Michigan Massage Therapy School Requirements

With only 81 credentialed massage practitioners in the state of Michigan, the competition is limited and the opportunities are endless.

Being such a heavily visited state, Michigan offers many potential clients to you as a massage therapist.

Here you will find the industry is still in the growth stage, opening doorways and providing you with more pathways for success.

Wouldn’t you like to be a part of this budding and growing industry?  Join all of the other practitioners right here in Michigan.

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

Brief Summary of the Main Highlights

In the state of Michigan you will be required to meet certain requirements before you will be granted a massage therapy license.  Certain schooling, licensing, renewal and reciprocity rules apply to all who pursue a license in this particular state.

So how long does it take to become a massage therapist in MI? How much does it cost to become a massage therapist?

Continue reading to discover all of the information to further launch you into your dream of becoming a licensed massage therapist in Michigan.

Schooling Details and Requirements (Credit Hours)

The state of Michigan requires that you as a massage therapy applicant complete an in class, supervised curriculum in massage therapy at an approved program and school.  As a massage therapist student, you must acquire at least 500 hours to satisfy the full education requirement for Michigan.  Topics and course studies will include the following topics:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Kinesiology
  • Massage Therapy Theory
  • Hands-On Massage Practice
  • Business Ethics
  • Workshops and Electives

In addition to your education requirements you must also take and pass one of the following nationally recognized massage therapy examinations:

Licensure Qualifying Programs

Baker College
4500 Enterprise Drive
Allen Park, MI 48101
Phone: 800-767-4120
Email: adm-ap@baker.edu

Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy
180 Jackson Plaza #100
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Phone: 734-677-4430

Bayshire Beauty Academy Bay City
917 Saginaw Street
Bay City, MI 48708
Phone: 989-894-2431
Email: bayshire@speednetllc.com

Oakland Community College
2480 Opdyke Road
Bloomfield, MI 48304
Phone: 248-341-2229

Baker College
34950 Little Mack Avenue
Clinton Township, MI 48035
Phone: 888-272-2842

Healing Hands Holistic Health Center
23925 Denton
Clinton Township, MI 48036
Phone: 586-469-3811
Email: dennis@myomas.com

Everest Institute
23400 Michigan Avenue #200
Dearborn, MI 48124
Phone: 313-562-4228

Everest Institute
300 River Place Drive #1000
Detroit, MI 48207
Phone: 313-567-5350

Blue Heron Academy
740 West Lake Lansing Road #400
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: 888-285-9989

Blue Heron Academy
2040 Raybrook, SE #104
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: 888-285-9989

Everest Institute
1750 Woodworth Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: 616-364-8464

Institute of Natural Therapies
21464 Paavola Road
Hancock, MI
Phone: 906-482-2222

Baker College
2800 Springport Road
Jackson, MI 49202
Phone: 888-343-3683
Email: adm-jk@baker.edu

Blue Heron Academy
4341 South Westnedge #2110
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Phone: 888-285-9989

Everest Institute
5177 West Main Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Phone: 269-381-9616

Kalamazoo Center for Healing Arts
6350 West KL Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Phone: 269-373-1000

Ayur Veda
3030 South Lapeer
Lake Orion, MI 48359
Phone: 248-722-1953

Lansing Community College
515 N Washington Square Room 108
Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: 517-483-1410
Email: OHernandez-Patino@lcc.edu

Health Enrichment Center
204 East Nepessing Street
Lapeer, MI 48446
Phone: 810-667-9453
Email: healthenrichment@sbcglobal.net

Schoolcraft College
18600 Haggerty Road
Livonia, MI 48152
Phone: 734-462-4400
Email: massage@schoolcraft.edu

Stautzenberger Institute
9449 Hix Road
Livonia, MI 48150
Phone: 734-779-0730

Marquette Massage
125 West Washington Street
Marguette, MI
Phone: 906-225-1700

Naturopathic Institute
503 East Broadway Street
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
Phone: 989-773-1714
Email: nitemtp@localnet.com

Baker College
1903 Marquette Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49442
Phone: 800-937-0337
Email: adm.mu@baker.edu

Blue Heron Academy
40 East Norton Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49444
Phone: 888-285-9989

Baker College
1020 South Washington Street
Owosso, MI 48867
Phone: 800-879-3797
Email: adm-ow@baker.edu

Baker College
3403 Lapeer Road
Port Huron, MI 48060
Phone: 888-262-2442
Email: adm-ph@baker.edu

Lakewood School of Therapeutic Massage
1102 6th Street
Port Huron, MI 48060
Phone: 810-987-3959
Email: lakewoodschool@sbcglobal.net

Everest Institute
21107 Lahser Road
Southfield, MI 48033
Phone: 248-799-9933

Irene’s Holistic Palooza
26061 Franklin Road
Southfield, MI 48033
Phone: 248-350-1400

Guardian Massage & Reflexology School
40590 Van Dyke #D
Sterling Heights, MI 48313
Phone: 586-268-5444
Email: Charlotte@CharlotteIrwin.com

Blue Heron Academy
812 South Garfield Avenue #1
Traverse City, MI 49686
Phone: 888-285-9989

Carnegie Institute
550 Stephenson Hwy #100-110
Troy, MI 48083
Phone: 248-589-1078

Delta College
1961 Delta Road
University Center, MI 48710
Phone: 989-686-9000
Email: info@delta.edu

Oakland Community College
Highland Lakes Campus
7350 Cooley Lake Road
Waterford, MI 48327
Phone: 248-341-2229

Many prospective students ask us how to become a massage therapist online? Unfortunately, you cannot just take classes online. Massage involves physical touch and some credit hours in the classroom are therefore mandatory.

