How To Become A Massage Therapist In 2020

If you’re looking for a career change and considering becoming a massage therapist, there are several steps you need to take before you can find your first client. Rest assured, here at NC Massage School; we can help! (If you’re not in North Carolina, please note that rules and regulations vary by state, so be sure to check with your local and state laws before practicing, so you can protect yourself and your clients.) Without further adieu, here’s how to become a massage therapist in 2020.

Find a Program

The first step in becoming a massage therapist in 2020 is to find a program. When you are researching programs, be sure to find one that is state-approved. At NC Massage School, owner Kristie Hogan personally interviews every student and offers a small class setting. We are proud to say we are NC state-approved and have been since 2002!

Enroll in the Program

Once you find a program that meets your state’s requirements and your needs, it’s time to enroll and begin studying. Make the most of your days as a student and learn what you can and can’t do as a student. Some states allow you to carry out your services at student clinics and volunteer events. It’s important to know what your state provides, so you are not held liable in the event your state does not approve of student-based massage therapy.

Practical Requirements

The practical requirements vary state by state. You can get hands-on experience at student clinics or through an internship. Each state has their own rules on how many hours you need before you can even begin to proceed to the next step. Be sure you have met your state’s requirements up until this point!

License Exam

The next step is to complete the licensing exam. In some states, there is a specialized exam massage graduates must take that is created by the state. In other states, there is what is called the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination, or MBLEx, that students must take and pass. You’ll have two hours to answer the 100-question assessment. Areas covered include ethics, client assessments, kinesiology, and physiological effects of massage. You must pass this to move on to the next step. Should you fail, you will have to wait 30 days before attempting the exam again.

State Licensing

The American Massage Therapy Association’s website contains the requirements by state for you to get your state license. Since each state varies, it’s essential to know what is expected of you by the state you reside in. There is an application process to get licensed by the state in which you’ll fill out an application and provide proof that you have met the state’s requirements to obtain the license.

With that said, if you are in North Carolina, we’ve got all the info in our information guide. Contact us for more info.

Find Clients

Once the state completely licenses you, you are welcome to begin finding your first clients. You can practice on your own or join a wellness center or spa and provide your services. Keep up with your state’s requirements regarding recertification if it is ever needed, so you can continue to practice without interruptions. Continuing education is a critical part of staying up to date. We can help with continuing education as well.

The road to becoming a massage therapist in 2020 is a relatively short one. The programs for massage therapy can be as short as six months! Once you have completed a program, you’ll have to complete the practical requirements, and then you can take the license exam. Check with your state to see which exam you’ll be taking. After you pass the exam, you can apply for a state license by filling out an application and providing proof you have met their requirements. After you get your license through the state, you can begin to practice your massage therapy!

Contact us today to learn more about how you can start your new career as a massage therapist in 2020!



NC Massage School offers individualized training in the art and science of therapeutic massage for an advanced-level professional career, continuing education and personal growth. We believe in a holistic approach that encourages students to explore personal development of mind, body and spirit in a small, supportive environment.


“When I stepped away from school I realized how prepared I was and how ready I was to go somewhere with what I learned.”

– Kaitlyn Boullosa

Read more from other NC Massage School students.

Contact Us

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

Get Directions!