How to Teach Massage in Washington

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

Recommended Experience

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

Insurance requirements

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.

Fees

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.

Relevant Links

Washington State Massage School Permit Application

Washington State Massage Licence Requirements

Washington State Massage Licence Education Requirements

Washington State Massage Licence Fees

 

 

 

 

 

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 Massage Instructor Requirements

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