As one of the most northern states in the United States, Massachusetts is a small state with much to offer you as an aspiring massage therapist. Here, American history is rich, being the home of Plymouth Rock and Harvard University. Many people visit Massachusetts for the weather, historical aspects and to just “get away”. Here you can make a substantial living as a massage therapist. The incomes are great and the opportunities are abounding.
Scroll straight to the bottom to see a list of the top massage therapy schools in Massachusetts.
Brief Summary of the Main Highlights
Massachusetts has set forth extensive schooling, licensing, renewal and reciprocity guidelines for you as an aspiring massage therapist to abide by. It is very important for you to follow all of these requirements as they are. Continue reading to find out more about the information you will need as either a new or seasoned massage therapist here in Massachusetts.
Schooling Details and Requirements (Credit Hours)
The state of Massachusetts requires that you obtain at least 650 hours of in class supervised classroom credits from an approved massage therapy school or program. The breakdown of the total 650 hours is as follows:
- 550 of these hours should be of academic courses including:
- 100 hours of Anatomy and Physiology
- 45 hours of Pathology
- 45 hours of Kinesiology
- 300 hours in supervised classroom Massage Theory and Techniques
- 60 hours in Business Ethics, Professionalism and Practice
- The remaining 100 hours must be from an unpaid, supervised clinical or internship.
In addition to the educational requirements, it is recommended that you take one of the following licensing exams although it is not required in the state of Massachusetts.
- MBLEx – Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination
- NCETM/NCETMB – National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
Licensure Qualifying Programs
There are several approved massage therapy schools that provide the required curriculum for your massage therapy license. The following is a list of these schools and programs along with their contact information.
Bristol Community College
11 Field Road
Attleboro, MA 02703
365 Westgate Drive
Brockton, MA 02301
70 Everett Avenue
Chelsea, MA 02150
The Massage School
1 Northampton Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
Bristol Community College
777 Elsbree Street
Fall River, MA 02720
82 Hartwell Street
Fall River, MA 02720
Mt. Wachusett Community College
444 Green Street
Gardner, MA 01440
Berkshire Community College
343 Main Street
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Greenfield Community College
1 College Drive
Greenfield, MA 01301
Massage Institute of Cape Cod
64 Enterprise Road
Hyannis, MA 02601
Spa Tech Institute
126 High Street
Ipswich, MA 01938
Kripalu School of Massage & Bodywork
West Street at Richmond Mountain Road
Lenox, MA 01240
211 Plain Street
Lowell, MA 01240
2 Florence Street
Malden, MA 02148
222 Boston Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
Bristol Community College
188 Union Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone: 508-678-2811 ext. 4000
Berkshire Community College
1350 West Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Spa Tech Institute
59 Industrial Park Road
Plymouth, MA 02360
Acupressure Therapy Institute
One Billings Road
Quincy, MA 02171
5 Middlesex Avenue
Somerville, MA 02145
Springfield Technical Community College
Armory Square #1
Springfield, MA 01102
515 Woburn Street
Tewksbury, MA 01876
103 Morse Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Bancroft School of Massage Therapy
333 Shrewbury Street
Worcester, MA 01604
To obtain a massage license in the state of Massachusetts you must complete and submit the following documents. Once you have met and submitted these documents, you will be typically granted licensure within 4-8 weeks.
- A completed application for licensure.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Have completed a high school education; possess a high school diploma or an equivalent GED.
- You must provide the Board with two letters of reference. One letter should be from a previous employer in the massage industry or medical field, a massage therapy professor or an actual therapist in which you had contact. The other letter should be from any unrelated person who can attest to your personal and professional integrity.
- Be in good standing.
- Successfully take and complete a massage therapy education as outlined above in the schooling requirements section.
- You should not have been convicted of any crimes. A criminal background will be required before you will be able to possess a massage therapy license.
- You must provide proof of liability insurance coverage of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence.
- Pay a non-refundable fee of $225.
