How Long Does It Take to Become a Massage Therapist in Philadelphia?

A lot of individuals who want to be massage therapists in Philadelphia often ask–“How Long does it Take to Become a Massage Therapist?

Well, the answer may vary based on how deep you are ready to go in terms of education.

Are you planning to get certifications so that you quickly become a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT)? Or do you want to pursue general education degrees that feature massage coursework as a specialization?

To start your career as a massage therapist in Philadelphia, you must register with the State Board of Massage Therapy. To be credentialed by Pennsylvania’s Board of Massage Therapy, you need to meet three requirements:

  • Education
  • Examination
  • Background screening

Massage Therapy Education Requirements

To become a massage therapist, education takes place at the post-secondary level. Before getting admission to an accredited massage therapy school, you need:

  • A high school diploma
  • Official transcripts for any college coursework completed
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • CGPA over 2.0

Apart from these, massage therapy schools may have their specific requirements.

Massage Therapy Education Levels

Currently, there are three different levels of massage therapy education.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs – These programs focus on the basic knowledge and skills you need to become a practicing massage therapist.
  • Associate Degree – It is a general education degree, and therefore, its curriculum is not massage therapy-specific.
  • Advanced Degree – You can find master’s-level program in somatic psychotherapy that combines bodywork and counseling.

There are currently no doctorate programs in massage therapy in the United States.

The majority of candidates pursue certification programs that usually last around six months. To receive a license for Massage Therapy in Philadelphia, you must complete a minimum of 600 hours of massage therapy education and have passed a national massage licensing examination.

Additional Coursework

  • Starting from January 1, 2015, candidates for massage therapy licensure must take three hours of training in recognizing and reporting child abuse. The training must be approved by the Department of Human Services.
  • Candidates are also required to have training in CPR that takes around 4 hours or less. You may pursue this training through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.

Note:

  • Externships or off-site practical experiences are not credited toward the required 600 hours.
  • Online CPR training cannot be credited.

Massage Therapy Licensing Examination

Pennsylvania has approved the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). As a prospective massage therapist in Philadelphia, you need to register with the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).

Examination applications are usually processed within one week. Test takers receive results shortly after testing.

New graduates may get temporary practice permits that authorize them to provide services pending examination.

Background Checks

Philadelphia applicants may obtain their reports of criminal history by visiting the Pennsylvania Access to the Criminal History (PATCH) System online. The initial review is typically carried out within ten to fifteen working days.

The licensing agency sends out notification of incomplete files within eight weeks, and you must complete all supporting documentation within six months of application. Otherwise, you need to reapply and submit another application fee.

By now, I hope you have got a rough idea of how long it will take to become a Massage Therapist in Philadelphia or anywhere in Pennsylvania State.