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An Overview of Massage Therapy Certification

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

African-American Woman Getting a Massage by African-American Massage Therapist

Your education and training at a massage college in King of Prussia, PA, and obtaining your basic massage therapy license are truly just the beginning of your journey to a fulfilling career as a massage therapist. The more you pursue additional learning and certifications, the more you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from other therapists and truly thrive in your profession. Taking the time to capitalize on your strengths and interests and to stay abreast of the best techniques will help you serve your clients with greater skill and understanding and give you greater confidence and satisfaction. Massage therapy certification costs in King of Prussia, PA, are easily recouped as you build your skills and expand your reach.

Beyond your state-level massage license, Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB) is the highest credential awarded within the massage profession. National board certification is an indication of your advanced skills and critical thinking abilities and provides a measure of critical credibility to prospective clients and employers. Patients and other healthcare providers are seeking massage therapists with proven skill sets; board certification opens doors to future opportunities.

Overview of Licensing and Certification


Licensing is a non-voluntary process regulated by the state. Pennsylvania requires massage therapists to obtain a license to practice. Specific education, examination (MBLEx), and background screening requirements must be met in order to obtain a license.

Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB)

This voluntary certification is the massage profession's only recognized certification credential above state licensing. This certification is the top achievement for massage professionals. To earn this certification, applicants must complete the following:

  • pass the MBLEx

  • complete 750 hours of education (core and CE)

  • have 250 hours of professional massage experience in the first 6 months following training

  • pass a national background check

  • have a valid CPR certificate

  • affirm the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

  • commit to opposing human trafficking

Specialty Certificates

A number of specialty certificates are available to massage therapists who wish to hone and refine their knowledge and skills when working with specific modalities or populations. These certificates are offered by the NCBTMB in order to elevate the standards for massage therapy, integrate massage therapy’s role into healthcare, provide therapists access to high-quality continuing education, and ensure that patients receive the best possible care. Certificates are available in the following:

  • Sports massage

  • Military veteran massage

  • Clinical rehabilitative massage

  • Massage therapy for integrative healthcare

  • Spa management

  • Pain and palliative care

  • Oncology massage

  • Reflexology specialty

These specialty certificates are offered with the help of outside health care providers and academic institutions, and many can be partially or fully completed with the help of Cortiva massage therapy programs in King of Prussia, PA.

Continuing Education

Massage is a fascinating profession that gives skilled therapists room to explore a wide range of techniques and interests. Continuing education courses accredited by the NCBTMB give practitioners access to a wealth of knowledge. Take a deep dive into facial massage, deepen your understanding of sports massage therapies, learn best practices for managing your own business, or get valuable information about serving your clients with diabetes or other health conditions. Each continuing education course you complete broadens your understanding of massage therapy and gives you opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

The Cortiva Institute: #1 for Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is an interesting and fulfilling profession. At Cortiva, we have all the accredited courses you need to complete license and certification requirements for Pennsylvania. You can’t beat our experience or our massage therapy school cost in King of Prussia, PA. Get your massage therapy career started at Cortiva today.

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