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How to Become a Massage Therapist in Iowa - IA

The State of Iowa requires their Massage Therapists be licensed to practice. Massage therapy licensing is regulated by the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Examiners (the “Board”), a division of the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Professional Licensure.  

To apply for your license to practice Massage Therapy in Iowa, satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Earn a high school diploma or G.E.D. as a perquisite to entering programs offering Massage Therapy certification in Iowa
  2. Complete at least 500 academic credit hours, equivalent to 500 “clock hours,” in a program providing massage therapy certification in Iowa that has been approved by the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Examiner
  3. Pass one of the following tests: 
    1. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) test
    2. The Massage and Bodywork Examination (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards
  4. Obtain a license application form, which can be downloaded from Iowa’s Bureau of Professional Licensure (BPL) website: http://www.idph.state.ia.us/licensure/app_process.asp?board=mt
  5. Submit the completed documents (application form, school transcripts, evidence of required certifications) and fees by mail to:

    Department of Public Health
    Lucas State Office Building, 5th Floor
    321 E. 12th St.
    Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

If you are already licensed to practice Massage Therapy in another U.S. state, it may be possible to get a State of Iowa license (“Licensure by Endorsement”) by fulfilling certain Board requirements. Contact the Iowa BPL’s website for details.

The initial license is valid for a period of two years. Renewal is required every two years thereafter, with the license ending on the 15th day of the anniversary month in the year of its expiration.

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