The state of Washington Requires licensure for massage therapists, and the Washington State Department of Health regulates licensing and massage schools. The state of Washington is unique in how it regulates massage school instructors, and though it requires the individual school to submit the qualifications of its teachers and submit a plan to ensure that they are appropriately trained, it does not set explicit requirements for massage school instructors within the state.
Individual schools must submit their plans/policies for faculty, including:
- A policy on the minimum competency standards for instructors
- A statement or policy on faculty members participation in curriculum development and evaluation
- A professional resume for each instructor or trainer
- A listing of all courses each instructor plans to teachers
- A non-discrimination policy statement
Educational Requirements for Massage Teachers
Educational requirements are unique to each school as per their state approved plan, but the state of Washington generally requires 500 hours of classroom instruction to qualify for a massage license, and it is reasonable to expect that most schools would require that minimum of their massage school instructors. Within that 500 hours, the following breakdown is required:
- 130 hours of anatomy and physiology, including 40 hours of kinesiology
- 50 hours of pathology, including indications and contraindications
- 265 hours of massage theory and practice, including no more than 50 hours of student clinic
- 55 hours of clinical or business practices
- 4 hours of training in HIV/AIDS as it relates to massage
- CPR and First Aid Certification
Each school sets its own experience requirements for its massage therapy instructors, but expect a minimum of 2 years professional experience to be required.
Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers
Each school will set its own continuing education requirements, but they will likely comply with the state massage license continuing education requirements which are 24 hours every 2 years, including a minimum of 8 hours in skills training, and 4 hours in professional ethics, and at least 2 hours in professional roles and boundaries
Though not required by the state, most practicing therapists maintain professional liability insurance 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 explicit fees for teaching massage therapy, but professional liability insurance is strongly recommended. Massage professional liability insurance ranges from $199 to $235 dollars annually, and is strongly recommended, though not required. A Washington State massage therapy license may also be required, and the initial license will cost $115 for the written and practical examination, plus $106 for the license. Renewals are $81.