Licensing/Certification Requirements

To become licensed as a massage therapist in the state of Michigan, you must meet the requirements set by the Michigan Board of Massage Therapy.  The following are the necessary rules, guidelines and requirements:

  • To begin you must download, print and fill out the Massage Therapist Licensure Application Packet, which you can find linked here.  Once you have completed the application, you will need to return it to the Michigan Board of Massage Therapy with the application fee.  This application fee must be in the form of a check or money order written out to “The State of Michigan”.
  • You must submit fingerprints and a criminal background check.  The instructions for this can be found in the application packet.
  • If you are applying for reciprocity, you will need a certification of verification sent directly to the Michigan Board of Massage stating that you currently hold or have held a massage therapy license.
  • You must meet all educational requirements as described above.  In addition to your massage therapy training and education you must also submit proof that you graduated from high school or earned a GED.
  • There are 5 different ways for you to become licensed by application in Michigan.  These include the following methods:
    • Professional Memberships
    • By Examination – You must have passed either the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB/NCETM)
    • By Affidavit of 5 years of Massage Therapy Practice
    • By Affidavit of 3 years of Massage Therapy Practice and Education
    • Submit verification that you have completed a massage therapy curriculum.  To do so, you will need to send the Certification of Completion of Massage Therapy Supervised Curriculum form, found in the application in Section II.  You will need to have this form filled out by the school that you attended, and ask them to send it directly to the Board.

Key Agencies/Boards involved and their contact information

Under the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is the Michigan Board of Massage Therapy.  This Board was created to govern and oversee the licensing process for massage therapists in the state of Michigan alone.

If you would like to contact the Board regarding any questions or concerns you might have about your massage license, please feel free to use the following information:

Michigan Board of Massage Therapy
P.O. Box 30670
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 517-335-0918

Requirements to Start A Massage Business in Michigan (Massage Establishment

Starting and operating a massage business in Michigan can be a very exciting and exhilarating experience.  To begin, be sure to utilize all of the resources available to you in this beautiful state.

The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center is an excellent place to resource.  The “Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business” is a great document to reference while you work towards opening your own massage business.  Some topics you will need to consider include the following:

  • Research the area, industry and the competition,
  • Obtain funding and decide on your cost analysis,
  • Write your business plan,
  • Name your business
  • Choose the legal structure and file it with the state,
  • Obtain your business license as well as your massage therapy license,
  • Obtain business insurance,
  • Hire employees,
  • Start your business!

Of course you can always teach instead if you’d like. Read how to become a massage therapist instructor here.

And if you are looking for something that can be more interest, have a read at how to become a sports massage therapist or how to become a massage therapist on a cruise ship.

Massage License Renewal Process

In Michigan, you must renew your massage therapy license every 3 years and pay a $225 renewal fee to the Michigan Board of Massage Therapy.  To accompany your renewal, you must complete at least 18 hours of continuing education over the 3-year license cycle.  The Board should approve the courses you choose to take.

Massage License Reciprocity

If you currently hold a massage therapist license in another state or jurisdiction and would like to practice in the state of Michigan, then you will need to apply and meet certain requirements set by the Board.  The following is the information and documents that you will need to complete and submit before you will be granted a license in the state of Michigan:

  • Complete the application linked here, and return it directly to the Board of Massage Therapy with the application fee.  The application fee should be made out as a check or money order to the “State of Michigan”.
  • You will be required to submit fingerprints and a criminal background.
  • You will need to arrange for the state for which your current license is to send verification of your certification directly to the Michigan Board of Massage Therapy.
  • To apply by endorsement, you must have a high school level education, or have earned a GED.  You must submit proof of completion, such as an official transcript, to the Board for approval.
  • You must request that your scores on one of the nationally recognized massage therapy examinations be sent directly to the Board.
  • If you were licensed less than 5 years in another state, then the Board will need to have verification that you took and completed a supervised massage therapy program.  The Board will request that you verify the curriculum that you studied.  To do so, please use the Certification of Completion of Massage Therapy Supervised Curriculum form found in the application packet.  The school you attended should complete this; after completion, the school should send the form directly to the Board.

You cannot take advantage of reciprocity rules if your massage license is deactivated. You must reinstate your license and be in good standing before you can exercise any reciprocity privileges.

