Illinois is the 5th most populous state in the U.S. and Chicago the 3rd most populous city, making the state of Illinois an excellent one for practicing as a massage therapist or establishing your business. There are also a large number of massage therapy schools in Illinois, offering ample opportunities to you as a future therapist.
In this article, you will find more information on licensure, how to apply and renewals as you pursue your massage therapy license in the state of Illinois. As you embark on this journey, be open minded, ready for opportunities to arise, all the while following the rules and regulations.
By doing so, you will one day become a very successful massage therapist here in the state of Illinois.
Scroll straight to the bottom to see a list of the top massage therapy schools in Illinois.
Brief Summary Of The Main Highlights
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation provides rules and oversight for the massage industry in the state of Illinois. Here, as you work towards your license, you will find that there are several stipulations that you must follow prior to becoming a licensed massage therapy professional in this particular state.
Understand that you must be at least 18 years of age and be of good moral character. Good moral character includes no convictions of crime, or else your application will be revoked. As you continue reading, you will find what it takes to become a professional massage therapist here in Illinois.
Schooling Details And Requirements (Credit Hours)
Illinois takes pride in the schooling that it offers, particularly to those who pursue a professionally licensed career, such as massage therapy.
Education is one of the requirements you will find is imperative to your obtaining a license in Illinois. Not only is it a requirement for you to fulfill, it is also a great way to supplement your massage therapy career.
Below are the requirements set by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for you to look into and pursue. You must choose one of the following:
- As of January 1st, 2014, you are required to have successfully completed a massage therapy program with a minimum of 600 hours, approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and have passed a competency examination approved by the Department;
- Or, you must hold a current valid massage therapy license from another jurisdiction having licensure requirements that include the completion of a program of at least 500 hours.
Licensure Qualifying Programs
There are 44 approved schools in Illinois that provide the adequate education that is required of you. A partial list is included below for your consideration. For a complete list you can visit this site.
- Rasmussen College, 2363 Sequoia Drive, Aurora, IL 60506
- Alvareita’s College, 5400 West Main, Belleville, IL 62226, Email: email@example.com
- Northwestern College, 7725 South Harlem Ave., Bridgeview, IL 60445
- Everest College, 6880 North Frontage Road #400, Burr Ridge, IL 60527
- John A. Logan College, 700 Logan College Rd., Carterville, IL 62918
- Parkland College, 2400 West Bradley Ave., Champaign, IL 61821
- Cortiva Institute, 17 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60602
- Marco Polo Schools, 4011 West School Ave., Chicago, IL 60641, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To fill out your application, be sure to visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for a printable application, or stop by their office to pick one up. You can visit their website by following this link. To receive a 2-year license, you must submit completed application forms together with the required documentation, an electronic scan of fingerprints done by an approved vendor and the fee of $175 to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The required documentation includes:
- Application form
- An official transcript or supporting documents issued by the school that you attended
- Criminal Background Check
Additionally, you must also instruct the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) to forward an official report of your examination records directly to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The following is the information you will need to have your scores and records sent to:
Documentation to be sent to:
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
ATTN: Division of Professional Regulation
P.O. Box 7007
Springfield, IL 62791
As for the fingertip scan, you must have this completed by an approved vendor. You may visit the website linked here to find one of the approved companies.
Illinois law requires that you as the licensee of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation keep the Department notified of your current address. This means that if you choose to relocate, or move your business to another city, you must notify and update your records through the Department. This can be done through submission to the above address or online at their website.
Key Agencies / Boards involved and their contact information
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is the primary organization for overseeing and regulating the massage industry in Illinois alone. This particular profession was placed under the jurisdiction of the Department in 2003.
There are seven members that serve on the Board. Of these seven members, six are actual massage therapists who have had at least three years of massage experience and the last member is simply a “public member”.
If needed, the Board will advise the Secretary on any matters or issues involving professional conduct, disciplinary actions and qualifications that are required of you or other candidates for licensing.
If you would like to contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to speak with any of the Board members, please feel free to do so. The following is the information for you to use for contacting them:
Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
Massage Therapy Licensure
320 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor
Springfield, IL 62786
Phone: (800) 560-6420
Fax: (217) 782-7645
Requirements To Start A Massage Business in Illinois (Massage Establishment License)
Although you can pursue a very comfortable career as a massage therapist in a variety of locations, opening your own massage business is very rewarding and offers many benefits. In the state of Illinois, in order for you to open your own massage business, you must follow some simple, yet tedious, guidelines.
Here, the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network is available to you to help guide and direct you as you pursue your own massage therapy business. The Illinois Entrepreneurship Network was established to provide counseling and training to those who hope to open their own business, among other services.
This Network is a great place for you to find information regarding a sole proprietorship, and also is an excellent aid in providing you with the support you might need to continue on the path to your entrepreneurship endeavor.
There is a help line that you can contact for business information, it is 1-800-252-2923, or you can visit their website at www.ienconnect.com.
The state of Illinois has provided a very helpful document for you to refer to as you pursue opening and starting your own massage establishment. It is a free e-book, and can be found by following this link.
In this e-book you will find many helpful tips and guidelines, including how to create a business plan, forms you will need to fill out and submit, tax information and various laws and acts that will apply to your massage business.
Be sure to follow all of the rules and regulations as closely as possible, as it will create additional success for you and your organization as a whole.
Massage License Renewal Process
After 2-years, the state of Illinois requires that you renew your license the last quarter of an even-numbered year. You can renew your massage therapy license either online or in person at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The law requires you to complete 24 hours of continuing education over the two-year period starting with your second renewal. The 24 hours must be earned in the current renewal period, and excess hours cannot be used to meet the next renewal period requirement. For approved continuing education requirements you can check this site.
Massage License Reciprocity
If you hold a valid and current massage therapy license from another state, then you can file an endorsement application with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation along with the $175 fee and the following:
- Certification, on forms provided by the Department, of successful completion of an approved and substantially similar massage therapy program. If the program does not meet the required number of hours, the Department may require you to complete additional coursework prior to licensure;
- Certification from the state in which you are currently licensed and practicing, including the license number, the time during which you were licensed in that state and stating whether you have been convicted of a crime or undergone any disciplinary actions;
- A copy of your examination records and scores forwarded directly from NCBTMB or FSMTB;
- Either a verification of electronic fingerprint processing from the Illinois Department of State Police; or one of the Illinois State Police approved vendors submitted to one of the Illinois State Police approved vendors, accompanied by the fee specified by the vendor.
If you would like more information on the rules and regulations for massage therapy in the state of Illinois, then you can visit this site.
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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- Massage Therapy
- Massage Therapist
Prepare for a Career That You Will Love … in Massage Therapy!
Do you want a career that offers the satisfaction of helping people and a work environment that is positive and exciting? With the education you will receive at the Virginia School of Massage, that career can be yours.
- Professional Massage Therapy Program
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- Massage Therapy - Diploma
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- Massage Therapy Diploma
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As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.
- Occupational Therapy Assistant (AS)
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- AAS - Occupational Therapy Assistant
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- The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
- Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
- Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling