The state of Tennessee established licensure for massage therapists with the massage licensure act of 1995.
The code does not specify requirements for massage therapy teachers, though they would need to be licensed as practitioners in the state of Tennessee to teach massage related material.
Educational Requirements for Massage Instructors
Massage instructors teaching massage technique or theory courses are required to have a massage license, which requires 500 hours of massage education and passing the MBLEX exam.
The content of the curriculum is specified as follows:
- 200 Hours of Sciences
- 200 Hours of Massage Theory
- 85 Hours of Allied Modalities
- 10 Hours of Ethics
- 5 Hours of Tennessee Massage Statutes and Regulations
There is no specific requirement for experience to become a massage therapy instructor in the state of Tennessee, but current job postings prefer at least 2 to 3 years experience for their applicants.
Continuing Education Requirements for Teachers
Continuing education requirements are not specifically spelled out for instructors, but massage licensure requires a minimum of 25 hours every 2 years, and no more than 8 of those hours can be completed online through electronic media.
The state of Tennessee 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 teacher, other than the license fee to practice massage in Tennessee if a teacher is teaching massage theory.
An initial two year licensure costs $280 plus fees for a mandatory criminal background check, with a renewal fee of $195 every 2 years.