To get licensed in the state of Washington, massage therapists are required to take a massage exam that covers such subjects as anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology. Whether you live in Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma 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 Washington state.
Who Grants a License: Licenses are granted by the Washington State Department of Health.
Qualifications to receive a License: A candidate needs to complete at least 500 hours of course instruction in massage therapy broken down as follows:
- 265 hours of massage therapy techniques and theories
- 130 hours of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology
- 50 hours of pathology
- 55 hours of massage therapy hygiene, business practices and ethics
- 15 hours of sanitation, first aid CPR
- 4 hours of HIV-AIDS training
The candidate must also pass the following exams:
1. The candidate must pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).
2. The candidate must pass the state jurisprudence exam.
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
State Jurisprudence Examination: The Washington state jurisprudence exam is an online test. You take the exam and print out the certificate that is given upon completion. You need 100% to pass the test. You include the certificate of completion in your application package to the Department.
How to Apply for the License: Candidates must provide the Department the following documents: (1) completed application; (2) transcript of completed course of study; (3) criminal background check ; and (4) verification of passage of the MBLEx. Candidates must send the documents to:
Washington Department of Health
Board of Massage Credentialing
PO Box 47877
Olympia, WA 98504-7877
Phone: (360) 236-4700
Fees: There are fees to apply to become a licensed massage therapist.
Who Administers the Massage Tests: The MBLEx is administered by the the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).
License Renewal Requirements: A massage therapist must renew her license every two years and complete at least 24 hours of continuing education in that time period.
Applicable Regulations: Massage therapists in Washington are governed by Washington Administrative Code 246-830.
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.