A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy Licensure in Maine

Maine massage therapists are licensed by the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Individuals may be licensed on the basis of qualifying massage therapy schooling or qualifying examination; the state does not at this time require applicants to document both.

The foundation for practice is a high school diploma (or the equivalent). Applicants must also have acceptable legal and professional backgrounds. The State of Maine will carry out a criminal history records check.

Select a Maine Massage Therapy Licensure Topic:

Massage Therapist Educational Standards

An educational program must meet standards set by the Board in order to qualify its graduates for licensure. The program must be at least 500 hours; at least 100 hours are to consist of hands-on supervised practice.

The student will need 120 hours of education in anatomy, physiology, and pathology.

Coursework in theory, technique, and practice is to include specific techniques identified by the Board. Among them are deep friction, direct pressure, kneading, compression, percussion, and superficial warming techniques; a full list is found in the application packet.

The program must also include instruction in other Board-mandated areas. Included are massage benefits, contraindications, universal precautions, and body mechanics, as well as ethics, legalities, and professional standards; modesty and draping are covered under professional standards.

Educational requirements are describe in Chapter 300 of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation Rules (http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/02/chaps02.htm#041).

The licensing agency has provided a list of programs that meet educational requirements (http://www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/massage/index.html). The list includes only programs physically located in Maine. A program does not have to appear on this list to be license-qualifying. However, graduates of programs that have not been pre-approved will need to provide detailed information at the time of application (unless they are seeking licensure by examination).

Licensed Massage Therapist Examination Standards

Individuals seeking licensure on the basis of examination must provide scores from a Board-approved examination; the licensing agency has approved examinations offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).

Of the two, only one currently offers an examination that is intended to assess minimum skills for professional practice or to be used as a licensing examination. The FSMTB’s Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination(MBLEx) is accepted in most states as a licensing examination.

The MBLEx is multiple choice and computer-adapted. Candidates have the option of registering and paying fees (currently $195) online; they can expect authorization within five business days. Candidates do not have to submit transcripts but do need to confirm that they have read the candidate bulletin (https://fsmtb.org).

Scheduling is handled through Pearson VUE. Scores are reported to the designated state, generally within 24 hours of testing.

The NCBTMB in the past offered licensing examinations but now offers only a Board Certification examination intended as part of a multi-step certification process for accomplished therapists. In order to be eligible for Board Certification, a massage therapist must have completed a program that was assigned an NCBTMB code. The candidate must have fully 750 hours of education, though the education does not all have to be taken as part of the initial license-qualifying program; some may be pursued as continuing education. A massage therapist will not actually be granted Board Certification until he or she has practiced at the professional level for at least six months and accrued at least 250 practice hours.

The MBLEx program can be reached by email at mblex@fsmtb.org or by telephone at (866)962-3926. The NCBTMB can be reached by email at info@ncbtmb.org or by telephone at (800)296-0664.

Additional Requirement: CPR and First Aid Training

The prospective massage therapist will need to complete CPR and first aid trainings in a face-to-face setting. This training is to be delivered by an instructor who has a nationally recognized certification. It may not be credited toward the 500 massage therapy hours required of those who are seeking license by education.

The Application Process

Applications are available on the website of the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation (http://www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/massage/forms.html). Applicants are asked to read the licensing law and rules.

The applicant will need to provide either an official massage therapy transcript or an official examination score report. The qualifying document is to be sent directly from the third party.

Applicants seeking licensure on the basis of education will need to fill out a core curriculum requirements worksheet unless the program was pre-approved. The licensing agency also encourages applicants to submit course syllabi or excerpts from student catalogs.

All applicants are to provide documentation of 1) CPR and first aid certifications and 2) high school graduation or GED. The licensing agency can accept copies of these documents.

Applicants must indicate whether they have ever held professional licensing or registration in any discipline in any state or country. The licensing packet includes a verification form which is to be used to verify the status of licenses held in other states.

An applicant who has ever had a criminal conviction or faced disciplinary action against a license will need to provide an explanation and include relevant documents.

Application, license, and criminal record check fees together come to $86.

Applications can be mailed or hand delivered. The application form lists two addresses; the mailing address is in Augusta, the physical address, in Gardiner. The licensing agency cautions that even hand-delivered applications require processing time.

Typical application processing time is two to three weeks. Only complete applications can be reviewed. Individuals who submit incomplete applications should receive communication from the licensing agency. An application that is not completed within two months of receipt is no longer valid.

Additional Information

Massage Therapy Licensure (http://www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/massage/index.html) can be reached by telephone at (207) 624-8626. Interested individuals can sign up to receive email notices from the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation; subscriber preferences are managed by GovDelivery.

The Maine Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association is an additional professional resource, but does not issue credentials (http://maineamta.com).