Beginning a Massage Therapy School in North Dakota

Beginning a Massage Therapy School in North Dakota, the requirements for massage therapy practice and education are overseen by the North Dakota Board of Massage Therapy.

So if you want to open a private massage therapy school in North Dakota.

And also, you will need to have a 750-hour program that meets the criteria established by the board.

In addition, North Dakota requires that private career schools obtain authorization to operate from the North Dakota State Board for Career and Technical Education.

Requirements of the North Dakota Board of Massage Therapy

The Board of Massage Therapy requires that all instructors in hands-on massage therapy license massage therapists in the state of North Dakota.

The instructor must have at least three years of experience practising massage therapy and also, must be in good standing with the board.

Instructors of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology need not a licensed massage therapist but must have master’s degree or higher in an appropriate field of study.

Instructors of First Aid, CPR, sanitation and disease prevention, business, and also, ethics must have appropriate credentials but do not need to be massage therapists.

Of the 750 hours that are required, the following must be in-classroom, supervised hours:

  • 150 hours in Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology;
  • 40 hours in Pathology;
  • 10 hours in First Aid and CPR;
  • 130 hours in introductory Massage Therapy courses, including basic and allied modalities, contraindications, sanitation, disease prevention, and Massage Theory;
  • 175 hours of practical application and clinical practice;

The following hours must also be completed, but do not have to be done in a supervised classroom:

  • 50 hour of business practices, career development and also, professional ethics;
  • 75 hours of clinical practice;
  • 125 hours of other courses related to massage therapy.

All hours completed must apply to one of the above categories.

Obtaining a North Dakota Authorization to Operate

In order to operate a massage therapy school in North Dakota, you will need to have the authorization to operate from the North Dakota State Board for Career and Technical Education.

You must submit an application, which will include the following information and documents.

The initial application fee is $1,000.

  • Application fee;
  • Career School Identification and Affidavit – including a copy of your current certificate of registration from the North Dakota Secretary of State as well as articles of incorporation;
  • Current Financial Statement – a projected income statement for your first two years of operation;
  • Gross income statement;
  • Surety bond based on gross income statement – cannot be less than $10,000;
  • Copies of all media advertising, promotional literature, brochures, or videos to be used for advertising.
  • These must meet state standards;
  • A copy of your catalogue.
  • This must also meet state standards;
  • Accreditation information- designating which accrediting authority you are going to pursue accreditation from;
  • A copy of your enrollment agreement;
  • Detailed costs to the students and acceptable methods of payment;
  • List of all administrative and instructional personnel and their qualifications.
  • These must meet state standards;
  • A list of your programs. The curriculum must meet state standards.

You Must Provide

  • Entrance requirements;
  • Course objectives;
  • Subjects or units in the course;
  • Career objectives associated with completion of the course;
  • Length of the program in hours.
  • Enrollment information;
  • Complete description of your facilities and copies of safety inspections;
  • Complete list of equipment for instruction;
  • Copy of the educational credential to be given upon completion of your program;
  • Describe any placement services you will provide;
  • A statement of compliance with refund policy – must meet state standards;
  • Information on other locations if you have more than one;
  • Information on any distance courses you will be providing.

After receipt of the application, the board may refer your submissions to designated experts in the field for review.

You will be issued an approval or denial after your application has been reviewed.

Authorizations must renew annually.

The cost of a renewal application is $500.

Massage Therapy School Accreditation Organizations

The following organizations accredit massage therapy programs:

  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Schools and Colleges (ACICS)
  • National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)

Each accrediting agency has different requirements.

In most cases, you have to open the school first before beginning the accreditation process and beginning a Massage Therapy School in North Dakota.

Some allow you to begin the process once you have students enrolled.

Others require that you have been in business for more than two years and or have graduated students before beginning the accreditation process.

The cost of accreditation ranges from around $8,000 to more than $28,000.

In addition, significant time and effort are needed to complete the process.

The time from application to accreditation may range from 18 months to 2 years or more.

During that time you can expect to attend mandatory workshops, have your books audited, have your school inspected, and also, possibly make revisions to comply with accreditation standards.

If your school is not already accredited, you can get a provisional authorization from North Dakota to operate until you become eligible for accreditation.

To obtain this, you will have to submit a plan for accreditation with your application.

So you can renew your provisional authorization if you are making progress toward your accreditation.

You cannot get a regular authorization until you have obtained accreditation.

Summary – Beginning a Massage Therapy School in North Dakota

If you want to open a new private massage therapy school in North Dakota, you must have a program of at least 750 hours that meet the requirements of the  North Dakota Board of Massage Therapy.

You must also obtain authorization to operate from the North Dakota State Board for Career and Technical Education.

The Board for Career and Technical Education requires that you make progress toward accreditation after obtaining your provisional authorization.

So beginning a Massage Therapy School in North Dakota.

The application for authorization will cost $1,000.

You will also have to provide a surety bond of $10,000 or more.

Accreditation will cost $8,000 or more, depending on the agency you choose to pursue accreditation from.

Your authorization will need to renew annually, at a cost of $500 per renewal.


North Dakota Board of Massage Therapy

North Dakota State Board for Career and Technical Education

Policies for School Authorization

Beginning a Massage Therapy School in North Dakota

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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