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
Article Table of Contents
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:
- Anatomy and physiology, pathology, and kinesiology
- Massage theory, techniques, and practice
- 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%.
|ASIS College of Lake County||19351 West Washington Street Grayslake, IL 60030|
|ASIS College of Lake County||Southlake Campus 1120 South Milwaukee Ave. Vernon Hills, IL 60061|
|Cortiva Institute||17 North State Street Chicago, IL 60602|
|Cortiva Institute||241 Commerce Drive Crystal Lake, IL 60014|
|Cortiva Institute||3033 W Jefferson Street #105 Joliet, IL|
|Elgin Community College||1700 Spartin Drive Elgin, IL 60123|
|European Massage Therapy School||4905 Old Orchard Center St. #710 Skokie, IL 60077|
|First Institute||790 McHenry Ave. Crystal Lake, IL 60014|
|Harper College||1200 West Algonquin Road Palatine, IL 60067|
|Illinois Central College||1 College Drive East Peoria, IL 61635|
|Illinois Valley Community College||815 North Orlando Smith Ave. Oglesby, IL 61348|
|John A. Logan College||700 Logan College Rd. Carterville, IL 62918|
|Kishwaukee College||21193 Malta Rd. Malta, IL 60150|
|Marco Polo Schools||4011 West School Ave. Chicago, IL 60641|
|Moraine Valley Community College||9000 West College Pkwy. Palos Hills, IL 60465|
|Morton College||3801 South Central Ave. Cicero, IL 60804|
|National University of Health Sciences||200 East Roosevelt Rd. Lombard, IL 60148|
|New School for Massage Bodywork & Healing||800 North Wells St. #300 Chicago, IL 60610|
|Pacific College of Oriental Medicine||65 East Wacker, 21st Floor Chicago, IL 60601|
|Parkland College||2400 West Bradley Ave. Champaign, IL 61821|
|Rockford Career College||1130 South Alpine Rd. #100 Rockford, IL 61108|
|Rosel School of Massage Therapy||2446 West Devon Ave. Chicago, IL 60659|
|School of Holistic Massage & Reflexology||515 Ogden Ave. #300 Downers Grove, IL 60515|
|Shawnee Community College||8364 Shawnee College Rd. Ullin, IL 62992|
|Soma Institute||55 East Jackson Blvd. #300 Chicago, IL 60604|
|Training Academy||29 North Cass Ave. Westmont, IL 60559|
|University of Spa & Massage Therapy||2913 West White Oaks Dr. Spingfield, IL 62704|
|Zen Shiatsu Chicago||825A 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.
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.
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 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.
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: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Illinois
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.