South Dakota Massage Therapy School Teaching Requirements

As of 2005, the State of South Dakota licenses massage therapists who have successfully completed at least 500 hours of education, passed the MBLEX exam and hold liability insurance.

Teaching massage therapy, however, is still an unregulated profession within the state, beyond the need to be a licensed massage practitioner.

Educational Requirements for Massage Instructors

There are no additional requirements to teach massage in the state of South Dakota, beyond a massage therapists license if the instructor will be teaching hands on massage related material.

A massage license in South Dakota requires 500 hours of education, including:

  • 125 Hours of Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology
  • 200 Hours of Massage and Bodywork Assessment, Theory and Application
  • 40 Hours of Pathology
  • 10 Hours of Business and Ethics
  • 125 Hours of Electives Related to Massage

Recommended Experience

There is no state requirement for experience to teach massage therapy within the state of South Dakota, but current job postings prefer at least 1 year of experience in the massage therapy field before applying to teach massage therapy.

Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers

Continuing education requirements are not specifically spelled out for instructors, but massage licensure requires a minimum of 8 hours every 2 years.

Insurance Requirements

The state of South Dakota does not explicitly require its practitioners or teachers to carry professional liability insurance.  Given that insurance costs are relatively low, and risk can be potentially high, it is a good idea to carry insurance even though it is not required.

Liability insurance is available through a massage professional organization, such as AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) or ABMP (Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals).  AMTA’s professional membership explicitly includes insurance for massage professionals working as classroom teachers.


There are no specific fees associated with becoming an massage therapy school instructor, other than the license fee to practice massage in South Dakota if a teacher is teaching massage theory.

An initial 2 year license costs $120, with a renewal fee of $45 every 2 years.

Relevant Links

Massage License Application Form

Massage License Education Requirements

Continuing Education

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+

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