Washington DC Massage Therapist License Exam

To get licensed in Washington, DC, massage therapists are required to take a massage exam that covers such subjects as anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology.  Whether you live in Adams Morgan, Cathedral Heights, Kingman Park or another city or town, the resources below will help you get started on the path to receive your massage license. 

Need of a Massage License: A massage therapist needs a license to practice massage therapy in the District of Columbia. 

Who Grants a License:  Licenses are granted by the District of Columbia Health Professional Licensing Administration, Board of Massage Therapy

Qualifications to receive a License:  A candidate needs to graduate from an approved massage school and have completed a minimum of 500 hours of in-class training.  A minimum of 100 of the 500 hours must consist of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. The candidate must also be certified by either the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). 

For more information on qualifications, see DC Massage Therapist.  

Applying for the Massage Exam:   A candidate needs to pass the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB).  

Candidates can apply online to take the NCETMB.  More information can be found on the NCETMB in a Candidate Handbook.  

Test Content:   The NCETMB exam consists of 160 multiple-choice questions with four choices provided for each question.  Test takers have two hours and forty minutes to complete the computer based exam.  

The exam is divided into six content areas: 

     -          General knowledge of body systems  

     -          Knowledge of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology  

     -          Pathology  

     -          Therapeutic massage and bodywork assessment  

     -          Therapeutic massage and bodywork application 

     -          Professional standards, ethics, business and legal practices

How to Apply for the License:  Candidates must provide the Board the following documents:  (1) completed application; (2) certified transcripts of completed course of study;  and (3) verification from the NCBTMB of passage of the NCETMB.  The documents should be sent to: 

               Department of Health 

               Health Professional Licensing Administration 

               Board of Massage Therapy 

               899 North Capital Street, NE, First Floor 

               Washington, DC 2002 

Phone: (877) 374-1157 

Official NCETMB results and school transcript must be forwarded directly from those organizations.  A criminal back ground check will also be required. 

Fees:  There are fees to apply to become a licensed massage therapist. 

Who administers the test:  NCBTMB and Pearson Vue. 

License Renewal Requirements: A massage therapist must renew their license every 2 years and complete at least 12 hours of continuing education every 2 years. 

Applicable Regulations:  Massage therapists in Washington DC are regulated by District of Columbia Municipal Regulations for Massage Therapy.  


For more information on licensing and exam preparation, go to Tests.com’s MBLEx Test Guide and NCETM / NCETMB Test Guide

And take Tests.com’s Massage Therapist Practice Tests: 

MBLEx Practice Test 

NCETM Practice Test 

For massage therapy exam preparation products, such as study guides, flashcards and courses, go to Tests.com’s MBLEx and NCETM/NCETMB listings.