To get licensed in Illinois, massage therapists are required to take a massage exam that covers such subjects as anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology. Whether you live in Chicago, Decatur, Springfield or another city or county, 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 Illinois.
Who Grants a License: Licenses are granted by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.
Qualifications to receive a License: A candidate needs to complete a minimum of 500 hours of supervised in-class study at a massage therapist school or program of massage or bodywork therapy. A student must maintain a 70% minimum grade for all courses and clinical work.
A candidate also needs to pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).
For more information on qualifications, see Illinois 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.
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
How to Apply for the License: Candidates must provide the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation the following documents: (1) completed application; (2) transcript of completed course of study; (3) criminal background check and finger printing; and(4) verification from the FSMTB of passage of the MBLEx. The documents should be sent to:
Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
ATTN: Division of Professional Regulation
PO Box 7007
Springfield, IL 62791
Official MBLEx results must be forwarded directly to the Division from the FSMTB.
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 complete at least 24 hours of continuing education every 2 years.
Applicable Regulations: Massage therapists in Illinois are regulated by the Illinois Administrative Code, Title 68, Chapter VII, Subchapter b, Part 1284, Massage Licensing Act.
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.