Rhode Island Massage Therapy Schools & Requirements

Rhode Island is a very attractive state to work and own a massage therapy business in.  The rules and regulations for massage therapists along with the costs of licensure in massage therapy are less stringent than many other states.

In this article, we will be discussing the main highlights of the massage therapy industry as it applies to the state of Rhode Island.  If you wish to find out any additional information about how to operate and work here as a massage therapist, feel free to visit and contact the State of Rhode Island Department of Health.

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

Brief Summary Of The Main Highlights

The mission of the State of Rhode Island Department of Health, in accordance with the massage therapy industry, is “to license, certify and discipline health care professionals, and to identify professional standards to ensure the highest quality healthcare for, and protection of, the public.”

The Health Professional Regulation Office is who oversees and certifies those who choose to pursue a license in the massage therapy industry.  They provide the information related to the schooling, examination requirements and other guidelines required to pursue your massage therapy business.

You must be at least 18 years old, obtain an acceptable education with all exams, and complete an application packet to be considered for licensure.  If you wish to review the complete rules and regulations as they apply to you as an aspiring massage therapist in the state of Rhode Island, feel free to click on the provided link: Rules and Regulations

Schooling Details and Requirements (Credit Hours)

The state of Rhode Island requires 500 hours of credited education courses from a massage school approved by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA).  Any outside or extra curricular education not approved by the Department of Health will not be considered as part of the required 500 hours.

A passing score on one of the licensing examination is also required.  You may choose to take the National Certifying Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work of the National Certifying Council for Massage Therapy or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage; or other examination as approved by the Department of Health.

Licensure Qualifying Programs

As you embark on your journey towards a license in massage therapy, you must consider undergoing an education pathway.  The following is a comprehensive list of some of the approved institutions and colleges that provide the courses that you must take:

This school is also known as Sacred Stone Academy of Massage & Ayurveda or SAMA, which the school states is the only school of it’s kind in the United States. They integrate traditional western massage education with Ayurvedic education where graduates of their program are both ready for state licensure and are registered Ayurvedic Bodywork Specialists.  Their integrated East/West educational framework is perfect for students looking for a holistic, non-traditional, whole body approach to massage therapy education.

Licensing/Certification Requirements

Once you have completed the necessary education and examination requirements, you are then required to submit an application packet to the Rhode Island Department of Health.  A $65 fee made payable to the Rhode Island General Treasurer must accompany the application packet.

The following is a list of documents that must accompany your application for approval:

  • For those born in the United States: A certified copy of your birth certificate
  • For those born outside of the United States: Proof of lawful entry into the country
  • A recent passport-type photograph
  • The initial licensure fee of $65
  • Supporting credentials of education, training and other requirements set forth by the Department of Health
  • Results of a background check

Key Agencies/Boards involved and their contact information

The State of Rhode Island Department of Health Services and the Office of Health Professional Regulation Massage Therapist Licensing governs and approves all massage therapy licenses.

They are located at 3 Capitol Hill, Room #104 Providence, RI 02908, Phone: 401-222-2828 and Fax: 401-222-1272.  If you would like to find out more about these departments, please feel free to visit their website by clicking here: Department of Health

Requirements To Start A Massage Business in Rhode Island (Massage Establishment License)

Only individuals licensed in Rhode Island may practice massage and use the title “Massage Therapist.”  No person or business may describe its services as `massage related’ unless such services are performed by a Rhode Island licensed therapist.

If you choose to practice and are licensed to perform massage related services in the state of Rhode Island then you must maintain and be governed by acceptable sanitary, safe and scientifically based standards.  You may not diagnose or treat disease and may not practice spinal or joint manipulation or prescribe medications.  Table covering must be changed for each person.

Massage License Renewal Process

Renewing your massage therapy license in the state of Rhode Island is a very easy process.  You must pay a renewal fee of $65 and meet the required renewal date, which is set for June 30th of the year in which your license expires.

Every massage therapy license expires a year from issuance.  A great perk to working and operating in the state of Rhode Island as a massage therapist is that you are not required to submit any continuing education hours upon renewal of your license.

Massage License Reciprocity

If you were educated outside the U.S., then you must submit evidence of graduation from a school with a curriculum comparable to the curriculum required in Rhode Island.  Additionally, if you hold a license outside of the U.S., you must submit the license for review by the Department of Health for additional examination and approval prior to working in Rhode Island.

Aside from this, if you were educated in another state and hold a massage therapy license, then you are at liberty to be licensed in the state of Rhode Island.  But you must first meet the qualified requirements for massage therapists in Rhode Island, which include approved schooling, passing of the above-mentioned exams and submitting an application packet to the Department of Health for approval.

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.

Matching School Ads
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!


  • Massage Therapy
  • Massage Therapist
Locations:  Grand Prairie

Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!


What Are You Waiting For?


  • Massage Therapy - Associate's
Locations:  Newport News

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. 


Classes start November 13!


  • Professional Massage Therapy Program
Locations:  Charlottesville
Get the hands-on training and skills it takes to succeed with Ashworth College, a respected, worldwide leader in distance education. Study at the times and places most convenient for you.


  • Physical Therapy Aide

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.


  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Massage Therapy
Locations:  Chesapeake

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017


  • Rehabilitation Sciences (Master of Science) - Online
  • Rehabilitation Sciences (Certificate) - Online
Turn your talents into a career. Nationally recognized and accredited Platt College offers degree programs in Graphic Design, Multimedia, IT Networking and Paralegal.


  • 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)
Locations:  Glen Allen
  • Does psychology interest you? See if Grand Canyon University could be a good fit for your journey in discovering the human mind!
  • GCU offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in either General Psychology or Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education, blending the study of traditional humanities in a modern context.
  • GCU offers a variety of learning options, including: traditional degree programs offered at our main campus, online degrees, or evening classes meeting once a week at various locations.
  • Founded in 1949, GCU is a regionally accredited, private Christian university and is recognized as offering some of the best online education programs in the nation.
  • Request information and learn more about our program offerings, start dates, financial aid and more!


  • M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
  • M.S. in Christian Counseling
  • M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • And more...

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.

The field of technology is rapidly evolving to meet the growing demands of modern society. For those seeking a future in tech, this means maintaining skills, increasingknowledge and quickly adapting to change. For today’s students, however, successwill require dedication, commitment and access to education specifically designedto meet the demands of this dynamic industry.


  • Health Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • Master of Science in Health Psychology

Link to video lesson.

Find out how to instruct massage in Rhode Island 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A Must Have iPhone App for All Massage Therapists
Massage Trigger Points App on iTunes
Massage School Topics

Top 10 Massage Career Tips

Learn exactly what you need to do to expedite your career success as a Massage Therapist.

Get your first tip NOW by entering your email address below.

More tips will follow weekly!