A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy Licensure in Idaho

Idaho massage therapists are licensed by the Idaho Board of Massage Therapy. Licensure is based on education, examination, and background screening.

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Educational Requirements

Prospective licensees must complete massage therapy programs comprised of at least 500 hours of education and training.

An individual can earn initial licensure on the basis of out-of-state education, but the education will need to meet the standards described in Idaho rule (http://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/24/2701.pdf). The program must include at least 125 hours of body systems coursework, including anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. It must include 200 hours of coursework in assessment, theory, and application of massage and bodywork. There must be 40 hours of pathology and 25 hours of business and ethics.

The student will do 110 hours of clinical work under the supervision of a licensed professional. A student enrolled in an Idaho program will not be allowed to begin clinical work until he or she has completed at least 20% of the required instruction hours.

Massage Therapist Examination Requirements

Massage therapists are licensed by examination. Prospective massage therapists are referred to two organizations: the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (http://ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/BoardAdditional.aspx?Bureau=MAS&BureauLinkID=150). The Board will accept multiple examinations, including some that are no longer offered. State rules reference the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx), the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM), the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB). State rules also note that other examinations may be accepted; requests are to be made in writing (http://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/24/2701.pdf).

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards offers the MBLEx. By agreement between the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, the MBLEx is now the sole examination intended to assess basic professional skills necessary for licensure. It is multiple choice and is available in both English and Spanish.

Candidates can submit applications online or through the mail (https://www.fsmtb.org/mblex/application-requirements/). They must verify on the application form that they have read the candidate handbook. They must also remit a $195 fee. Transcripts are not required; the FSMTB does caution, though, that passing the examination is not in and of itself sufficient to ensure licensure.

Candidates typically receive their ATTs within five business days; at this point, they can schedule their examinations through Pearson VUE. The FSMTB accepts correspondence pertaining to the MBLEx at ‘mblex at fsmtb.org’ or 866-962-3926.

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork ceased to offer the NCETM and NCETMB February 1, 2015. The NCBTMB instead offers the NCTBTMB Board Certification Examination as part of a Board Certification process; those who complete the entire process receive a credential that does not replace state licensure but represents additional training and, in some ways, a higher standard (http://www.ncbtmb.com/board-certification). Before a massage therapist can achieve Board Certification, he or she must complete at least 750 hours of education and accrue at least 250 hours of professional work experience. NCBTMB customer service is available at 800-296-0664 and ‘info at ncbtmb.org’.

The Idaho Board will accept test results from certification examinations taken in the past, including those taken before Idaho began licensing massage therapists.

The Application Process

Applications are available on the website of the Bureau of Occupational Licenses (http://ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/BoardAdditional.aspx?Bureau=MAS&BureauLinkID=930). Forms may also be requested in writing.

The Board will need official transcripts from the massage school.

The applicant will also need to document that he or she is at least 18 years of age and has education at at least the high school level. Age can be documented through a copy of a driver’s license, passport, military ID, or birth certificate. Education may be documented through a high school or college transcript, GED, or diploma.

Applicants who answer “yes” to questions about legal history or professional discipline will need to provide additional information to demonstrate suitability. The Board will consider factors such as the nature of the crime or violation, the time that has elapsed, and the applicant’s activities since (restitution, treatment, education, employment). The applicant will need to provide a copy of the actual charges and order.

Application forms require notarization. Applicants pay $125 ($50 for application and $75 for initial licensing).

Applications may be mailed or hand-delivered to the Boise address. Applications will need to be submitted at least seven days before a Board meeting. The Board meets three or four times a year; the date is published on the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses website (https://secure.ibol.idaho.gov/eIBOLCalendar/Default.aspx).

Applications may be submitted before examination results are available. Although complete application packages receive priority, if there is sufficient time at the review session, some applicants may have their credentials tentatively approved, pending examination results. All other materials must be in.

Applicants can expect to receive communication two to four weeks after a meeting. In cases where the applicant has a legal or disciplinary history, the Board may, at its discretion, request an interview.

Out-of-State Massage Therapists

Massage therapists can be licensed by endorsement if they hold current credentialing in a state with similar or higher requirements.

Out-of-state massage therapists will need to request certification of licensure; this is to come directly from the board in question. The Board also requests a copy of the other state’s licensing laws and regulations.

The endorsement candidate will need to submit a notarized application form and proof of majority age. There is a separate endorsement application package, available on the Board website (http://ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/BoardAdditional.aspx?Bureau=MAS&BureauLinkID=930).

Additional Information

The Idaho Board of Massage Therapy can be reached by email at 'mas at ibol.idaho.gov' or by telephone at 208-334-3233.

The Idaho Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association is an additional professional resource (http://id.amtamassage.org).