To get licensed in California, massage therapists are required to take a massage exam that covers such subjects as anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology. Whether you live in Los Angeles, San Franciso, San Diego or another city or county, the resources below will help you get started on the path to receive your massage license.
Need of Massage Certification: Certification as a massage therapist is voluntary in California. To hold one self out as a certified massage therapist, and be able to work throughout the state of California without the need for multiple permits or paying additional fees, a massage therapist is required to become certified.
Who Grants Certification: Certification is granted by the California Massage Therapy Council (“CAMTC”).
Qualifications to become Certified: What requirements have to be met to become certified is determined by the number of hours of education in massage therapy the candidate has completed. If a candidate has 0 to 249 hours of education, the candidate can only get certified by passing the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). If the candidate has 250 hours of massage therapy education or above, no exam is required for certification as a practitioner or therapist.
For more information on qualifications, see California Massage Therapist.
Applying for the Massage Exam:
Candidates can apply online to take the MBLEx. More information can be found on the MBLEx in a Candidate Handbook.
How to Apply for Certification: Candidates must provide CAMTC the following documents: (1) completed application; (2) transcript of completed course of study; (3) finger printing; and(4) verification of passage of the MBLEx. The documents should be sent to:
One Capital Mall, Suite 320
Sacramento, CA 95814
Official school transcripts and MBLEx results must be forwarded directly to CAMTC from the respective organizations.
Test Content: The MBLEx exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions with four choices provided for each question. Test takers have 110 minutes to complete the computer based exam.
The exam is divided into eight content areas:
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Populations
- Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue
- Client Assessment, Reassessment, & Treatment Planning
- Overview of Massage & Bodywork History/Culture/Modalities
- Ethics, Boundaries, Laws, Regulations
- Guidelines for Professional Practice
Fees: There are fees to apply to become a licensed massage therapist.
Who administers the test: The MBLEx is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) and Pearson Vue.
License Renewal Requirements: A massage therapist must renew their license every 2 years and there is currently no continuing education requirement.
Applicable Regulations: Massage therapists in California are regulated by Business and Professions Code Sections 4600-4620.
For more information on licensing and exam preparation, go to Tests.com’s MBLEx Test Guide and BCETMB Test Guide.
And take Tests.com’s Massage Therapist Practice Tests:
For massage therapy exam preparation products, such as study guides, flashcards and courses, go to Tests.com’s MBLEx and BCETMB listings.