Pennsylvania Massage Therapy Schools & Certification

As you seek to obtain your massage therapy license in the state of Pennsylvania, be sure to review the rules and regulations set for you by the Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy, which operates under the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The rules and regulations, as well as the necessary forms for you to fill out and submit can be found on the website, which you can discover by clicking here.

By successfully completing all required schooling, exams and licensure requirements, you will be able to launch your massage therapy career further in the state of Pennsylvania.

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

Brief Summary of the Main Highlights

As an aspiring massage therapist, you will find that Pennsylvania is an excellent place to practice.

There are many reasons why Pennsylvania is a great place to settle as a massage therapist, but one of the most intriguing and main points is there are no start-up business costs associated with your upcoming endeavor.

However, Pennsylvania does require you to pursue education based in massage therapy as well as CPR training, successful completion of approved exams and a criminal background check.

Schooling Details and Requirements (Credit Hours)

As you embark towards obtaining your license in massage therapy, remember that the state of Pennsylvania requires you to attend an accredited program and hold at least 600-hours of in-class instruction.

Aside from your education, you must also become certified in CPR, and it must be completed in a physical classroom setting, not online.  CPR courses must be hands-on and taken through the American Heart Association, American Red Cross or an agency substantially similar or approved by the Board.

For CPR, Basic Adult CPR courses will be accepted.  If you desire to obtain additional practice, you are at liberty to take advanced courses and apply it towards your massage therapy license.

After you have completed the necessary 600-hours of in-classroom instruction towards your education, the Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy requires and accepts full completion of certain examinations before licensure.

You may either take the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM) or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodyworks (NCETMB) including the NESL option, which is offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage Boards (NCBTMB).

Additionally, you may also take the MBLEx, as it is also an approved examination for initial licensure.

Licensure Qualifying Programs

The school that you wish to attend does not have to be approved by the Board prior to your acceptance into the program.  Nonetheless, here we have included a complete list of schools, in which you may attend for education:

After completing your schooling, you must submit an application for licensure, accompanied by the $65 application fee.  The Board also asks that you include a copy of a legal ID, an official criminal background check for all states that you resided in the last five years, and proof of graduation from high school or college.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy requires that you send an official transcript from the highest level of education that you have received, as well as other schools that you have attended in the past.

Below are the links that will take you to the application for which you should print, fill out, and return to the Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy, along with the criminal background check form:

Licensure by examination application: Licensure by Examination

Request for Criminal Background Check C.B.I. Application

Key Agencies / Boards involved and their contact information

Regulation and licensing is handled and governed by The Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy under the Department of State.

You can find out more information by visiting their website at the following link: State Board.  If you would like to contact the Board personally, please feel free to use the information that is provided to you below:

Email: RA-massagetherapy@state.pa.us

Phone Number: 717-783-7155

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

To start your own massage therapy business in the state of Pennsylvania, you are not required to send in an application.  All that you need to do is become licensed as a massage therapist and begin your journey towards the career of your dreams.

However, you may not practice massage therapy after January 31st of each year that your license expires.  The state of Pennsylvania requires that you renew and complete the process towards renewal before you are able to continue practicing and working as a massage therapist.

Massage License Renewal Process

To renew your massage therapy license in the state of Pennsylvania, you must apply before January 31st before the year of licensing expiration.

Along with your renewal application, you are required to submit an online fee of $75 and include your CPR certification and proof of at least 24 hours of Board approved continuing education credits.

The 24 hours of continuing education must be completed in the field of massage therapy in the 2-year period immediately preceding your application for license renewal.

These 24 hours must include a minimum of 4 hours in professional ethics and a minimum of 16 hours through contact and hands-on type hours.  Please take note, however, that CPR certifications do not count towards the fulfillment of any required continuing education credits.

If you require renewal for your massage therapy license, please visit the following link to access the Certificate of Licensure Application: Application

Massage License Reciprocity

In order to apply for reciprocity in the state of Pennsylvania, you must meet all reciprocity requirements before proceeding.  These requirements include that you pass one of the accepted examinations, as mentioned previously above.

Additionally, you must also complete a massage educational program totaling at least 600 hours.  If your program only totaled at 500 hours, you are able to make up the additional 100 hours by pursuing continuing education credits.

To view the application for reciprocity in the state of Pennsylvania, you can click the link provided here: Reciprocity Application.

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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Find out how to instruct massage in Pennsylvania 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
2 comments on “Pennsylvania Massage Therapy Schools & Certification
  1. Nancy Jones says:

    Do you need to work in a licensed establishment to do massage treatments in Pa.?

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