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

Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in Iowa

If you want to work as a massage therapist in Iowa, you need to enroll in a training program first.

You also need to submit your high-school diploma or GED and be at least 18 years old.

Read on the article below to find out more about the licensing process.

Massage Therapist Criteria

You need to complete a 600-hour course that adheres to a state curriculum.

Popular Programs

The program must cover:

  • Massage therapy fundamentals
  • Clinical application of bodywork and massage
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Client communication
  • Heath care referral
  • Pathology, infection control, and injury prevention
  • Business management
  • Iowa law and ethics
  • Wellness and healthy lifestyle

Out of these, the subjects must be split as follows:

  • 200 hours in massage therapy and assessment
  • 100 hours in anatomy and physiology
  • 100 hours of supervised practice

Students are also required to take a CPR/ first aid class at the the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or National Safety Council.

School Name Address
Ancient Wisdom Massage School, Spa & Clinic 1114 Woodbury Avenue Ste 3 Council Bluffs, IA 51503
Carlson College of Massage Therapy 11809 Country Rd. X-28 Anamosa, IA 52205
CAPRI College 2945 Williams Parkway SW Ceder Rapids, IA 52404
CAPRI College 395 Main Street Dubuque, IA 52001
CAPRI College 2450 East 53rd Street Davenport, IA 52807
College of Massage 3601 Douglas Ave. Des Moines, IA 50310
East-West School of Integrative Healing Arts 1395 Jordan Street North Liberty, IA 52317
Indian Hills Community College 525 Grandview Ave. Ottumwa, IA 52501
Iowa Lakes Community College 1900 North Grand Ave. #8 Spencer, IA 51301
La' James College 24 2nd Street NE Mason City, IA 50401
Windemere Institute of Healing Arts 2219 Pole Line Rd. Decorah, IA 52101

Testing Criteria

The approved exams are the MBLEx and NCBTMB.

The MBLEx requires a $195 fee and reading the information bulletin.

This test is multiple choice and available in person after you receive the Authorization to Test.

The NCBTMB is not used for certification but for additional credentials.

It requires 750 hours of class, and you can find more info if you email

How to Apply

You need to submit school transcripts for the past year and proof of CPR training.

If you come from another state you have to bring a school catalog and have your school send in the transcripts and fill in a section of the application form.

All the paperwork along with a $120 fee will be submitted to the Board office in Des Moines.

Candidates from other states

If the standards in the licensing state are the same as in Iowa, your license will be valid.

However, your certification will need to be verified first.

If the requirements in the state you come from don’t meet the Iowa criteria, you can still get a temporary permit while you get more experience.

Your credentials will be verified by International Educational Research Foundations or International Credentialing Associates.

You will need to submit proof of CPR training and a legalized copy of your license.

Other Info

The Board site includes a waiver petition to use when applicable.

You can reach out to The Iowa Board of Massage Therapy for additional info regarding law changes.

The American Massage Therapy Association-Iowa Chapter is also a good place to learn more about the industry as a whole.

Every 2 years, massage therapy professionals must renew their licenses.

This profession is rewarding, as you can tell from the table below showing the median income per year in major Iowa cities.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Des Moines $49,534
Cedar Rapids $48,582
Davenport $48,361
Sioux City $42,601
Iowa City $48,182
Waterloo $46,288
Ames $49,073
West Des Moines $49,534
Ankeny $49,534
Council Bluffs $48,410

Regional Salary in Iowa

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Cedar Rapids, IA80$45,430$21.84$57,370$34,430
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL70$45,530$21.89$63,410$24,960
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA130$47,860$23.01$59,800$35,040
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA40$47,940$23.05$63,510$32,020
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Massage Therapists, OCC Code 31-9011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

USA Massage Therapy by State

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