How to Become a Licensed Massage Therapist in NY State

A massage therapist manipulates the soft-tissue muscles to reduce stress, decompress muscles, reduce pain and promote good health. Individuals may seek the services of a massage therapist for medical or relaxation purposes. You must be licensed by the New York State Office of the Professions before you can practice massage therapy in the state of New York.

Instructions

    • 1

      Earn your high school diploma. The New York State Board for Massage Therapy requires candidates for a massage therapist license to hold either a high school diploma or an educational equivalent, such as a general educational development certificate. You must also be at least 18 years of age to be eligible for licensure as a massage therapist in New York.

    • 2

      Complete an appropriate course of instruction from a massage therapy program at an institute or school that is registered with the New York State Education Department. The program must include a minimum of 1,000 hours of classroom instruction and 150 hours of practical work on an individual. Course work must include studies in anatomy, physiology, pathology, hygiene, first aid, neurology, myology or kinesiology, CPR and infection control procedures. You must complete your course of instruction in CPR within three years of applying for your license. You must study both oriental and western techniques and theory.

    • 3

      Pass the New York State Massage Therapy Examination. The examination is given twice each year, in January and again in August. You must apply by November 1 in order to take the January examination, or by June 1 to take the August examination. You must pay the appropriate licensing fee to the New York State Education Department at the time you submit your application. The fee was $108 as of November 5, 2009, but is subject to change.

    • 4

      Become a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. You must complete all other requirements for licensure prior to taking the examination. You can sit for the examination without meeting the citizenship or lawful alien requirement, but you cannot be licensed before this requirement is met.

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