What Do I Need to Know About Massage Therapy Certification

Updated: Sep 22


The massage therapy industry is continuously developing new and advanced methods, making it an increasingly competitive field. Employers and clients are choosing practitioners who are more proficient and knowledgeable over others. So, people are taking certification classes for additional experience and skill enhancement.

If you’re thinking of enrolling, look for the best massage therapy school in King of Prussia, PA. They offer day and night certification classes so you can easily choose one that works with your schedule. And, they have a job-finding service to help you start your career.

Here are the things you should learn about certifications and their process:

Massage Therapy License vs. Certification

For people who are new to the industry, the difference between being licensed and certified is confusing. Others believe they’re synonymous. Although they may seem similar, since certified massage therapists (CMTs) and licensed massage therapists (LMC) have the same amount of training, they actually have a clear distinction.

  • Licensure – This is a mandatory process before you can professionally offer your services. Becoming a licensed therapist requires graduating from an accredited 500-hour training program. You’ll also have to pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination or the NCETM/NCETMB. This can be a state or local test and might be needed on both levels depending on your area.

  • Certification – This is a voluntary process and isn’t a requirement for you to practice professionally. It can only be given to you if you can prove you have advanced knowledge and practical skills as a therapist. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) gives the highest attainable credential in this profession.

To be a certified practitioner, you’ll have to meet a higher standard of education and experience. The board exam goes way beyond the entry-level test you took for your license. Getting this credential requires plenty of dedication and hard work. So, a lot of agencies and institutions offer massage therapy programs and training. Some schools even provide financial aid for those who need help with the fees.

Requirements for Certification

Apart from your license, the NCBTMB has other requirements to be a certified therapist. First, you need to complete an approved 750 hours of education and 250 hours of hands-on experience. Then, you’ll have to go through a rigorous exam that tests your massage techniques, skills, critical thinking, ethics, communication, and much more. You’ll also have to pass a criminal background check before finally receiving this recognition.

Benefits of a Massage Therapy Certificate

A certificate may not be a requirement, but it should be due to the benefits it gives you. Here are some of them:

  • Additional Credibility – A certification shows your high level of commitment to your clients and the advancement of the industry. Your patients will feel confident, safe, and secure, knowing that the care they’re receiving meets national standards. This allows you to build a loyal network of customers.

  • More Opportunities – Because of the high demand for advanced practitioners, a certification offers you endless possibilities in the field. You’ll find job opportunities available everywhere, from medical offices to high-end spas.

  • Private Practice – Being certified makes it easier for you to set up your own company and make a name for yourself. Private practice will let you independently develop your skill and freely discover the extent of your capabilities. Plus, it’s ideal if you want to work around your preferred schedule.

  • Diversity of Skills – When you enroll in a certification program, you’ll undergo an in-depth and comprehensive study of different techniques. This broadens your skillset and allows you to offer more than one method.

This additional recognition given by the NCMTMB may not be a requirement. But, consider the number of opportunities it’ll provide, and you’ll see that it’s worth the work and dedication. Thankfully, the massage therapy certification cost in King of Prussia, PA, is affordable. Get in touch with Cortiva Institute Massage Therapy & Skin Care School to learn more about the process and enroll in classes.

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