A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy Licensure in Connecticut

Connecticut massage therapists are licensed by the Department of Public Health (DPH). Licensure is based on education and examination. Out-of-state massage therapists may be licensed by endorsement.

Select a Connecticut Massage Therapy Licensure Topic:

Massage Therapist Education Requirements

Prospective massage therapists must complete programs of at least 500 hours. Connecticut does not credit online education toward the 500 hour requirement.

Massage therapists can be licensed by examination if they completed programs that 1) have been assigned school codes by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and 2) are accredited by a recognized entity. A program can be accepted if it was accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA), accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or approved by a state level board of post-secondary technical trade and business schools.

Examination Requirements for Licensed Massage Therapists

Connecticut massage therapists must pass a licensing examination. There have been recent changes to the state’s examination requirements. Until recently, state legislation had mandated the National Certification Examination for Massage and Bodywork (NCEMB), an offering of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). In February of 2015, the NCBTMB ceased to make this particular examination available. In April of 2015, the Connecticut governor signed an act to change the text of the licensing law to state that applicants must pass "an examination prescribed by the department" (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/FC/2015HB-06794-R000467-FC.htm).

Connecticut has joined the rank of states that will accept the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination, or MBLEx (https://www.fsmtb.org/).

By agreement between the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards and the NCBTMB, the MBLEx is now the sole national examination designed for initial licensing; the NCBTMB offers only a certification examination intended as part of a multi-component Board Certification process for more experienced practitioners. The text of Connecticut’s 2015 licensing requirements does not specifically address the acceptability of this exam; it continues to specify that one former NCBTMB examination, the National Examination for State Licensing (NESL), is not accepted for licensure.

The Examination Process

MBLEx candidates can download information bulletins from the website of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. The examination carries a $195 fee. Approved candidates receive ATTs which grant a 90 day examination window. Examinations are administered via computer at Pearson VUE assessment centers. There are three assessment centers in Connecticut: in Norwalk and in the greater Hartford and New Haven metropolitan areas (https://wsr.pearsonvue.com/testtaker/registration/SelectTestCenterProximity/FSMTB/567613).

A new graduate may be issued a temporary permit; this authorizes practice pending examination (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389354).

However, the FSMTB does not require candidates to submit transcripts, and scores can be released soon after examination.

Temporary permit holders work under supervision. A permit is invalidated if the practitioner fails an examination attempt.

The Massage Therapist License Application Process

Individuals apply to the Department of Public Health when they have met all requirements with the possible exception of examination. Application materials are available from the DPH website (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389350).

The application packet includes an educational form. This is to be filled out by the massage therapy school. The purpose is to verify that the program met basic requirements with regard to authorization/ approval, number of hours, and instructional modality.

Applicants who answer yes to professional history questions will need to provide detailed written explanation, along with supporting documents such as court records, judgments, or settlements. The Department of Health may take into account multiple factors when determining the eligibility of applicants who have committed felonies or unprofessional acts (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389534). Applicants who have unresolved complaints are not eligible for licensure until such time as the complaint is resolved.

Each applicant is directed to tape a recent photograph to the application and have the form notarized. There is a $375 fee.

Materials can be mailed to the following address:

Connecticut Department of Public Health
Massage Therapist Licensure
410 Capitol Ave., MS #12 APP
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134

There is a separate application for the temporary permit; it requires a supervisor's signature. The permit holder must also have a license application on file.

Applicants may email ‘oplc.dph at ct.gov.’ to monitor application status (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389534).

Eligibility decisions are generally made within four weeks of the time that the application file is completed.

Out-of-State Applicants

Licensed out-of-state massage therapists may be endorsed into Connecticut (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389346). In order to be eligible, the therapist must have passed an examination accepted by the Board.

An out-of-state licensee who meets active practice requirements will not need to document education. An out-of-state licensee who did not practice for at least a year immediately prior to application will, however, need to document the 500 hours. Legislation specifies that the 500 hours must have been earned at a school with state or national accreditation; it does not specify that the school have been assigned a code by the NCBTMB (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/FC/2015HB-06794-R000467-FC.htm).

Additional Information

Information on massage therapist licensure is available from the Department of Public Health (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389348). The Department can be reached by telephone at (860) 509-7603.

The American Massage Therapy Association is an additional professional resource. AMTA is not involved with the licensing process, but does provide legislative updates (http://www.amtamassage.org/government/leg_briefing.html). The state chapter is AMTA-CT (http://www.amtactchapter.org).