An increased number of people are in need of a therapeutic massage, making this field a good one to consider getting into if you’re searching for a job.
However, you’ll have to have a license to offer your services in Alabama.
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Obtaining the Massage Therapy License
The Alabama Board of Massage Therapy is the body issuing licenses for this profession in this state.
There are a few requirements a candidate must meet these requirements:
- Minimum 18 years old
- Complete a qualifying educational program
- Pass the exam
- Have a liability insurance policy that covers at least $1 million
- Not have offered erotic massages in the past
A future massage therapist must now complete 650 hours of education, which is more than in past years.
They must study the curriculum mentioned in the state rules and regulations.
Anatomy is one of the subjects, must extend at least 100 hours, and should cover at least the following topics:
- Myology: 35 hours
- Osteology: 15 hours
- Circulatory system: 10 hours
- Nervous system: 10 hours
Other subjects are:
- Pathology, for at least 40 hours.
- Massage therapy study – 250 hours
- It must include supervised practice for at least 50 hours
- It must also include contradistinctions, contraindications, and related touch modalities
- CPR and first aid
- Professional ethics
Of the required hours, 210 can be electives.
The school you attend must be approved by the board.
|Alabama Healing Arts, LLC||6304 Cottage Hill Road, Mobile|
|Aveda Institute Birmingham||3200 Galleria Circle, Hoover|
|Better Bodies Massage Institute||458 S. 10th St., Opelika|
|Birmingham School of Massage, Inc.||1776 Independence Court, Suite 202, Birmingham|
|Blue Cliff Career College||2970 Cottage Hill Road #175, Mobile, AL 36606|
|Bluewater Institute for Massage Therapy||210 N. Montgomery Ave., Ste. B, Sheffield|
|Enterprise School of Massage||2381 Highway 167 South, Enterprise|
|Gadsden State Community College||1001 George Wallace Drive, Gadsden, AL 35903|
|H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College||P.O. Box 10048, Montgomery|
|Madison School of Massage Therapy, LLC||1634 Slaughter Road #C, Madison|
|Massage Therapy Institute||1408 5th Ave. S. E. #3, Decatur|
|Montgomery School of Bodywork & Massage||5729 Carmichael Parkway, Montgomery, AL 36117|
|North Alabama Wellness School of Massage||190 Ana Drive, Florence|
|Postural Bodyworks Institute, Inc.||6944 Vaughn Rd., Montgomery|
|Red Mountain Institute, Inc.||828 Columbiana Road, Homewood, AL 35209|
|Southern Union State Community College||1701 LaFayette Parkway, Opelika AL 36801|
|The Massaged Life & Wellness Academy||3518 Loop Road, Tuscaloosa|
|Virginia College||2021 Drake Ave. SW, Huntsville, AL 35801|
|Virginia College||5601 Veterans Pkwy., Columbus, GA 31904|
|Virginia College||488 Palisades Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35209|
|Wallace State Community College||801 Main Street NW, Hanceville, AL 35077|
The exam for massage therapists is standardized in Alabama.
The Board accepted the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) as a test for obtaining the certification.
When checking the website of the Board, one should keep in mind that some of the changes to the examination mandates haven’t been updated.
Knowing about these changes is important because previously it was the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) who organized these exams.
According to the new policies and regulations, there is no examination designed for entry-level practice licensing.
Those who need an entry-level practice authorization, need to take the MBLEx.
The MBLEx is a computer adapted multiple-choice examination designed to show the knowledge of the candidate.
This test costs $195 and those interested in taking it must register for it through the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.
Before applying, the candidate must read the outline of the content, and they don’t need to submit transcripts.
Now, there is a single test offered by the NCBTMB, that is meant as a simple, one step in a board certification process.
The requirements for earning the Alabama license are less strict than those for the board certification.
For instance, for the latter, a candidate must complete 750 hours of education and pay the $250 certification fee.
Some candidates that attended a shorter program can take this exam and continue their education afterward.
The certification will be issued only after 6 months of professional practice.
Those seeking certification through BCETMB will have to answer 160 questions from across 4 areas.
These will generally have the candidates to apply their knowledge to scenarios.
The NCBTMB requires transcripts before the examination.
Both the MBLEx and the BCETMB must be scheduled through Pearson VUE, after receiving the authorization.
They’ll receive an eligibility window of 90 days.
The scores from the MBLEx are generally reported automatically to the licensing agency, after the test.
Those who take the BCETMB exam must request the scores themselves.
The bulletins for the candidates are given through the respective organizations.
Candidates must first download a request form from the Board’s website, and use it to apply.
They must also attach a cashier’s check or money order in the amount of $25, to the request.
The board will ask for official transcripts and in certain situations for alternative documents.
The transcript must be in English and accompanied by an affidavit from the translator if it needs a translation.
Two passport-style photographs and the license fee of $100 must also be provided by the applicant.
Animal Massage Qualification
Individuals can also perform professional massages on animals, under the supervision of a veterinarian.
These candidates must also receive certification from a nationally approved program.
However, they need an additional 100 hours, minimum, of education and training related to animal anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
The education will address the type of animal to which the therapist will be providing services.
Massage Therapy Instructor Licensing
Massage therapists can become instructors in their field is they can prove at least 2 years of work experience.
For this purpose, the candidate must fill out another application, which can be found on the Board’s website.
They also must pay the fee of $10 and become familiar with the Section 34-43-20(5) of state code.
Below you can see the median salary earned by massage therapists in the major cities across Alabama.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
The Alabama Board of Massage Therapy can be reached by telephone or by email.
These are 334-420-7233 or 866-873-4664, and ‘massage therapy at alstateboard.com’, respectively.
The massage therapy license must be renewed every 2 years.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Massage Therapist