How to Open a Massage School in Indiana

How to Open a Massage School in Indiana, the requirements for massage therapy practice and education are overseen by the State Board of Massage Therapy.

A division of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA).

If you want to start a massage school in Indiana, your school must provide a minimum of 500 hours of supervised hands-on and classroom instruction.

In addition, your school must accredit by the state of Indiana and in good standing with the government agency charged with regulating massage therapy schools or programs.

There are two different regulating agencies in Indiana for proprietary schools.

If your school does not grant degrees, but only diplomas or certificates.

So then it govern by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Office for Career and Technical Schools.

If your school does have a degree-granting program, then you would need to apply for accreditation with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Board for Proprietary Education.

Most massage schools would fall under the Office for Career and Technical Schools.

Obtaining Accreditation from the Office for Career and Technical Schools (OCTS)

Before beginning your application, you must first fill out and electronically submit the Determination of Status Questionnaire, which can download at the OCTS website.

This three-page, 21-question form asks for information regarding the type of training you will conduct.

So when you plan to start, where you will conduct your business and background information on the owners.

You are also asked to review the OCTS Policies and Procedures.

Once it determines that you do need accreditation, you will assign an identification number needed for orientation.

After you receive a number from OCTS, you need to complete a New School Orientation and submit the verification page.

This online orientation provides you with an overview of the regulatory process and the application requirements.

You have 30 days from being notified (and receiving your identification number)to complete the orientation and 30 days after the orientation to send in your initial application and fees.

You have a total of 90 days after that to get all the information needed for a complete application to OCTS.

Missing any deadlines will result in loss of the fees paid and having to start the process over with the determination of status.

Application – How to Open a Massage School in Indiana

The initial application packet requires you to provide

  • A completed application form with legal name and address of your school;
  • A copy of a certificate of authority to conduct business in Indiana from the Secretary of State;
  • The application fee ($1000);
  • Types of courses offered, a form of instruction, and hours for each curriculum;
  • Type of diploma or certificate to award upon completion;
  • A statement of your school’s financed;
  • A description of your school’s facilities, along with proof you passed a fire inspection;
  • Your policies on student recruitment and refunds, and the existence of a fund to provide refunds;
  • A sample of your enrollment agreement that states the refund policies;
  • Provisions for liability insurance for students;
  • Maximum student-teacher ratio to maintain;
  • Educational and experience requirements for instructors;
  • Assurance that the owner or chief administrator has not been convicted of a felony;
  • An institutional surety bond of not less than $25,000.

Mist – How to Open a Massage School in Indiana

Following receipt of the initial application and all needed materials, an initial site inspection will make to ensure that the school and facilities exist and are adequate to meet the needs of the number of students you plan to serve.

At this point, the OCTS can approve you for a Temporary Accreditation.

This allows you to operate while you complete all of the requirements for Full Accreditation.

The school will have not less than six months and no more than 11 months to complete the Full Accreditation Application and schedule a comprehensive on-site inspection.

If you do not do this within the specified time frame, your Temporary Accreditation will revoke.

OCTS staff, accompanied by an appropriate field expert, will review the application and perform an on-site inspection.

Your school will be responsible for covering expenses of the visit, up to $1000 for the room, mileage, and board.

After the inspection, your school will either approve or denied accreditation.

If denied, you will have 30 days to appeal the decision.

In addition to the application fee and expenses for the inspection, you will need to pay $50 for an accreditation certificate, $50 a year for agent fees for each person who will represent your school in recruiting efforts, and $500 a year to maintain your accreditation.


If you want to open a new massage therapy school in Indiana and how to Open a Massage School in Indiana.

So you will need to offer a program with at least 500 hours of supervised instruction.

In addition, your school will need accreditation from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Office for Career and Technical Schools (OCTS).

The process from application to temporary accreditation can take 30 to 90 days, or longer.

The full accreditation process will take up to another year.

After approval, annual renewals are needed.

Your up-front cost for OCTS fees and expenses could range from $1100 to $2300 or more.

In addition, as part of owning a business in Indiana, you must register with the Secretary of State and provide annual reports to that office.


OCTS Website

Secretary of State New Business Information

Indiana Board of Massage Therapy

How to Open a Massage School in Indiana


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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