Massage Therapy School Requirements In Texas

Texas currently has over 26,000 licensed massage therapists.

The state’s residents are very open to this type of care making it a good place to become a massage therapist.

Information you need to become one is provided below:

Or scroll straight to the bottom to see a list of the top massage therapy schools in Texas.

Brief Summary of the Main Highlights

Massage school students need to be at least 18 years old, be of good moral character, and have good temperate habits.  A student must receive the appropriate education and pass the requisite exam.

Having a criminal record does not bar a person from obtaining a license unless the Board determines that the offense has a direct bearing on the applicant’s ability to serve as a  massage therapist or if the person is not sufficiently rehabilitated.

A student is advised to submit a criminal history evaluation before course work is begun to ensure a person will qualify.

So how long are massage therapy programs in Texas? How much does massage therapy school cost? How long is massage therapy training? Let’s explore the answers as you read below.

Schooling Details and Requirements (Credit Hours)

How long does massage therapy school take? You must have 500 classroom hours of education received from one or more providing a competency based curriculum.

Course of instruction must include Anatomy and Physiology, Message Technique, Health and Hygiene, Business practices and Ethics, Hydrotherapy, Kinesiology and Pathology.  No more than 50 hours of internship may be acquired before a license is obtained

You must have a passing score on The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB).   The Board requires you to continue with your education after licensing and obtain 12 continuing education (CE) credits per 2 years.

Licensure Qualifying Programs

There are many message therapy licensing schools in Texas. Here is a full list of schools.  And here are a few examples:

    • Austin: 2144 Central Blvd Brownsville, TX 78520 888-822-4046
  • Oceans School
    • San Antonio:  602 N.W. Loop 410 Suite 122 San Antonio, Texas 78216

You can get your massage training from any of the schools above, or use our database below to search for one near you.

How long is massage therapy school? This will depend on the school you select. However, most massage therapy schools in Texas provide enough credits to become licensed and practice as a professional upon graduation.

Licensing/Certification Requirements

To receive a license you are required to:

  • Submit an official transcript from an acceptable school.
  • Complete a 50 hour internship.
  • Complete and pass The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB).
  • Submit an application fee 0f $107

You can find Forms for massage therapy here.

Key Agencies / Boards involved and their Contact Information

Massage licensing is controlled by the Department of State Health Services of Texas. For more information you can reach them at 800-436-6184 or their website.

You can also look at the Texas center for massage therapy site which contains helpful reference information. The Texas center for massage therapy is one of the larger massage institutions in the State.

 

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

To establish a massage business, you must follow these rules:

  • All advertising must display the massage establishment’s license number.
  • Maintain a list of all current employees and employees of the previous 2 years along with their qualification information.
  • Maintain consultation documents for each client.
  • Pass the jurisprudence exam.

Massage License Renewal Process

Licenses must be renewed every two years, and 12 continuing education hours must be completed.  You must keep a record of your continuing education classes in case of an audit. Approved courses are listed by the department of health at this page.

It costs $106 to renew your license and it can be done online here.  A renewal reminder mail is also sent by the board 2 months before the renewal date.

Renewals are due by the last day of your birth month.  After this date they are considered late and the fee is $156 until the 90th late day.  After that point the cost is $206 until it is a year late.  After a year, you’ll be required to submit for a new license rather than a renewal.

Massage License Reciprocity

The following is the procedure if an applicant wants to transfer a license from a different state to Texas.

1. Submit license application with a copy of Social Security card.

2. Copy of transcript from out of state massage therapist school

3. Copy of license from current state

4. Proof of passing a national or state qualifying exam.

5. Proof of passing the Jurisprudence Exam.

6. Completed Out of State License Verification Form.

You cannot have an expired license on hand when you apply for reciprocity. Make sure your license is active and in good standing before you apply for a transfer.

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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Become a massage therapy school teacher in Texas

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
60 comments on “Massage Therapy School Requirements In Texas
  1. If you are applying for a Texas License and you are out of State, be sure to get proof of accreditation with your transcript. To speed up getting you application approved attach course description of each class on you transcript. Schools name classes different fancy title, Texas whats to see content.

    I have helped many people move their application through much faster with the right information.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Absolutely agree Alex. Often times, the names of the courses may sound too different, but it is the course content that matters. If you do a good job conveying the overlap/similarities in the courses, you can help evaluators speed up the process and approve your courses as equivalent of what they require. Great comment

  2. Austin says:

    Hi guys I am a student at the swedish institute in NYC and have 1 semester left until I graduate. I was wondering if I would have to take hydrotherapy in Texas before I could get my license. I am about to apply for the national exam but I don’t know if they require me to take additional classes. I will have over 1000 hours of classroom and clinic time by the time I graduate. If you guys could shoot some info my way that would be great.

