Students who complete training in therapeutic massage programs receive a diploma. Depending on their course of study and interests, students also may become certified in specialized massage techniques.
As an added qualification, they may choose to take a formal board exam after graduation for massage therapy certification. And if they want to practice in a city, county, or state that regulates massage therapists, they must pass a licensure exam.
The massage therapy programs at The Praxis Institute in the Miami, FL, area prepare students for both board certification and licensure examinations. Here’s a closer look at the difference between massage therapy certification and licensure.
Gain Education and Practical Experience in Massage Therapy
Massage therapy programs vary in the number of subjects taught and the level at which they are presented. For example, at The Praxis Institute, potential students can apply to either the therapeutic massage technician or advanced therapeutic sports and clinical massage program. Both programs offer classroom and practice-based units of learning.
However, the advanced massage therapy program requires more hours, and more practice as students learn clinical applications for massage. The therapeutic massage technician program requires 540 hours of theory and practice classwork, as well as 60 hands-on services to complete the course. The advanced therapeutic sports and clinical massage program requires 750 hours of theory, practice, and clinical training, as well as 115 hands-on services.
Both programs provide the preparation necessary for students to take the massage therapy certification exam from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Board-certified massage therapists have:
- Received training that meets certain standards
- Passed a national background check and the examination
- Agreed to uphold the NCBTMB standards of practice and code of ethics
- Agreed to complete required continuing education for renewal of the certification
Certifications for Specialized Massage Techniques
While learning the theory and practice of massage therapy, students may have the opportunity to gain certification in specific techniques. This also can be accomplished with continuing education. This type of massage therapy certification is not the same as board certification, but it is a valuable way to show expertise. Within the advanced therapeutic sports and clinical massage program at The Praxis Institute, students may become certified in the following massage techniques:
- Neuromuscular therapy
- Deep tissue
- Sport massage
- Holistic manual lymphatic drainage
- Spa Therapies
Become a Licensed Massage Therapist
As with many other healthcare training specialties, massage therapists are subject to regulation by the geographic location in which they practice. Most states require that practitioners pass a licensure examination, even those who hold massage therapy certification. The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) offers the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). State government licensing agencies may have additional requirements, depending on the status of the applicant. For example, the Florida Board of Massage Therapy also requires background screening.
Fees also are required when applying for a massage therapy license. Additional fees will be required for a business license for therapists who want to have their own business, as well as proof of liability insurance.
Qualify for Both Massage Therapy Certification and State Licenses
Those interested in studying massage therapy should choose their educational institution or trade school carefully. While massage therapy certification at the board level is not required, it can positively impact both the client base and income level of the massage therapist. And all employed massage therapists must be licensed by the government where they live and work. Given this necessary regulation of the massage therapy industry, applying to a program that prepares graduates for these exams makes the most sense.
Plan a Fulfilling Career in Massage Therapy
The Praxis Institute offers two in-depth massage therapy programs. With a rolling admissions policy, new students can start their studies every week. Classes are taught in both English and Spanish languages. And students may be able to apply for financial aid. With two campus locations in the Hialeah and Miami, FL, area, students can choose their easiest commute as they start learning and gaining experience in the exciting new career of massage therapy.
Contact us for more information about making an application to The Praxis Institute.