Every state has different requirements for becoming a licensed massage therapist, so it is important that you know the regulations for the state or states in which you wish to work. There are four different avenues to becoming a licensed massage therapist in Oregon. The most common is through an examination, but it is also possible through state endorsement, health endorsement, and credentialing review.
No matter what avenue you take to get your massage therapist license in Oregon, it is essential that you first undergo an approved education in massage therapy. The Oregon Board of Massage Therapists requires a minimum of 500 hours from an approved school. Of those hours, 200 must cover health sciences, including Anatomy & Physiology, Pathology, and Kinesiology. The remainder should cover massage techniques, including practical application, business development, clinical practice, communication, sanitation, and ethics.
Most obtain their Oregon massage therapist license through examination. Once you have completed the required courses, you may apply to sit for the state licensing exam. You must undergo a written and practical exam.
The board accepts written exams from two sources: the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx), which is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, the Therapeutic Massage, or Therapeutic Massage and Body Work exam, which are administered through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).
You must successfully complete the practical exam and an open-book jurisprudence exam. Once you have successfully passed all of the exams, you may apply for your license.
Other Avenues to Licensure
In special circumstances, you may qualify for a state or health endorsement to receive your massage therapist license in Oregon. A state endorsement license is another term for a reciprocity license. If you already are licensed in another state that has similar requirements, you can avoid having to sit for the state exam. Endorsements are done on a case-by-case basis and only include those coming from Arkansas, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Washington, and a few Canadian provinces (Newfoundland, Ontario, and British Columbia).
If your license is from a state not listed above, you may ask for a credential review. You can get your education units approved, but you will still have to sit for the exam. You will have to supply a transcript that details your 500 hours for the board to determine whether or not to accept your training.
A health endorsement is reserved for those who already have a license in another health field and wish to become massage therapists. You will still have to undergo the examination, but you only have to have 300 hours of training focused on massage techniques, including practical application, business development, clinical practice, communication, sanitation, and ethics. The professionals for whom this applies are MDs, NDs, DCs, PTs, OTs, RNs, LPNs, and LACs.
Once you have completed the education and examination requirements, you need to send your application and any other required documentation for the license in addition to your transcripts and test scores, along with a $50 non-refundable fee. You also will have to undergo a background check, including submitting your fingerprints from an approved location. You will also need to include a passport style photo, proof of current CPR certification, and a copy of your driver’s license or other government issued picture ID.
Maintaining Your License
Massage therapists in Oregon must renew their licence every two years. In addition to applying for a renewal license, you must also undergo 25 hours of continuing education during the intervening two years. You must have at least 12 hours of contact CE units. Any contact hours in excess of the requirement maybe carried over to the next renewal period.
It may seem as though there are many steps required to become a licensed massage therapist in Oregon, but all you really need is to take the required training, pass your exams, and submit your application. Once you receive your license, you will be ready to help your clients achieve the peace and wellness they desire.
Beauty Academy offers twelve hours of massage therapy courses that can be used for your non-contact CEUs that you can take any time from anywhere for a hassle-free, cost-effective solution.