Interested in becoming a massage therapist? It’s important to explore this career as soon as possible. You may want to start your career by helping people at your local clinic or community center. Or, you may want to learn about being a massage therapist is like by attending Youtube university. However you do your research, you’ll want to learn the state requirements before you even enroll in a course, so you can ensure that you satisfy the certification and licensing requirements.
1. Start Your Education
It’s time to focus on your education. This means completing high school so you can gain entrance into a massage therapy program. While massage therapy courses aren’t offered at the high school level, courses in anatomy, biology, and physical education can provide a solid foundation for your training. Some states will require licensing based on the internship that you’ll take.
No matter what you choose, there are a few requirements you should satisfy. If you pursue an apprenticeship rather than seek an education, it could be harder to become licensed following graduation. This is especially the case if you’re at the beginning of your career. If you live in a remote area, an apprenticeship may be possible. It’s important to do your research before making your decision.
2. Preparing for Licensure
You’re required to take the licensing exam after completing your massage therapy training. There’s a case in which you’ll take an exam that’s created by the state you reside in. Other graduates are required to complete the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). This formal exam is created by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), which consists of 100 questions that typically takes two hours.
Some of the topics covered on the exam include client assessments, ethics, kinesiology, and the physiological effects of massage. Once you pass the exam, you must apply for your state licensure in order to practice massage therapy. You also need to provide proof that you satisfied the requirements to receive your license. You may receive your license in the mail or you may print it out online.
3. Complete Your Certification
Certification is different from a license. You receive your certification when you satisfy the clinical and exam requirements. Certification is not required in order to receive your license, but it can speed up the process. You can receive a certification in a specialty such as clinical rehabilitative massage, palliative care, spa management, sports management, and veterinary massage.
4. Get Liability Insurance
Since you’ll be operating a massage therapy business, you’ll be responsible for any liabilities that may occur. Since massage therapy is deeply personal and intimate work, you should protect yourself in the event of a lawsuit or when you need to claim damage on your insurance. You should find the right liability insurance that protects you under the court of law. Companies like Massage Magazine Insurance Plus (MMIP) offer resources to both research which plan is the best fit for you, but compare the various rates available as well. Since you’re self-employed, you’ll want to invest in disability insurance and health insurance, too.
5. Create a Business Plan
Once you receive your certification and licensing, it’s time to focus on business matters. Your business plan should include an overview of what capital or start-up funds will pay towards expenses for marketing, occupancy, operations, and one-time expenses. One-time expenses are otherwise known as capital expenses such as electronic equipment or office space.
6. Apply for a Business Loan
With your business plan in mind, you should consider the type of capital you need to start your business. You can use your own money, funds from an investor, or a small business loan. If you’re borrowing from a bank or credit union, then you’ll need to provide a copy of your business plan and any other financial documents. Or, you can consider applying for a business loan from the Small Business Administration website.