    Thanks

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Austin, some States do require subject specific education. However, most States’ requirements are surrounding the hours of training. That said, in TX you need 20 hrs of Hydrotherapy.

  3. Alex Matthews says:

    Austin… You can send in your transcript for an evaluation. How ever you will be required to have the course work in Hydrotherapy. The course work will have to be done in an approved school program. As I have said, get a course description of the content of every class you have taken in your transcript. The State of Texas will evaluate your transcript by content no course name. (Everyone names the classes differently.)

  4. Connie R. says:

    Can I use some of the hours I took for my Cosmetology Lic. And use them toward getting a Massage Lic.?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Connie – this will depend on the massage school you are applying to. You will need to go through what’s called a credit evaluation process to determine which courses/credits overlap and are applicable.

  5. Glamisgir says:

    I have a question, if you know someone who works at a chiropractor office, and claims that they are a “massage therapist” but know they have know educational experience as one, would would happen to them?

    • Glamisgir says:

      I’m sorry I meant *NO educational experience

      • Alex Matthews says:

        Glamisgir: A Chiropractor may hire anyone for back office treatments, Massage, Stretch, Ultrasound, heat and ice as well as other needs. However that Chiropractor must offer the treatment as part of the chiropractic treatment and may not offer Massage as a standalone treatment and can not use the word “Massage” in any marketing unless he/she has a licensed LMT providing those services. If the Chiro is marketing or offering massage alone you can file a compliant with DSHS Massage or the Texas Chiropractic Board.

        • Neal Lyons says:

          Alex, that’s great addition insight. You are right – many chiros offer such services as part of the overall chiropractic treatment. Many have often wondered how this has been allowed.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Glamisgir, we have heard many chiro offices where this is the case. It is a business decision made by the owner of the business.

  6. Maria says:

    I have a question, my daughter graduated last May n hasn’t gotten her license,. Is it to late for her ?

  7. Amanda says:

    how many licenses need for one massage therapy? in Spring, TX.

  8. Ashley E says:

    I have my licenses in Georgia but may be moving to Texas, do I have to take an additional jurisprudence exam for Texas?

  9. Lisa says:

    My TX license expired in 2010. I’d like to renew it. Would I have to retake the national exam?

    • Lisa says:

      oops…My Massage Therapy license expired in 2010. Would I have to retake the national exam for reinstatement?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      no you do not as long as your license is in good standing and you have your CEs (every state has a certain requirement – hours of continuous education that you need)

  10. Brianne says:

    Hello, I will be moving to texas here in a couple of months, I was wondering if I just finish up all my schooling here in washington, could I just take the national test in texas?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      you will have to apply to sit for the exam in TX, and compare the TX state board’s requirements to Washington. the state board will tell you whether you have all the requirements met to sit for the exam in TX.

  11. Alice Higgins says:

    I have been a licensed massage therapist in North Carolina for the past 13 years and have just moved to Frisco,TX. I’m trying to discover what I need to do to transfer my license to TX so I can begin working. It seems that massage therapy doesn’t have it’s own separate board in Texas so getting consistent information has been difficult. What is the process, what forms and where do I obtain them?

  12. Karin O says:

    When I finished my classes back in 04 (I believe) I was told I was grandfathered in, in some states where a license wasn’t required. Does Tx have that or is everyone that is trying to practice massage therapy, now required to take exam?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Karin – those with licenses prior to the requirements being reinstated are indeed grandfathered in. that said, continuing education requirements still apply. in most cases, it has been so long since official rules/requirements have been put in place that most folks have had to go through the rigor required today to become an LMT. you are in a rare situation. does this help?

  13. Sarah says:

    Can any person get massage therapy license in texas without Social Security number?

  14. Michelle Adames says:

    Hi I have a question. I had a massage license in Massachusetts that expired in October of 2010. I now live in Texas and I would like to start getting back into massage therapy but i was told I need to go back to school again because too much time had passed. Is this true or can I just renew my license over here and take the National Certification? My license was in good standing I just had things going on at the moment that I didn’t end up renewing it.
    Thank you so much for any help!

