Massage Therapist

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.
License required by 44 states
59th most burdensome licensing requirements
22nd most widely and onerously licensed occupation

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.

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Maryland 44 $697.75 560 600 clock hours and 60 Credit Hours - 2 0 18
2 New York 44 $368.00 233 1000 clock hours - 1 12 18
3 Nebraska 44 $222.50 233 1000 clock hours - 1 0 19
4 Mississippi 44 $581.00 163 700 clock hours - 2 12 18
5 Ohio 44 $391.00 175 750 clock hours - 1 12 18
6 North Dakota 44 $345.00 175 750 clock hours - 1 12 18
7 New Hampshire 44 $305.00 175 750 clock hours - 1 12 18
8 Arizona 44 $412.00 163 700 clock hours - 1 12 18
9 New Mexico 44 $275.00 152 650 clock hours - 2 12 18
10 Wisconsin 44 $345.00 140 600 clock hours - 2 12 18
11 Oregon 44 $400.50 146 625 clock hours - 2 0 18
12 Massachusetts 44 $225.00 152 650 clock hours - 0 12 18
13 Alabama 44 $320.00 152 650 clock hours - 1 0 18
14 Illinois 44 $370.00 140 600 clock hours - 1 0 18
15 Kentucky 44 $320.00 140 600 clock hours - 1 0 18
16 Pennsylvania 44 $260.00 140 600 clock hours - 1 12 0
17 Utah 44 $295.00 140 600 clock hours - 1 0 18
18 Arkansas 44 $375.00 117 500 clock hours - 2 12 18
19 Alaska 44 $805.00 117 4 clock hours and 500 clock hours - 1 0 18
20 North Carolina 44 $405.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 12 18
21 South Carolina 44 $345.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 12 18
22 Montana 44 $335.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 12 18
23 Hawaii 44 $140.00 133 570 clock hours - 1 0 18
24 Georgia 44 $320.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 12 18
24 Idaho 44 $320.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 12 18
26 South Dakota 44 $315.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 12 18
27 Texas 44 $346.00 117 500 clock hours - 2 0 18
28 Washington 44 $336.00 117 500 clock hours - 2 0 18
29 Nevada 44 $575.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 18
30 Tennessee 44 $513.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 18
31 D C 44 $457.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 18
32 Delaware 44 $390.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 18
33 Missouri 44 $364.80 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 18
34 Florida 44 $350.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 18
35 Michigan 44 $290.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 12 0
36 Virginia 44 $335.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 18
37 Rhode Island 44 $295.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 18
38 Connecticut 44 $574.75 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 0
39 West Virginia 44 $545.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 0
40 Louisiana 44 $421.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 0
41 Iowa 44 $315.00 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 0
42 Colorado 44 $314.50 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 0
43 New Jersey 44 $175.70 117 500 clock hours - 0 0 0
44 Maine 44 $281.00 0 - - 1 12 18