Massage Therapy Licensure in Nebraska

Nebraska massage therapists are regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services under the advisement of the Board of Massage Therapy. Nebraska requires massage therapists to be at least 19 years of age, to display evidence of good character, and to meet education and examination requirements. Educational requirements are set higher than they are in most states, at least for massage therapists seeking first-time licensure. However, massage therapists who are licensed in other states can use alternative methods to show that they have met education and training requirements.

Select a Nebraska Massage Therapy Licensure Topic:

Massage Therapist Educational Requirements

First-time massage therapists must complete programs of at least 1,000 hours.

The massage therapy student will need 100 hours in each of the following areas:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Hygiene and Practical demonstration
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Pathology
  • Massage
  • Health service management

Hygiene may include topics such as nutrition, food combining, and CPR as well as sanitation. Health service management may include ethics, legalities, and business practices, among other topics. Massage may include many topics ranging from the benefits of massage to proper draping, but must be taught by a licensed massage therapist. A full description of each required content area is found in Title 172 Chapter 81of state administrative code ( Rules Title 172 Chapter 081 pdf).

The remaining hours should be related to clinical practice. There are many possible topics, including Swedish massage, sports massage, infant massage, reflexology, and health history and documentation. Hands-on training may be included in this subject area.

Massage therapy programs are to represent at least nine months of study.

The Department has provided a list of state-licensed massage therapy schools ( / publichealth / MT Home).

Massage Therapy License Examination Requirements

The prospective massage therapist will need to pass a massage therapy examination and a state jurisprudence examination.

The licensing agency will accept any of several national massage therapy licensing examinations. One option is the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. Prospective massage therapists can download candidate handbooks from the FSMTB website ( mblex). They may submit their materials online or through the mail. Materials are usually processed within five business days. The resulting ATT allows the candidate to schedule a computerized examination through Pearson VUE.

The licensing agency will also accept multiple examinations offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Candidates should be aware that materials on the website reference some examinations that are no longer offered ( public health MT).

The jurisprudence examination is open book and can be taken online ( / GBQYT9W).However, the candidate will need to print it and mail it. The candidate will need to score at or above 75%.

License by Reciprocity

Massage therapists who hold licensing in other states are required to demonstrate a total of 1,000 hours of education and training but are allowed more leeway in how they meet the requirement. Educational hours do not have to be distributed in the manner usually required by the licensing agency ( Rules Health and Human Services System pdf). The massage therapist can credit work experience toward education/ training requirements at a rate of 100 hours per year of full-time experience. The licensing agency will credit as many as 100 hours of education for continuing education pursued through organizations approved by the FSMTB or the NCBTMB. A semester credit of related college coursework can be credited as 15 hours.

An out-of-state massage therapist who does not yet meet Nebraska licensing requirements may be issued a temporary license that authorizes work under supervision.

The Application Process

Applications can be downloaded from the website of the Department of Health and Human Services ( / public health mhcs mass apps). Individuals who are applying for license by examination will submit their materials when they have 1) met all requirements or 2) met all requirements but the national examination. Department authorization is not necessary to register for the national examination; candidates can register directly. However, a candidate who has not yet taken the national examination may begin work under a temporary license.

The licensing agency seeks official transcripts, submitted directly by the massage school.

Age can be documented through a copy of a driver’s license, state or military-issued ID, transcript, or marriage license; other documents may be accepted as well. The licensing agency will also accept a variety of documents as evidence of citizenship or other lawful status, among them, passports, birth certificates, and certificates of naturalization.

Individuals who have held health or environmental licenses must submit credential certification.

Those who have had actions taken against licenses must submit copies of the charges and dispositions. Those who have been convicted of criminal offenses must submit their own self-explanations in addition to the actual court records. If the conviction was drug-related, the licensing agency will also need copies of any evaluations that were carried out and any treatment that was obtained.

License fees depend on the stage in the renewal cycle. Rates are included in the application packet. Temporary licensure carries an additional $25 fee.

Additional Information

Massage therapy licensing information is available from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services ( / MT). The Licensure Unit can be reached by telephone at (402) 471-2117. Additional contact information is available on the DHHS website ( / crl MT Home).

The Nebraska Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association is an additional professional resource (