Massage Therapist

License required by 44 states

59th most burdensome licensing requirements.

22nd most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

Massage therapists perform therapeutic massages of soft tissue and joints. They may also assist in the assessment of range of motion and muscle strength or propose client therapy plans.

Forty-four states require a license to work as a massage therapist. On average, these laws require $372 in fees, 142 days in education and around one exam—the 59th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. However, because most states license massage therapists, the occupation ranks as the 22nd most widely and onerously licensed.

License requirements are largely consistent across many states. Twenty-four states require 500 hours (about 117 days) of education, 34 states require one exam and 35 states set a minimum age of 18 years. However, there are some outliers. For example, Maine requires no education or experience, while Maryland requires over one and a half years (about 560 days, or 600 hours of massage therapy school and 60 hours of college credit). Fees also vary widely, from $140 in Hawaii to $805 in Alaska.

States With Licenses

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Maryland 44 $698 560 600 clock hours and 60 Credit Hours 2 0 18
2 New York 44 $368 233 1000 clock hours 1 12 18
3 Nebraska 44 $223 233 1000 clock hours 1 0 19
4 Mississippi 44 $581 163 700 clock hours 2 12 18
5 Ohio 44 $391 175 750 clock hours 1 12 18
6 North Dakota 44 $345 175 750 clock hours 1 12 18
7 New Hampshire 44 $305 175 750 clock hours 1 12 18
8 Arizona 44 $412 163 700 clock hours 1 12 18
9 New Mexico 44 $275 152 650 clock hours 2 12 18
10 Wisconsin 44 $345 140 600 clock hours 2 12 18
11 Oregon 44 $401 146 625 clock hours 2 0 18
12 Massachusetts 44 $225 152 650 clock hours 0 12 18
13 Alabama 44 $320 152 650 clock hours 1 0 18
14 Illinois 44 $370 140 600 clock hours 1 0 18
15 Kentucky 44 $320 140 600 clock hours 1 0 18
16 Pennsylvania 44 $260 140 600 clock hours 1 12 0
17 Utah 44 $295 140 600 clock hours 1 0 18
18 Arkansas 44 $375 117 500 clock hours 2 12 18
19 Alaska 44 $805 117 4 clock hours and 500 clock hours 1 0 18
20 North Carolina 44 $405 117 500 clock hours 1 12 18
21 South Carolina 44 $345 117 500 clock hours 1 12 18
22 Montana 44 $335 117 500 clock hours 1 12 18
23 Hawaii 44 $140 133 570 clock hours 1 0 18
24 Georgia 44 $320 117 500 clock hours 1 12 18
24 Idaho 44 $320 117 500 clock hours 1 12 18
26 South Dakota 44 $315 117 500 clock hours 1 12 18
27 Texas 44 $346 117 500 clock hours 2 0 18
28 Washington 44 $336 117 500 clock hours 2 0 18
29 Nevada 44 $575 117 500 clock hours 1 0 18
30 Tennessee 44 $513 117 500 clock hours 1 0 18
31 D C 44 $457 117 500 clock hours 1 0 18
32 Delaware 44 $390 117 500 clock hours 1 0 18
33 Missouri 44 $365 117 500 clock hours 1 0 18
34 Florida 44 $350 117 500 clock hours 1 0 18
35 Michigan 44 $290 117 500 clock hours 1 12 0
36 Virginia 44 $335 117 500 clock hours 1 0 18
37 Rhode Island 44 $295 117 500 clock hours 1 0 18
38 Connecticut 44 $575 117 500 clock hours 1 0 0
39 West Virginia 44 $545 117 500 clock hours 1 0 0
40 Louisiana 44 $421 117 500 clock hours 1 0 0
41 Iowa 44 $315 117 500 clock hours 1 0 0
42 Colorado 44 $315 117 500 clock hours 1 0 0
43 New Jersey 44 $176 117 500 clock hours 0 0 0
44 Maine 44 $281 0 1 12 18

JOIN THE FIGHT!   Sign up for newsletters:

JOIN THE FIGHT!