Massage Therapy License and Education Requirments
This page covers the basic requirements and procedures to follow for a license as a massage therapist in New York State. Any use of the title “massage therapist” or “masseuse,” “masseur,” or any derivation of the title, within New York State, requires licensure as a massage therapist.
To be licensed as a massage therapist in New York State you must:
- be of good moral character;
- be at least 18 years of age;
- meet education and examination requirements;
- meet experience requirements (if applicable);
- be a United States citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (USCIS I-551 Status/”Green Card.”); and
- have completed a course in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) within three years prior to licensure.
To meet the professional education requirement for licensure, you must:
- Complete high school or its equivalent and graduate from a school or institute of massage therapy with a program registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure qualifying, or its substantial equivalent in both subject matter or extent of training, provided that the program in such school or institute shall consist of classroom instruction with a total of not less than 1000 hours in specific subjects satisfactory to the Department.
- Complete coursework in anatomy, physiology, neurology, myology or kinesiology, pathology, hygiene, first aid, CPR, infection control procedures, the chemical ingredients of products that are used and their effects, as well as the theory, technique and practice of both oriental and western massage/bodywork therapy. Within the 1000 hours of education, you will have had to complete a minimum of 150 hours of practice on a person.
The examination is offered twice annually, in January and August.