Missouri Massage Therapist License Exam

To get licensed in Missouri, massage therapists are required to take a massage exam that covers such subjects as anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology.  Whether you live in St. Louis, Kansas City 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 Missouri.

Who Grants a License:  Licenses are granted by the Missouri Board of Therapeutic Massage.

Qualifications to receive a License:  A candidate needs to complete a minimum of 500 clock hours of supervised instruction from an approved school or program.

The candidate must pass one of the following exams:

-          Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx)
-          National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
-          American Medical Massage Association National Board Certification Exam (AMMA NBCE)

For more information on qualifications, see Missouri 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.

The application to take the NCCAOM Exam can be found at NCCAOM application.  More information can be found on the NCCAOM Exam in the Certification Handbook.

Information on NCCAOM’s Asian Bodywork Therapy can be found in the ABT Certification Handbook.  

Test Content:   The MBLEx and the NCCAOM Exam have the following content:


The 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
-          Kinesiology
-          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

NCCAOM - Asian Bodywork Therapy Exam

The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and test takers have two hours and thirty minutes to complete the computer based exam.   The exam uses an adaptive testing process, where the computer based exam determines the level of the candidate based on whether a correct answer is given to a specific question.  If a question is answered correctly, the next question is a bit more difficult.  If the answer to a question is incorrect, the next question will be a bit easier.  You are unable to return to a previous answer in the adaptive testing process.  The adaptive testing process determines a candidate’s knowledge level and a certain level must be attained to pass the exam.

The exam is divided into eight content areas:

-          Practice Management 
-          Assessment 
-          Analysis and Differentiation of Syndromes/Patterns
-          Treatment Principle
-          Evaluation/Adjustment of Treatment
-          Client Education
-          Apply Treatment


The exam consists in 200 multiple choice questions and 5 multiple choice essay questions for a total of 205 multiple choice questions.  Test takers have two hours to complete the paper/pencil based exam.

The exam is divided into four content areas:

-          Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology Kinesiology
-          Bony Landmarks
-          Practice, Ethics, Jurisprudence and Treatment Components
-          Clinical Interpretation

How to Apply for the License:  Candidates must provide Board the following:  (1) completed application; (2) transcript of completed course of study; (3) criminal background check; (4) proof of professional liability insurance and (5) verification from the NCBTMB , FSMTB, NCCAOM or AMMA NBCE of passage of the respective exam.  The documents should be sent to:

                    Missouri Board of Therapeutic Massage
                    3605 Missouri Boulevard
                    Box 1335
                   Jefferson City, MO  65102-1335

Phone: (573)  522-6277

Fax: (573) 751-0735

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

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

Who Administers the Massage Tests:   The MBLEx is administered by the the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). The NCCAOM is administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine.  The NBCE is administered by the American Medical Massage Association.

Applicable Regulations:  Massage therapists in Missouri are regulated by Chapter 2, Massage Therapist Licensure Requirements, 20 CSR 2197-2.010 et seq. 


 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:

 MBLEx Practice Test

 BCETMB Practice Test

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

Quality starts with who wrote the material.
Our practice exam writer
Charles Celeste, LMT
, is an instructor in massage therapy at Brightwood College in California.  He has also taught at Baker College and was the program director at the American Career College.  He earned his BA in exercise science from California State University and holds an MBA.  He is MBLEx certified and has been praticing massage therapy for over ten years.

Michelle MacCubbin, LMT
, is an instructor in massage therapy at Miller-Motte Technical College in South Carolina.  Prior to this position, she was an instructor and program director at the McCann School of Business and Technology in Pennsylvania.  She is MBLEx certified with over ten years of experience in the field.

Sara Rennie, LMT
, is a massage instructor at the American Massage and Bodywork Institute in Virginia.  She also tutors students to help them pass the MBLEx. She has worked in the massage industry for over ten years.

Andrew Dacres, LMT
, is an instructor in massage therapy at the Atlanta School of Massage in Georgia.  He has also taught massage therapy at the Georgia Medical Institute and at Sanford-Brown College, where he introduced an MBLEx review class for graduating students. He is an MBLEx certified massage therapist with over ten years of experience in the field.

Chanel Andrade, LMT
, was the lead massage therapy instructor at Everest College for many eyars and, as part of her program, taught an MBLEx prep module.  She has practiced massage therapy for over ten years in California.
Passing the MBLEx is one of the last steps to attain a license as a professional massage therapist in many states.  The Actual MBLEx is 100 questions with a 1 hour and 50 minute (110 minutes) time limit.  Additionally, 5 minutes is allotted for a security agreement and another 5 minutes for a brief survey for a total of 2 hours (120 minutes). 

Actual MBLEx Content Outline (source: The FSMTB Handbook):

Anatomy & Physiology 
11-13 Questions (12%)

Benefits & Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue
13-16 Questions (14%)

Client Assessment, Reassessment & Treatment Planning
16-18 Questions (17%)

Ethics, Boundaries, Regulations, Laws
14-17 Questions (15%)

10-12 Questions (11%)

Massage Overview & Bodywork History / Culture / Modalities
4-6 Questions (5%)

Pathology, Contraindications, Special Populations, Areas of Caution
12-15 Questions (13%)

Professional Practice Guidelines
12-15 Questions (13%)