Massage Therapy Licensure in Montana
Montana massage therapists are under the jurisdiction of the Montana Board of Massage Therapy. They are credentialed on the basis of education and examination.
Select a Montana Massage Therapy Licensure Topic:
- Massage Therapy Schools in Montana
- Massage Therapist Education Requirements in Montana
- Examination Requirements
- Reciprocity for Out-of-State Massage Therapists
- 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 hours. The curriculum is to meet the standards of some agency that holds accreditation through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (mtrules.org/gateway / RuleNo.asp).
Board administrative rule specifically references standards adopted by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (mtrules.org / RuleNo 2E155%2E605). The referenced NCBTMB standards mandate 500 total hours, distributed as follows: 125 hours of instruction in body systems (anatomy, physiology, kinesiology); 200 hours of instruction in massage and bodywork theory, application, and assessment; 40 hours in pathology; ten hours in ethics and business (with no fewer than six hours in ethics).
The rule notes that other curriculum guidelines may be reviewed.
The candidate will need to pass an examination. Four national examinations have been approved. State examinations can also be accepted if the Board deems them equivalent.
Three of the national examinations referenced in administrative rule are no longer administered. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork has ceased to offer the NCETMB, NESL, and NCETM. Instead it offers a Board Certification examination that is not intended to assess entry-level skills; the examination is intended to be taken as part of a rigorous Board Certification process.
The Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination, or MBLEx, an offering of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, is in widespread use as a licensing examination (www.fsmtb.org/). Candidates can visit the FSMTB website to download candidate bulletins and complete the registration process. They should be prepared to pay a $195 examination fee. Registration is processed within five working days. Approved candidates can schedule at computerized testing sites. The ATT grants a 90-day testing window. A candidate will select the licensing agency that scores should be reported to. (There is no fee to have scores reported to one agency; an examinee who needs additional score reports will pay $20 for each.)
The Application Process
License applications are available on the Board website (bsd.dli.mt.gov/license / lmt board page). There is also an online application system (bsd.dli.mt.gov/license / bsd boards lmt board). Applicants are asked to review the applicable laws and rules before submission.
High school graduation (or equivalency) can be documented through an official certificate of completion or a certified copy of a transcript. The licensing agency will also need evidence that the applicant is at least eighteen; a copy of a driver’s license will suffice.
The applicant must secure two confidential letters, both attesting to good character. The form is found in the application packet. The applicant will fill out the top portion and forward it to the references; they will mail the completed forms back to the licensing agency.
Applicants are required to submit license verification if they hold, or have held, licensing or state registration in a professional discipline.
The combined application/ licensing fee is $140 (mtrules.org/gateway / E401). It cannot be refunded, even in cases where licensure is denied.
Routine application files are typically processed within 30 days of the time of completion. Nonroutine applications may take as long as 120 days.
The Board typically reviews only those applications that are considered nonroutine. An application may be considered nonroutine for any of multiple reasons, including the applicant having a criminal history or having passed an examination other than one that has been approved by the Board (mtrules.org / gateway Rule No E613). Some applicants with very minor criminal history may not require Board review; this is the case when convictions fall into categories that would not preclude licensure.
Out-of-State Massage Therapists
Out-of-state massage therapists can be licensed by credential if it is determined that they hold an equivalent license.
The licensing agency reports that the following states have been reviewed and found eligible for license by credential: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington (bsd.dli.mt.gov/license / lmt board). Additional states may be added to the list following review.
Out-of-state licensees will find a “license by credential” application on the Board website (bsd.dli.mt.gov/license / bsd_boards). They should be prepared to provide a copy of the statutes and rules that govern licensure in the other state.
The out-of-state license must be in good standing. A license verification form is included in the application packet. The massage therapist will fill out the top portion and send it to the state of licensure.
Applicants for license by credential will need to provide two character references as well as documentation of age and documentation of high school completion (or equivalency).
If the other state’s statutes and rules to do not establish equivalency, the licensing agency may request additional information from the applicant.
Information is available from the Montana Board of Massage Therapy (bsd.dli.mt.gov/license / bsd boards) Individuals with application or licensing questions can email ‘DLIBSDLicensingUnitB at mt.gov’ or call (406) 841-2202.
The Montana Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association is the state’s professional organization (amtamassage.org / chapters 82446). AMTA-MT is not directly involved with the licensing process.