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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Learn how to become a massage school instructor in Michigan 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+

26 comments on “Michigan Massage Therapy School Requirements
  1. I was looking to start a career in massage theraphy and my school of choice was us career institute which gives me the option of studying at home, i was just unsure about whether the certificate from this school would be recognized here in Detroit, MI?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      why don’t you tell us what school it is? is it an accredited school? how much tuition are you paying and how long is the program? while studying at home online can partly satisfy the license process, you will need some hands on training as well to get your massage license. please also read our in depth article about a massage license vs. a massage certification. this will surely help you.

  2. Ann Holmquist says:

    Hello, I am looking for information. Is it now required for Massage Therapists to be licensed in the state of Michigan? Thank you

  3. chris says:

    I’m about to renew my Michigan massage therapy license. The renewal notice says it costs $225 and I confirmed that with the Michigan renewal board. Your site states that it costs $95. This isn’t accurate. The application fee is $95 but it is $225 to renew.

  4. Sheree Secord says:

    There are only 2 schools remotely near where I live but I work full time and don’t see how it’s would be possible for me to attend the hours required. One is a full time 6 month degree and the other is a year but the hours conflict with my work schedule. Is there any way to take online classes? I understand i will need in class time but maybe a local spa can work with me on that. I just don’t know what Michigan laws will allow.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Sheree – you can definitely take classes while working as many have in the past. Please read our blog where we have articles that talk about working while attending massage school and how you can balance the two. Please also read our massage school checklist which helps you find schools that allow you to work and take classes at the same time.

  5. Benito says:

    I’m from Holland Michigan and I need more information about become a massage therapy…like how long it take to graduated and how much it costs…Any schools around my area? Thank you.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Benito, all the information you ask for is on this page (in terms of time it takes, requirements etc). As far as schools in your area, use our database and enter your zip code. You will get a list of schools near you. You can then click on the request more info button and fill out the form to have the free information sent to your mailing address.

  6. Tatyana says:

    Hello, Do I need license to practise Thai massage and Chi-nei tsang In Michigan?

  7. Kim Littlefield says:

    I am nationally certified (NCTMB) and now have a MI licence to practice therapeutic massage. Should I maintain the national certification now that MI has licensure laws? Will the requirements to maintain the state licsnsure cover national recert requirements? Thank you.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Kim – it depends on your aspirations. Do you plan on moving? If so a general credential may be valuable. If it is not a hassle and too costly to maintain both then you may want to consider that as well? It’s a tax deductible expense

  8. Donna says:

    Hi. I am a certified massage therapist in Michigan since 2006. I am preparing to get my state license. I have been a member of abmp since 2007 and has continued to practice massage therapy on a regular basis. Do I still need to take the exam to be licensed? Thanks in advance

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Donna – exceptions are case by case basis and you have to check with the State board of MI. Generally speaking you must pass the exam as this is the only standardized mechanism to ensure everyone is on a level playing field.

  9. My daughter is looking into a massage therapy certification school in costa rica (CRSMT). They claim their graduates come out of the program qualified to practice legally in the majority of the United States and other places world wide. Students supposedly are prepared to successfully pass the MBLEX for US national licensure but I noticed they are not listed on the Mich Board of Approved Education Programs for Massage Therapy in Michigan. What are the pros can con’s of such a program. What else would she
    have to do in order to work in Michigan as a licensed professional, i.e, could she take a state exam or would additional class hours be required at one of the approved in state colleges or tech/voc schools that are licensed and approved? Any detail or related explanation would be helpful

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Brian – the state list is not always updated. we recommend calling the state board directly and finding out. if the answer is yes, then your daughter should be set. if the answer is no and she still wants to attend CRSMT, then you/she will have to look at what she will get/be equipped with vs the list of requirements in MI. the state board wants to know whether previous education is at least equivalent of what they require to practice in their state.

      • Mahmoud GASAMA says:

        I’m a trained and certified Myofascia Energetic Release practitioner.
        Trained in Toulose France.
        That program is certified through the European Institue of body Arts Institue out of Poland.

        I am looking to build my business in Michigan without having to go through the Michigan massage therapy program because I have all the training and over a 150 hours of hands on and more.

        I have a dilemma because there are no licensing requirements for a Myofascia Release therapist.

        What can you recommend ?

        • Neal Lyons says:

          if there are no licensing requirements, then technically anyone can practice and get paid for it. that said, I would recommending completing the highest level of education/training in the Myofascial space prior to pursuing this. What are your thoughts?

  10. carol ross says:

    I wonder if a past felony will inhibit me from acquiring a license with the state of Michigan?
    The felony charges were from domestic violence over 8 years ago, in a family argument.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Carol, the best way to find out is to apply. Some boards may treat this on a case to case basis. Some do not conduct a background check for licensing purposes.

  11. Danielle says:

    Looking into Message Therapy. What is the difference between being licensed and getting my certificate. Looking into online courses as well.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Danielle, we have a full article explaining the difference. Kindly read it on this website. Let us know if you have any specific questions after reading it. We are happy to clarify.

  12. Dennis says:

    I have moved to Michigan from Colorado an they state that even tho I have been in the field for 9 years I need the mblex. what happened to the grandfather clause ? It have been trying to locate when Colorado set the mblex as a standard to work . seems as if Michigan has not accepted my term without a Mblex—- any thoughts

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