Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in Illinois – Schools, Salary, and License Info

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Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in Illinois

The massage therapists in Illinois are under the authority of the Massage Therapy Board, who issues the licenses for this profession.

The minimum requirements to get the license are:

  • Being over the age of 18
  • Prove a good moral character
  • Attend a related educational program
  • Pass an exam

Massage Therapist Education

The first educational requirement is for the candidates to have a high school diploma at least, though the GED is also accepted.

The education for future massage therapists includes a program of a minimum of 600 hours of massage therapy education.

This hour requirement increased compared to the past years, and there are some individuals who might need to attend additional educational hours before receiving their license.

The programs must cover 3 areas:

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  1. Anatomy and physiology, pathology, and kinesiology
  2. Massage theory, techniques, and practice
  3. Other subjects indicated by the board, including benefits and contraindications, history, professional standards, universal precautions, body mechanics, legalities and business, client data collection, documentation, and therapeutic relations and communications

These courses are graded, and the students must score at least 70%.

School NameAddress
ASIS College of Lake County19351 West Washington StreetGrayslake, IL 60030
ASIS College of Lake CountySouthlake Campus 1120 South Milwaukee Ave. Vernon Hills, IL 60061
Cortiva Institute17 North State StreetChicago, IL 60602
Cortiva Institute241 Commerce DriveCrystal Lake, IL 60014
Cortiva Institute3033 W Jefferson Street #105Joliet, IL
Elgin Community College1700 Spartin DriveElgin, IL 60123
European Massage Therapy School4905 Old Orchard Center St. #710Skokie, IL 60077
First Institute790 McHenry Ave.Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Harper College1200 West Algonquin RoadPalatine, IL 60067
Illinois Central College1 College DriveEast Peoria, IL 61635
Illinois Valley Community College815 North Orlando Smith Ave.Oglesby, IL 61348
John A. Logan College700 Logan College Rd.Carterville, IL 62918
Kishwaukee College21193 Malta Rd.Malta, IL 60150
Marco Polo Schools4011 West School Ave.Chicago, IL 60641
Moraine Valley Community College9000 West College Pkwy.Palos Hills, IL 60465
Morton College3801 South Central Ave.Cicero, IL 60804
National University of Health Sciences200 East Roosevelt Rd.Lombard, IL 60148
New School for Massage Bodywork & Healing800 North Wells St. #300Chicago, IL 60610
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine65 East Wacker, 21st FloorChicago, IL 60601
Parkland College2400 West Bradley Ave.Champaign, IL 61821
Rockford Career College1130 South Alpine Rd. #100Rockford, IL 61108
Rosel School of Massage Therapy2446 West Devon Ave.Chicago, IL 60659
School of Holistic Massage & Reflexology515 Ogden Ave. #300Downers Grove, IL 60515
Shawnee Community College8364 Shawnee College Rd.Ullin, IL 62992
Soma Institute55 East Jackson Blvd. #300Chicago, IL 60604
Training Academy29 North Cass Ave.Westmont, IL 60559
University of Spa & Massage Therapy2913 West White Oaks Dr.Spingfield, IL 62704
Zen Shiatsu Chicago825A Chicago Ave.Evanston, IL 60202

Those coming from out of state, need to have attended a program with similar standards to those in Illinois, for their credentials to be accepted.

If this is not possible, they might be called by the Board for an interview.

The Testing

There are several accepted exams a candidate can pass so they’ll obtain their license.

The FSMTB’s Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (or MBLEx) is the most used exam, though the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (or FSMTB) and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (or NCBTMB) also exist.

MBLEx can be taken in English or Spanish, and there are multiple possible answers to the questions.

Those who want to take the exam need to register for it either online or by mail and pay the $195 fee.

The exam is taken and scheduled through Pearson Vue, once requests are approved.

The results are available soon after the test and they’re provided to a state licensing agency.

The candidate bulletin must be read prior to application.

Those who want more credentials can consider the Board Certification examination, offered by the NCBTMB.

For this certificate, the candidates must meet other criteria, which include 250 practice hours at the professional (or licensed) level.

Background Check

In Illinois’ future, massage therapists must pass a background check based on their fingerprints, done within 60 days of applying.

In-state applicants will have their fingerprints taken electronically at licensed vendors.

Out-of-state candidates can send their fingerprints taken on cards, at police departments where they live.

When applying, these candidates must also send a statement they completed the step.

The Application

The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation has the materials needed for the application process.

The forms include school transcripts that must be filled out by the school and it’s the school that has to send this document.

There are some instances where the Board might request further information.

Applications cost $175, and this fee is nonrefundable.

Applying from Out-of-State

Those who obtained a license in a different state must submit specific forms, including proof of current license status.

This document has to come from agencies in all the states the candidate obtained a license in.

License by endorsement is possible for those coming from a state with requirements on par with those in Illinois.

If the documents are in other languages, they must have a legal translation attached.

Additional Information

The massage therapist license must be renewed every 2 years, but the process is not free of charge.

The table below has the median income per year, for these professionals, in the largest cities in Illinois.

Annual Salary Range:
$47K
$52K
$60K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Chicago$54,276
Aurora$53,796
Naperville$53,177
Joliet$52,739
Rockford$50,686
Springfield$47,260
Elgin$53,402
Peoria$49,457
Champaign$48,100
Waukegan$51,185

USA Massage Therapy by State


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