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How To Become A Licensed Massage Therapist

How To Become A Licensed Massage Therapist In Washington State

How To Become A Licensed Massage Therapist

So, you’re interested living the life of a healer and the vocation of a massage therapist has caught your fancy? You are now wondering where to start the process of getting yourself educated and licensed for the same? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we present you with a comprehensive list of requirements to see your dream vocation come true, in Washington State!


Long story short, if you want to qualify as a licensed massage therapist in the state of Washington, you need to show that you have successfully completed a massage program approved by the board or apprenticeship with trainers i.e. individuals who have at least five years’ worth of practice as a licensed massage therapist.


And there’s some good news! A law was passed effective from March 11, 2016, stating that those candidates who hold an out-of-state massage license (which has not been subject to any disciplinary action elsewhere) can apply for what is being termed “licensure by endorsement”. Read more about this here.


Now, back to basics.


Education: Program Requirements


A total of 500 hours of training is the minimum requirement set by the board. These hours are broken up as follows:


  • 130 hrs. of physiology and anatomy. There is the additional requirement that a minimum of 40 hrs. of these 130 hrs. consist of kinesiology.
  • 50 hrs. of pathology, including training in indications and contraindications.
  • 265 hrs. of practice and theory of massage. These hours must include training in remedial movements, techniques, impact of techniques taught on various pathologies and ideal body mechanics of the massage practitioner. A maximum of 50 hrs. out of the 265 may be devoted to time in a student clinic. To be included in these hours is hydrotherapy, when relevant to the specific area of practice.
  • 55 hrs. of business/clinical practices with minimal inclusion of record keeping, hygiene, professional ethics, medical terminology, client interaction, human behavior and local and state laws.


Apart from the above-mentioned 500 hrs. of training, the following are also required to attain your goal of becoming a licensed massage therapist:


  • Certification from the American Red Cross in first aid and from the American Heart Association Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
  • Four hours of contact classes for training in HIV-AIDS, focused on the following topics:


Epidemiology and etiology, infection control and transmission, counseling and testing, clinical manifestations as well as their treatment, technical and legal issues as well as psychosocial issues. This training is provided by local community colleges and hospitals.


Completing Your Application: Washington State


You need to send in three copies of the filled in application form available here and each of the copies are to be secured in a three-ring binder. Only applications submitted in the format required by the board will be considered. Before approval, a site-review may be scheduled followed by periodic reviews afterwards. Also, the applications are to be submitted five weeks in advance. The decision of the board will be considered final.


Now that you’re privy to all the required information, we urge you to go ahead and fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed massage therapist! Here’s wishing you the very best in your endeavors!


For more information on how you can become a licensed massage therapist contact DiscoveryPoint School Of Massage.




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