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Massage Therapist


Massage therapists are licensed health professionals who apply a variety of scientifically developed massage techniques to the soft tissue of the body to improve muscle tone and circulation.

Massage therapists work to enhance well-being, reduce the physical and mental effects of stress and tension, prevent disease, and restore health.

Licensing Requirements:

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); and
  • have completed a course in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) within three years prior to licensure.

In addition, an applicant must also submit evidence of English proficiency (if applicable). There is an experience requirement only for massage therapists licensed in another jurisdiction who seek licensure by endorsement.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 155, Section 7800 of New York's Education Law and Part 78 of the Commissioner's Regulations.

Education Requirements

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.

*NOTE: If your program is not listed, contact the State Board for Massage Therapy to determine if it is a New York State licensure qualifying program.

Examination Requirements

To meet the examination requirement for licensure, you must pass the New York State Massage Therapy Examination (see New York State Massage Therapy Examination Blueprint). Before being admitted to the examination, you must have met all requirements for licensure except citizenship.

The examination is offered twice annually, in January and August. You must file a separate examination scheduling application with CASTLE Worldwide, Inc. The examination scheduling application is available through Castle Worldwide, Inc at:

CASTLE Worldwide, Inc.
Attn: NY Exams
PO Box 570
Morrisville, NC 27560
Phone: (800) 655-4845
Phone: (919) 572-6880

Fees (as of November 2, 2016)

The fee for licensure and first registration is $108.
The fee for a limited permit is $35.

Active Licenses:

In 2014, there were 978 licenses issued for this occupation.
In 2015, there were 751 licenses issued for this occupation.

As of July 1, 2016, there were 15,566 active licenses for this occupation.

Licensing Authority:

New York State Education Department
Office of Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
Massage Therapy Unit
Education Building
89 Washington Avenue, 304
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: (518) 474-3817 Ext. 270
Fax: (518) 402-5354

Standard Occupational Classification:

31-9011 - Massage Therapists
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).

Additional Information:

American Massage Therapy Association
500 Davis Street
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Phone: (877 905-2700


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 11/29/16.

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