Key Agencies/Boards involved and their contact information
The Board of Registration of Massage Therapy for Massachusetts is the primary organization that has been created to oversee and regulate the massage industry for the state of Massachusetts, including licensure procedures. If you would like to speak with a representative about your massage license, please feel free to contact the Board at the following address or number:
Division of Professional Licensure
239 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114
Requirements to Start A Massage Business in Massachusetts (Massage Establishment License)
Before the Board will issue an establishment license, you must make sure that your building and establishment is inspected first. Once your establishment has been inspected you will need to submit an application for a massage establishment.
You can find this application by following the link provided here. Depending upon what type of establishment you are applying for, the application will vary. If you are going to work as a single therapist, please use and refer to the application linked here; however, if you plan to have multiple therapists within one establishment, please use the application provided here. An application must be submitted for each physical location you plan to open.
With your application you will need to submit the following documentation:
- A copy of the floor plan you will be using,
- Copies of all local permits you have obtained,
- A Statement by Compliance Officer,
- A compliance plan,
- A copy of the worker’s compensation insurance policy you have purchased, including the coverage dates,
- A check or money order for $150 made payable to the “Commonwealth of Massachusetts”.
- Mail your application and supporting documents and fee to the following address:
Board of Massage Therapy
1000 Washington Street, Suite 710: Establishment Licensure
Boston, MA 02118-6100
Massage License Renewal Process
There are several avenues that can be taken for renewal of a massage therapy license or a lapsed/expired license. To simply renew your massage license, make sure that you meet the following requirements:
- Every year, your massage license will be due for renewal. In the state of Massachusetts, your license will expire on the 28th day of your birth month.
- You must submit a completed written or electronic renewal application and the required $150 renewal fee before the expiration date.
- You must provide proof that you have not been convicted of crime during the previous year of licensure.
- You must provide proof of professional liability insurance of at least $1,000,000.
- You must meet or exceed the required continuing education hours – however, this is under development at the time. Be sure to check the Board’s website for any updates on continuing education credits.
To renew a lapsed or expired license:
- If you fail to meet the requirements for renewal, then your massage license will be marked as “expired” and “not in good standing”. If your license happens to fall into this category, you should not practice massage therapy until you are able to renew your license.
- To reinstate your massage license within five years from the date of expiration, you must pay the $150 renewal fee, the fee for the current licensure period and a late fee.
- You must also meet all continuing education hours that are required by the Board. As of right now, the continuing education criteria are under review. Be sure to check with the Board periodically to make sure you do not miss out on the continuing education information after it is created and developed.
Massage License Reciprocity
The Board can and will accept applications for reciprocity only after the non-refundable $225 application fee and application have been received. The following requirements must be met as well:
- Submit an application for endorsement.
- Meet similar or exact requirements and standards set for massage licensing in the state of Massachusetts,
- Be of good moral standing
- The Board will not allow you to obtain your massage therapy license if your previous license has been revoked or suspended by a different state or jurisdiction.
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.
- Named a Best for Vets school by the Military Times in 2014.
- Has specialized in student-centered technology, business, criminal justice, health science, and culinary education for over 45 years.
- Makes it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years or an associate’s in 1.5 years by providing a year-round schedule.
- Offers externships and clinical experience that help students prepare for life after they graduate.
- Has 10 campuses across the mid-Atlantic, plus online degree programs.
- Massage Therapy - Associate's
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
Miller-Motte Technical College (MMTC) has a history of helping students succeed through hands-on education and career training. Our faculty and staff work to ensure that when you've completed your program, you're truly ready to begin your career.
- Massage Therapy - Diploma
Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.
* Programs vary by location
* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information
- Massage Therapy
- Respiratory Therapy
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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- 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
Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning. Today, we offer an impressive array of more than 130 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs across five colleges and the Graduate School.
- Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)
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- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
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- M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
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- And more...
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- Courses cover topics such as addiction science, assessment, prevention, and treatment.
- Students learn how to identify, plan, and use resources to help improve client situations.
- MS in Psychology - Addictions