December 17, 2021

Massage Therapy Licensing Requirements

Once you have decided to embark on a new career as a massage therapist, the next steps are learning the requirements for obtaining a massage license and creating a plan to complete these requirements. The checklist varies by state, so if you plan to obtain an Iowa massage license, you must complete various steps, including coursework, hands-on training, competency exam, and license application. The field of massage therapy can be enriching and gratifying, so deciding to pursue this career provides benefits that go beyond the financial incentives.

Iowa Massage Therapist Licensing Requirements

Obtaining your Iowa massage license requires completing a massage therapy program that includes a minimum of 600 hands-on practice hours. Accredited massage therapy schools in Iowa provide the necessary skills needed to perform as a successful therapist. After completing an accredited program and the required number of training hours, the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Examiners requires proof of graduation. Additionally, Iowa requires a passing score on either the MBLEx or NCETMB exam to proceed. Although other states may not have the same criteria, Iowa requires every licensed massage therapist to keep current first aid and CPR certifications. The cost to obtain a new massage therapy license is $120.

A licensed massage therapist from Aveda Institute gives a massage to a client

When you enroll in the massage therapy program at Aveda Institute Des Moines, you receive high-quality classroom and clinical training from an experienced instructor, as well as the hands-on practice hours required to fulfill the certification criteria. Not only are you fully prepared to obtain your Iowa massage license, but you are also ready to provide skilled services to your clients.

State Licensing Application Process

The state of Iowa requires a license for every practicing massage therapist. If you have completed your required education, practice hours, and competency testing, applying for a license is the final step in the process. The application must be completed by you and signed by the massage therapy school from which you graduated. The application must be accompanied by several other items to be considered complete.

  • A $120 licensing fee
  • Official transcripts sent directly to the board from your school
  • Official licensing exam score sent directly to the board from your exam service
  • A copy of your current, unexpired first aid and CPR certifications

Out-of-State Applicants For Iowa Licensure

If you have moved to Iowa and were licensed as a massage therapist in a different state, you may not have to complete the entire process if the requirements for licensure were similar. You still need to submit an application and pay the licensing fee, but you also need to provide proof of your previous state license as well as documentation to show that the requirements were equivalent or similar enough to satisfy the Iowa board. Transcripts, exam scores, and proof of CPR and first aid certifications are still required for out-of-state applicants.

Massage Therapist Licensing Term / Renewal

After you obtain your Iowa massage license, it is imperative to keep your certification current, so you can continue to perform therapy without interruption. The state requires a licensing renewal process every two years. During the two-year licensing period, a minimum of 24 continuing education units must be completed. A minimum of 12 hours of hands-on training is required during this continuing education process. Only six hours of renewal coursework can be completed online in Iowa. To renew the license, proof of current CPR and first aid certifications are also required. The renewal fee is $60 and allows you to practice massage therapy for the next two years.

Aveda Institute Des Moines For Massage Therapy

Whether you heard about Aveda Institute Des Moines through word of mouth or stumbled upon it after searching the internet for “massage therapy schools near me,” you have found the best program in the area for preparing students for an exciting career. For more information about massage therapy or any other programs, contact Aveda Institute Des Moines today.

Image Source: Microgen / Shutterstock

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6905 Mills Civic PKWY #120
West Des Moines, IA 50266


Monday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 8 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday: Closed