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June 27, 2017

Demystifying The Massage Therapist Certification in California

In recent years, many laws and regulations in California have changed, making the certification process for massage therapists somewhat tricky.

Luckily, it’s not as complicated as you might think. If you are thinking about beginning your training toward being a massage therapist, or are nearing the end and aren’t quite sure what comes next, we are going to clean some things up.

Beginning Your Training

Before you begin your training toward a massage therapy career, there are a few things you are going to want to be aware of so as to make the certification process as smooth as possible.

  • You must be at least eighteen

    – While many people who enroll in massage therapy school are over the age requirement, this is required in order to enroll at The San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork.

  • Your school must be approved by the CAMTC

    – This is important. Due to recent changes in certification regulations, unlicensed schools are no longer accepted for training hours as of June 8th, 2017. You will want to make sure that your school is approved through the California Massage Therapy Council and that it utilizes the proper hours.

  • The proper hours

    – A total of 500 hours of study and practice are required to get your massage therapist certification in California. Of those 500 hours, 100 of them needs to be focused on anatomy, physiology, health and hygiene. Business training hours are also wrapped up in those 100 hour requirements.

Completing Your Training

Once your training hours are completed and you have your graduation hours in hand, you can begin the process of getting certified. California uses a certification system as opposed to a licensing system. While this could mean that a certification is not required to practice, there are huge benefits in getting one that we will cover later.

  • Register for, take and pass the MBLEx exam

    – This is the basic licensure exam that is offered through the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. Make sure to note that you need your scores sent to the California State Licensing Board.

  • Get an account

    – Once you have completed your training, you will need to build an account on the California Massage Therapy Council’s website. This site is how they manage their massage therapists, handle complaints, and much more.

  • Begin your application

    – The application process can be complicated, taking as little as 90 days if nothing comes back.

  • Background Check

    – A background check is required for a massage therapist certification in California. This is done through the live scan system. This system can return results quickly and leaves your fingers ink free. Live scan centers are located throughout California.

  • Pay the fee

    – The fee to apply for your certification is $150. This can be taken a large number of ways and is due every two years when the certification is up for renewal.

  • Submit your information

    – Once everything is submitted you make sure to watch your email for any additional documentation thy might need, as well as your approval to come through.

Why The Certification is Important

As we said, the certification is not currently required. However, laws have been added in most of California’s municipalities that incorporate CAMTC certification into their requirements, making it clear that a change could be coming in the near future. In addition, most employers will require it, making it an important addition to your career portfolio. There are a few important regulations that you will want to be aware of before making the decision not to get certified.

  • The words matter

    – If you do not hold a certification in California you cannot use that word on any advertisement pieces that you may distribute as you build your business.

  • The options widen

    – With the certificate in place, you will be able to secure employment at many of the more prestigious spas and wellness centers in the state. In fact, many businesses have begun only hiring certified massage therapists.

As a CAMTC approved massage school in California, The San Francisco School of Massage and Bodywork is proud to offer our students all of the required training to receive their massage therapy certification.

If you are interested in becoming a massage therapist’s, schedule a tour of our beautiful facility and learn how we can help you get that certificate in hand.

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San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork

School Campus
475 Valencia Street – 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-474-4600
Student Clinic
– Located at the School Campus
475 Valencia Street – 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-474-4600