A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy Licensure in Hawaii

Hawaii massage therapists are licensed by education and examination. In-state candidates have the option of completing approved apprenticeships. Out-of-state candidates must complete educational programs.

Select an Hawaii Massage Therapy Licensure Topic:

Education and Training Requirements

Hawaii massage therapists spend at least six months in preparation. They will need a minimum of 570 hours of training and education.

The 570 hours must include at least 50 hours of physiology, anatomy, and structural kinesiology (http://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/files/2013/08/har_84-c2.pdf). There must be 100 hours of theory and demonstration. This is to include proper massage procedure, techniques for specific conditions, assessment, hygiene, draping, record keeping, and contraindications according to technique and condition. All massage therapists must have this coursework including those who will be trained as apprentices.

The prospective massage therapist will complete 420 hours of practical training either 1) as a student at a massage school/ under the supervision of a massage school teacher or 2) as an apprentice in the Board's apprenticeship program.

The Board notes that there is not a list of approved apprenticeships; the prospective massage therapist may seek out a sponsoring massage therapist on his or her own (http://files.hawaii.gov/dcca/pvl/faqs/FAQ_Massage_Therapy.pdf). The Board has, however, provided instructions and paperwork to ensure that the apprenticeship meets state regulation.

A Hawaii apprentice will receive 70 hours of training in clinical operations; the clinical operations training will include 30 hours each of sanitation and office procedures and 10 hours of record keeping. The apprentice will have 40 hours of advanced techniques, comprised of 20 hours of observation and 20 hours of consultation. The remaining 320 hours of the apprenticeship will be supervised practice of massage, along with record keeping duties.

Out-of-state trainees must receive their education through massage therapy schools; the Board will not accept out-of-state apprenticeship programs. Schools must hold appropriate approval or licensing. This may be granted by an educational agency, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), or the Rolf Institute. Board-approved workshops may also be credited toward the instruction/ theory requirements.

The massage therapist will need training in infant and adult CPR. Training should be pursued through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Courses by other providers may be accepted, but the applicant will need to submit a waiver request. Online study is not permitted.

Examination Requirements

Prospective Hawaii massage therapists take a state-specific examination. The Hawaii Massage Therapy Exam covers anatomy and physiology, massage theory, clinical situations, and laws and rules. It includes 100 multiple choice questions; the minimum passing score is 75.

The exam is administered by Prometric. Approved candidates will receive their registration materials from the licensing agency. They will send the registration form along with a $90 fee. The examination is offered in Hilo, Kauai, Kona, Maui, and Oahu. Prometric has published a list of registration deadlines (https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/Hawaii/pages/himassther.aspx). Candidates will also find a link to an information booklet on the Prometric site.

Walk-in testing is available in Oahu four times a year according to a published schedule; there is an additional $50 fee. Candidates interested in walk-in testing at other sites should call Prometric at 808-261-8182.

Those wishing to schedule in another state will make the request at the time of application and, if approved, contact Prometric.

The Board notes that Hawaii massage therapists must take the state examination even if they have taken a licensing or certification examination in another jurisdiction.

The Application Process

Application forms are available online (http://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/boards/massage/application_publications).

Individuals will come under Board jurisdiction at different points, depending on how they do their training. Those receiving training in apprenticeship programs will submit registration applications at the onset. They must document that they have had 150 hours of qualifying education. An apprentice will need letters of agreement from the principal massage therapist and the sponsor.

License applications are submitted before examination. Individuals must observe application deadlines (http://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/boards/massage/application-deadline-examination-dates/). Otherwise, the examination process may be delayed.

A complete application file includes supplemental materials. Applicants who completed Hawaii-based apprenticeship programs will submit massage therapist apprentice training reports signed by the principal massage therapist and the sponsoring massage therapist.

Schooling is to be documented on the ‘Education & Training Coursework Hours’ form. Applicants will need to document that their education met Hawaii’s curriculum requirements; credits are to be converted into hours. In addition to transcripts or completion certificates, the licensing agency will need course descriptions for all courses. Applicants are directed to include a brochure or course catalog from the time that they attended.

Applicants can contact their school for documentation of approval or licensure. If the school cannot provide the documentation, the applicant may contact the approving agency, for example, the state department of education. Instructions are included in the application package.

The licensing agency will accept a copy of the front and back of a CPR card as evidence of current certification.

Applicants who answer “yes” to certain questions (legal history, discipline, unlicensed activity) will need to attach supporting documentation. They may make a request to personally appear before the Board to give testimony; the request is made at the time of application.

The application fee is currently $50.

Applicants will affirm that they have read the laws and rules.

Applications can be mailed or hand delivered to the Board Office in Honolulu.

International Applicants

International applicants will need to have documents translated into English. The translator will need to submit a notarized affidavit. A sample is included in the apprenticeship application packet. The international applicant will need a letter from a government official certifying that the school was appropriately approved or licensed.

Licensing of Military Spouses

Hawaii has passed legislation to make it easier for military spouses who are stationed in Hawaii to receive reciprocal/ endorsement licenses (http://files.hawaii.gov/dcca/pvl/Act_247_248-SLH2012.pdf).

Additional Information

Massage therapist licensing information can be found on the Hawaii Professional and Vocational Licensing website (http://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/boards/massage/). PVL can be reached by telephone at (808) 586-3000. Contact information for the Neighbor Islands is available on the main page of massage therapy licensing section and in the application packet. Individuals can email the Board at ‘massage at dcca.hawaii.gov’.

The Hawaii Massage Association is an additional professional resource but does not issue licenses (http://www.hawaiimassage.org/).