Idaho Massage Schools & Licensing Requirements

Senate bill 1295a has changed the landscape of the massage industry in the state of Idaho.  As a massage therapist, this particular bill aims to protect and establish a more safe and effective environment for you to work. 

It is the intent of the senate to protect you, as well as your clients, by providing sufficient supervision, licensure, regulations and procedures to anyone and everyone offering massage therapy in the state of Idaho.

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

Brief Summary of the Main Highlights

The body that governs the rules related to massage and resultant therapies in the state of Idaho is known as The Idaho Board of Massage Therapy. It has been established under the command and control of the Bureau of Occupational Licenses. The state requires all massage therapists to register with the Board of Massage Therapy.

As an aspiring massage therapist, you must first file an MAS Massage Therapist application to the Idaho State Board of Massage Therapy.  In order to qualify for and to be licensed, you must choose one of the following methods:

  • Examination Application – If you decide to choose this method, then you must be new to the licensing process and/or meet certain criteria.  The following may be considered under the examination application process:
    • Completed and notarized examination application with appropriate fees attached
    • Proof of high school diploma, or an equivalent
    • Proof of being 18 years of age or older.  This may include a birth certificate, a passport, military ID, or a valid driver’s license.
    • Proof of successfully completing a massage therapy program registered pursuant to chapter 24, title 33, Idaho Code.  Otherwise, you must have a comparable authority in another state that consists of the minimum five hundred in-class supervised hours of coursework and clinic work.
    • Proof of successfully passing a nationally recognized competency examination in massage therapy approved by the Board.
  • Endorsement Application – This method is appropriate if you have been licensed in another state with requirements that are similar to Idaho’s.  However, you must provide the following under this form of application:
    • Completed and notarized endorsement application with appropriate fees.
    • Proof of your age.  You must be at least 18 years or older; acceptable documents will include birth certificate, passport, military ID or a valid driver’s license.
    • Proof of being licensed or certified and in good standing in another state with equivalent requirements to those in Idaho.  You will need to submit a copy of the laws and rules for the licensure of the state that you are coming from.
  • Grandfather Application – This form of licensure will not be available until after July 1 of 2014.  However, Idaho Code §54-4012, provides that if you are eligible for licensure as a massage therapist prior to this date, then you must submit the following:
    • Completed and notarized grandfather application with appropriate fees.
    • Proof of being 18 years of age or older with substantial documentation.

Thanks to the passing of the Senate bill 1295a, the above-mentioned applications are being accepted by the Idaho Board of Massage Therapy at this time.  Remember that it is illegal to carry out massage therapy in the state of Idaho without a valid state license.

Schooling Details and Requirements (Credit Hours)

In order to receive a massage therapy license in the state of Idaho, it is mandatory to complete a study course of 500 hours. The approved exams in this regard are the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCETM/TMB).  The NCETM/TMB examination is a 125 question massage test, which was created by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

The test was written and based on studies performed by actual massage practitioners, and changes every five years.  By doing so, the board is ensuring that the questions and information stay up-to-date and are relevant to the time of which you are taking the exam.  In addition to this exam, you must perform 100 hours of in classroom training in Anatomy and Physiology, 200 hours of massage theory training and 2 hours of massage ethics.

The other required hours must be competed in related fields such as business practices and Complimentary Alternative Medicine.

Licensure Qualifying Programs

Qualifying programs for massage therapy in the state of Idaho are carried out by 14 approved schools the list of which can be found here. The top three accredited schools are as follows:

  • College of Massage Therapy Bingham Memorial Hospital 98 Poplar Street Blackfoot, ID 83221 (208)785.3823
  • Carrington College 1122 North Liberty Street Boise, ID 83704 (877)206.2106
  • Idaho School of Massage Therapy 3551 East Overland Rd. Meridian, ID 83642 (208)343.1287

These schools, or institutions, make it possible for you to learn the necessary skills to pass the required exams to obtain your massage therapy license.

Licensing/Certification Requirements

The rules that are related to the requirements are governed by the Idaho Board of Massage Therapy under section 54-4007 of the Idaho code. The rules that are related to massage therapy in the state are known as the Rules of Idaho State board of Massage Therapy.

To send in your application, the Idaho State Board of Massage Therapy requires a $50 application fee.  If this is your first time applying for a massage therapy license, then the fee you will be asked to pay will be $75.

Because you are required to renew your massage therapy license every so often, the state of Idaho requires a $25 application fee for each expired license.  All of the information regarding any and all massage licenses in the state of Idaho is supplied on the official Idaho Board of Massage Therapy, which you can view by clicking here.

Key Agencies / Boards involved and their contact information

The sole body governing massage therapy in the state is known as the “Idaho Board of Massage Therapy”. The board itself has been established under the act of Idaho Board of Occupational licenses. The address of the board is as follows:

  • Physical address: 700 West State Street, Boise, ID 83702
  • Mailing address: PO Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0063.
  • E-mail –            Fax – (208) 334-3945              Phone – (208) 334-3233
  • For more information about the board, you can visit their website here.

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

In order to start a business in Idaho, you as the owner must apply for a Massage Establishment License. It costs $125 total to open such a business.  Out of this total, $50 is meant for the application fee, and $75 for the massage license fee.

Additionally, please be aware that starting your own massage business requires you to perform the following:

  • 200 hours of massage and bodywork assessment
  • 125 hours in body systems
  • 40 hours of pathology
  • 25 hours for general office etiquette
  • 110 hours of professional clinical work

Massage License Renewal Process

Before it expires, the state of Idaho requires that you renew your massage therapy license.  The following are the requirements as you seek renewal:

  • A complete application in the name of Idaho Board of Massage Therapy. You can find the application here.
  • All the related forms.
  • Renewal fee of $75.
  • A form stating that the therapist has continued the education.

Please be aware that the Idaho Board of Massage Therapy reviews all submitted documents prior to approving your requested renewal.  The purpose of doing so is to ensure that there are no falsifications or wrong submissions of particular documents.

If this becomes the case, then the board will take necessary actions to revoke or cancel the renewal process towards your obtaining a massage therapy license.  Typical disciplinary actions taken might include breach of disciplinary action along with the cancellation of the license.

Continuing Education

You will be required to complete at least six hours of continuing education after you renew your license for a second time. The board conducts regular annual audits to make sure that everyone meets the set requirements and provides the best service. You must complete the required continuing education hours before submitting request for renewal.

Massage License Reciprocity

Section 200 of the Idaho Board of Massage Therapy bill states all the requirements needed to fulfill Massage License Reciprocity. These include the following:

  • You, as the applicant, must hold a current license.
  • You cannot have a record of any drug offense.
  • As the applicant, you cannot have a criminal background.
  • You must possess good moral character.

The endorsement fee is $75 in total.  Be aware that you are required to hold the set qualifications equal to that which are mentioned and set by the Idaho Board of Massage Therapy.  As an applicant, all requirements mentioned above are needed to fulfill your application; otherwise your application may be rejected for endorsement.

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 Idaho 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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