Massage Therapist – How do you become one?

Massage therapy is a career that’s increasing in popularity. Treatments for relaxation are in high demand, making massage therapy a common goal for many. Massage therapy is also becoming more known for healing purposes, especially for pain, without the need for medications.

Become a Massage Therapist – The Job Duties

Becoming a massage therapist is more than just giving your patients a scheduled massage. A good massage therapist will create an environment that assists with soothing the client, thoroughly discussing the needs of the patient and providing the appropriate massage to alleviate the pain the client is experiencing. It is important to check in with patients to ensure they are doing better and to keep up with their progress. 

Complete a Program to Become a Massage Therapist

Before you can take on the title of massage therapist, there are some steps to take to ensure your protection and the safety of your patients. There are various programs for massage therapy out there, but you’ll need to make sure they are accredited or else you’ll be wasting your time. These programs can require up to 1,000 hours of training, which can take up to two years to complete. Once you’ve completed your program of choice, you’ll take what’s called the massage and bodywork licensing exam, which is given by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board. Since license requirements vary by state, it’s important to check with your state to make sure you meet the minimum requirements for massage therapy licensing. Some will approve you for a license after an approved internship while others require educational programs to receive a massage therapy license. 

After Completion

Once you complete the program you’re enrolled in, you’ll need to take the massage and bodywork licensing exam. You start this process by choosing one state board to send the results to. Once you are approved to take the exam, you will be scheduled to take the exam at a testing center. Test results are typically sent off quickly, so results should be available within a week or so. Should you fail the exam, you will have to wait 30 days to try again and pay additional fees for retaking the exam. If you pass, you will then need to check into further state regulations regarding working as a massage therapist. Some states may require you to complete a background check and submit fingerprints, or even take a test regarding related state laws and regulations. 

Starting Work

Once you’ve completed all the necessary steps for your state and received your license, you are free to advertise your services. Whether you work solo or join another organization is up to you. You can work at spas, wellness centers or a local massage business. You may even opt for a career as a massage therapist on a cruise ship, at a hotel, or even a hospital that utilizes massage therapy for healing and pain relief purposes. 

Massage therapy can be a lucrative career due to the increasing popularity of massage therapy for pain relief and relaxation. Getting started is simple and it starts with finding an accredited program in your state. Once you’ve completed the program, you’ll need to obtain proper licensing which requires further exams depending on the state. After you receive your license you can begin your journey as a massage therapist. 

Kristy Serdinsky, Owner, and Director of Education at NC Massage School. With a background in teaching and administration in charter and private schools, Kristy’s dedication to helping others led her to open a massage spa in Cornelius in 2015. Now, she brings her expertise in education and the massage and bodywork industry to NC Massage School, blending her two passions to create a transformative learning experience.


We provide personalized training in the art and science of therapeutic massage, focusing on advanced-level professional careers, continuing education, and personal growth. Our philosophy is rooted in a holistic approach, which encourages our students to explore personal development of the mind, body, and spirit.


“What has impressed me the most is the instructor’s teaching style. While it is accepted that certain protocols must be followed, their hands-on approach is informative and encouraging.”

– Kaitlyn Boullosa

Our Location

NC Massage School
20525 North Main Street Cornelius, NC 28031
Phone: (704) 896-2636

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