To get licensed in South Dakota, massage therapists are required to take a massage exam that covers such subjects as anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology. Whether you live in Aberdeen, Rapid City, Sioux Falls 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 South Dakota.
Who Grants a License: Licenses are granted by the South Dakota Board of Massage Therapy.
Qualifications to receive a License: A candidate needs to complete a minimum of 500 hours of massage therapy education broken down as follows:
- Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology – 125 hours
- Clinical Pathology – 40 hours
- Massage/Bodywork Theory, Assessment and Education – 200 hours
- Adjunct Techniques – 125 hours
- Business Practices and Professionalism – 10 hours
A candidate must also pass one of the following exams:
- Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx)
- American Medical Massage Association National Board Certification Exam (AMMA NBCE)
For more information on qualifications, see South Dakota Massage Therapist.
Applying for the Exam:
Candidates can apply online to take the MBLEx. More information can be found on the MBLEx in a Candidate Handbook.
Candidates can apply online to take the AMMA NBCE.
Test Content: The MBLEx and the AMMA NBCE Exams 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
- 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
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) sealed transcript of completed course of study; (3) proof of professional liability insurance and (5) verification from the NCBTMB , FSMTB, or AMMA NBCE of passage of the respective exam. The documents should be sent to:
South Dakota Board of Massage Therapy
PO Box 1062
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1062
Phone: (605) 271-7103
Fees: There are fees to apply to become a licensed massage therapist.
Who Administers the Exam: The MBLEx is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. The NBCE is administered by the American Medical Massage Association.
Professional Liability Insurance: Candidates must hold professional liability insurance in the amount of at least $250,000 prior to receiving their license.
License Renewal Requirement: A massage therapist must renew their license two years and complete at least 8 hours of continuing education.
Applicable Regulations: Massage therapists in South Dakota are regulated by Administrative Rule ARSD 20:76.
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.