  15. Alex Matthews says:

    Michelle – That doesn’t seem to ring true. If you went to school prior to 1/1/2007 you will need 300 hours of training. If you went to school after 1/1/2007 you will need 500 hour of training under the content outlined by Texas DSHS. You will need to have passed the MBlex exam or the National Exam (No longer given). If you have completed all that, you will need to take the Texas jurisprudence test on line at the DSHS webpage: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/massage/

  16. melanie says:

    Oky here goes. I want to know if I have a massage certificate but I am not from texas and I am looking for a job. How do I apply if I don’t have a license ? And I am not from texas ? Must I redo my exams?

  17. Alex Matthews says:

    Here is a link to the States webpage http://www.dshs.texas.gov/massage/ You can down load the application there. The application process is really self explanatory. Again, with your transcript send as much information about your classes and school as you can. If you have taken the MBlex or NCT exam you will need to add that information too.

  18. LeAnn Hammond says:

    Can I do an online course through US career institute for the didactic portion and then do the training and internship locally. Will Texas honor that?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      LeAnn – yes this is a viable option many to be therapists choose. State boards sometimes will change their requirements. It’s always best to spend 5 minutes on the phone with them and verify before proceeding.

  19. CallieLou says:

    Is it possible to become a massage therapist by taking the whole course online? I don’t know that it would be possible for me to drive to the school closest to me everyday because it’s about an hour & a half there. I also have a 1.5 year old son who I take care of on my own so I’m hoping it’s possible to take online classes.

  20. Vivian Mata says:

    Can you satisfy all classroom courses for massage therapy online in the state of Texas?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      we believe so – have you read otherwise elsewhere?

    • Alex says:

      Sorry Texas requires that all License course word be done in a classroom, hands on with an instructor. CE can be done online if it is not technique.

      Just to let you know on November 1st 2017 DSHS will no-longer be the administrative agency, We will be transferred to the Taxes Department Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)

  21. Sylvia Bernal says:

    I’m trying to learn myofascial release techniques and techniques that will allow me to assist with my personal training clients with overtraining injuries. Another trainer in our organization is a LMT and suggested that I look into becoming one as well. I’m in TX and so far can only find in-person classrooms that would keep me from my family (work in the morning, class in the evening or vice;versa). Is there an alternative for me?

  22. Lauren says:

    Hello I’m a registered nurse in texas and I want to become a licensed massage therapist. I see a few related questions, but conflicting answers. Could I take the academic courses online and then go to a school to take the hands on portion? I work full time and am a single mother of 3 so this is basically the only viable option for me. I just want to make sure before paying for any courses. Thanks!

    • Neal Lyons says:

      you absolutely can Lauren. use our search box to help identify schools near you who can offer this flexibility. many do this. as a nurse, you have a very good foundation

  23. Alex Matthews says:

    Lauren…
    I hate to conflict with Neal, however 25 Texas administrative code, Chapter 140, Sub chapter H 140.338, section (d) states,:(d) An instructor must be physically present with the student(s) during the classroom hours taught by that instructor, including make-up work.

    So no in Texas you can not do online course work for Licensing.

    However DSHS is the current Administrative agency, On November 1st. 2017 TDLR becomes the administrator and that’s a whole new ball game, things could change. You may also be able to get credit for course work from your Nursing Program. The will require a Transcript review.

    • dorinda d gaige says:

      So Alex, my massage therapist has taken the steps and met the requirements to be an instructor, as long as he is present during my course work,can I take the classroom hours online? I have a bachelor’s in nursing and do not live near a school. So if I could kick out the classroom hours online it would help a lot.

  24. Charles says:

    Me and my wife are wanting to open a massage therapy school in our area.She currently has her LMT license.A is also a licensed instructor in Texas. Would you know where we could get info.to get started in this process?

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Charles, you are asking at the right time. We are rolling out a series of articles on how to start a massage school/business in each state. Please stay tuned and subscribe to our feed to get notification when these articles are ready

  25. Alex Matthews says:

    Charles…
    The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is the Administrator of Massage Therapy, and Massage Schools. on November 1st. The Department Of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) will become the New administrator. There will be changes. Not so many the first few months then you will see them pile on. There will be changes for school applications, inspections, and documentation requirements. DSHS have 2 inspectors, TDLR has 200 inspectors. I think the profession is going to be a little surprised at first then adjust to the change.

    Here is a link to TDLR https://www.license.state.tx.us/ there you can see how things will adapt to TDLR’s way of administration.

  26. Kia says:

    Hi Ive been a LMT since 2004, I have 501.5 transcript total hours completed. What do i need to do to get my National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB)? Im interested in taking a class (fitness training course) not pertaining to massage, but if i have NCETMB I may be eligible to attend the class (fitness training course).

    Besides that, what are other beneficial factors in having NCETMB be? I can massage in other countries?

    Thank you,
    Kia

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