivalent diploma.

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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Video lesson

Read how to become a massage school teacher in Florida 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+

Posted in Certification, Massage Therapy Schools, State by State Requirements
9 comments on “Massage School Requirements in Florida
  1. regina passee says:

    I would like to what is the cost of the fees and how possible for someone from the caribbean apply?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      You first need to select the State where you want to attend school. We have articles on each State that tells you the specific requirements, costs/fees, etc. Let us know if you have any specific questions after you read these articles. Students from the Caribbean apply to US massage schools all the time.

  2. Nicole says:

    I am a cmt in delaware. I am thinking about moving to florida. I’m trying to find out if I can massage in Florida with a cmt license or do I have to take my nationals?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Did you contact FL and find out? You should be able to practice with a license. Make sure you apply for the reciprocity process if it exists between Delaware and Florida. It makes the transition simple, and in some cases instant.

  3. Sharon Jones says:

    I am a CMT in Texas. I have completed over 800 hours to receive my certification. Would I be able to practice in FL?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Sharon, given that the TX requirements are more stringent, as long as you meet the license reciprocity requirements you should be ok in terms of the hours you have. Does that help? Have you contacted the FL board? If so, can you share with us their feedback to you?

  4. Toni Crosby says:

    Hello …I have a massage practice in Georgia. i am considering a move to Florida by next summer…I have a Georgia License and I am also insured since 2007…Can i massage in Florida with these credentials? Or do i need to take a test

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Most likely yes Toni. What we would suggest is reading the most recent requirements to practice in Florida and then comparing those to the requirements you have already fulfilled in GA. If they are similar you will likely be ok. If not, you will have to plug the gap. As you know, requirements can be dynamic in that they change every now and then. Our suggestion is to have the FL regulatory agency do an evaluation of your experience and credentials (stuff you have already done and accomplished) and let them advise you on what else you need or whether you can move ahead with your practice. If the latter, then you simply have to file the forms required for the license transfer.

    • Nancy says:

      Hi Toni!
      I am curious, did you ever find out about moving to Florida with your Georgia Massage license? ? I too am planning to open a satellite office in north Florida & I currently am licensed in Georgia. .
      I am just starting the research myself however, would appreciate any info you have learned in your search.

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