Massage Therapy Licensure in Louisiana: Become a Massage Therapist in Louisiana
Louisiana massage therapists must be state licensed. The Board of Massage Therapy awards massage therapist licenses to individuals who meet education, examination, and background check requirements.
Select a Louisiana Massage Therapy Licensure Topic:
- Massage Therapy Schools in Louisiana
- Massage Therapist Education Requirements in Louisiana
- Examination Requirements
- Background Check Requirements
- Application Process (Forms and Materials)
- Contacts for the Board and Professional Associations
Massage Therapist Educational Requirements
The prospective massage therapist must complete a program of at least 500 contact hours. At least 325 hours are to be devoted to massage therapy techniques and clinical modalities. At least 125 hours are to be devoted to anatomy and physiology. The remaining 50 hours may cover health and hygiene, first aid and CPR, ethics and business practice, as well as other discretionary topics.
Coursework is to be pursued through schools that are 1) approved by the Board of Regents or the State Department of Education or 2) are otherwise approved by the Board of Massage Therapy. A student will need to attend at least 90% of the sessions in order to receive course credit.
The Board has provided a list of Louisiana massage therapy schools but urges prospective students to confirm that the selected school does indeed meet state requirements (labmt.org/site 415).
Out-of-state education can be accepted if it meets Louisiana state mandates.
Massage Therapist Examination Requirements
Louisiana has adopted the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination, or MBLEx (labmt.org/site 380).
The examination is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. It covers the following concepts:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Physiological effects and benefits
- Contraindications and cautions/ pathology and special populations
- Client assessment and treatment planning
- Professional practice standards
- Ethics and legalities
- Modalities and history
Candidates may download information bulletins from the FSMTB website (fsmtb.org/ mblex). They will verify at the time of application that they have read the information in the bulletin and that they have had appropriate training; the FSMTB does not require transcripts.
The candidate may register online or download and mail the application form. He or she will note the Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy as the score recipient. A $195 examination fee will be required.
The FSMTB issues Authorization to Test within five business days of receiving registration materials. The ATT grants a 90 day testing window. Examinations are computer adapted and are available nationwide through the Pearson VUE testing service. They are available on an ongoing basis. However, candidates are advised that they will have more options if they schedule early.
The examinee will need to bring two IDs to the testing site. He or she will receive results shortly after testing. The Louisiana Board will receive examination results electronically.
Louisiana massage therapists can also be licensed on the basis of a certification examination that was offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork prior to November of 2014 (labmt.org/site 380). However, candidates should be aware that the Louisiana Board imposes a two-year time limit for acceptance of examination scores.
The FSMTB can be reached at 866-962-3926. The NCBTMB can be reached at 800-296-0664.
Background Check Requirements
Louisiana requires prospective massage therapists to undergo criminal record checks (labmt.org/site 414). An individual who has lived in Louisiana continually for the prior five years can have the criminal record check carried out by the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information. An individual who has lived in states other than Louisiana will need to have the check carried out by the FBI; the other option would be to have multiple checks, one from each state of residence.
In order to be accepted, a background check must bear a date that is within six months of application.
The Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information can be reached at 225-925-6006. The FBI can be reached at 304-625-2000.
The Application Process
Louisiana massage therapists have a two-step process. They apply for licensure and, once approved, register their licenses. The necessary forms can be downloaded from the Board website (labmt.org/site 432).
The licensing agency requires official transcripts. If the transcript does not provide information about clock hours or “in-class” hours, the applicant will need to secure additional information from the school.
Applicants who answer “yes” to questions about adverse legal or professional history will need to provide explanations. Those who have been convicted of felonies or sexually related misdemeanors will need to provide court documents.
An applicant will need to attach a two by two passport-style photograph. The application form requires notarization.
Application packages are to include a $75 fee; the licensing agency can accept money orders or cashier’s checks but not personal checks.
A newly approved massage therapist can fill out a short form to register his or her license. An additional fee will be required at this stage. The first-year license fee is pro-rated; the amount due depends on the season.
Some services can now be carried out online.
The Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy (labmt.org/site 1) can be reached by telephone at 225-756-3488 or by email at ‘admin at labmt.org’.
The Louisiana Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association is the state’s professional organization (amtala.org/wp). AMTA-Louisiana is not involved with the licensing process but serves as an additional professional resource.