Requirements to Teach Massage Therapy in Alabama

The state of Alabama makes it very easy to understand and navigate the massage therapy instructor license process.  The website for the state of Alabama Massage Therapy Board clearly outlines the requirements to teach massage as follows:

Massage Instructor Applicants are required to:

  1. File proof of license to practice massage in Alabama
  2. Demonstrate Proof of US Citizenship (Drivers License copy, etc)
  3. Document a minimum of 2 years experience in the massage therapy field (must be notarized)
  4. Apply for and receive a massage instructor license, and pay the instructor license fee ($10).

The three page application for certification to teach massage therapy in the state of Alabama can be found here.

Education Requirements

Massage Instructors in the state of Alabama are required to be licensed massage therapists in the state of Alabama, which requires 650 hours of instruction at an approved massage therapy school listed here.  Alabama requires the following curriculum hours for massage education:

  • 100 hours Anatomy and physiology, including 35 hours of myology, 15 hours of osteology, 10 hours of circulatory system, 10 hours of nervous system and 30 other hours at the discretion of the school.
  • 40 hours of Pathology
  • 250 hours of basic massage therapy, including contraindications, and including a minimum of 50 hours of supervised massage.
  • 50 hours of miscellaneous courses including: business, hydrotherapy, first aid, CPR, and professional ethics.
  • 210 hours of massage related electives (aromatherapy, sports therapy, etc)

For massage therapists that will be working with animals, an additional 100 hours of postgraduate training in animal anatomy, pathology, and physiology is also required.

Upon the completion of 650 hours of massage training, the applicant must also pass the national massage certification exam.

Experience Required

A minimum of 2 documented years experience after receiving a license to practice massage is required in order to receive a massage instructors license.  Though the state does not specify what constitutes relevant experience in the massage field, they do require that the documentation provided be notarized.

Continuing Education Requirements

To maintain a valid massage license in the state of Alabama, which is required to teach massage, an instructor must attend a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education every 24 months.  An applicant must certify that they have attended the required continuing education to receive a massage license, but proof is generally not required at the time of renewal.

Alabama requires that therapists keep continuing education records for a  minimum of 4 years, and they may preform a continuing education audit at their discretion.  If sufficient continuing education documentation cannot be provided upon an audit, the practitioners license will be revoked.

Approved CEU providers for the state of Alabama are listed here.

Professional Licensing & Fees

Massage therapy instructors in the state of Alabama are required to complete the following licensure/fee process:

Massage Practitioners License:

Initial Application Fee: $25

Establishment License Fee (First year): $100

Renewal Fee (Subsequent years): $50

Massage Therapy Instructor License: $10

For more details on massage license related fees, visit the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy’s Fees Page.

Insurance Requirements

Alabama requires proof of a minimum of 1 million dollars in liability insurance to receive a license to practice massage therapy.  Supplemental teacher/instructor insurance is not required beyond the baseline practitioner policy.  Massage therapist insurance is available from a number of different providers listed here, and costs between $99 and $235 annually.

Special Notes

Adjunct instructors, or visiting massage therapist instructors, are not required to be licensed and certified in the state of Alabama, provided they do not teach more than 100 hours per year.  They are required to be licensed and certified in their home state.

Continuing education providers are, however, required to meet at least one of the following qualifications:

  • A bachelors degree in a field related to the subject matter of the continuing education being taught.
  • Has graduated from a massage therapy school in another state with similar curriculum requirements to the state of Alabama, and has been approved by that state through licensure or similar national certification, and has at least 2 years professional experience.
  • Has at least 5 years practical experience in the subject matter, with at least 2 years teaching experience or has taught similar courses at least 3 times in the past 2 years.
  • Has completed specialized training in the subject, and has at least 2 years practical experience in the subject.

For more detailed information on the requirements for exempt continuing education providers, please see page 41 of the Alabama state massage rules and regulations document found here.

Relevant Links

Alabama Board of Massage Therapy Administrative Code

Alabama State Massage Therapy Instructor Requirements

Approved Massage Schools in Alabama

Massage Liability Insurance Providers

Alabama Board of Massage Therapy Forms

Alabama State Approved Massage CEU Providers

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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