How to Become a Massage Therapist in New Mexico - NM

As doctors and other medical professionals begin to recognize the health benefits of massage therapy, it continues to become an ever-growing career field. In fact, the US Department of Labor estimates that, between 2006 and 2016, employment opportunities for certified massage therapists is expected to increase by 20 percent.

How to Become a Massage Therapist in New Mexico

Massage therapists are required to be licensed by the New Mexico Massage Therapy Board, which exists specifically to license massage therapists. According to documents published by the Board, massage therapists are required to be licensed in order to practice in the state of New Mexico, unless specific legal exemptions are in place. Legal exemptions are extended to other medical professionals who have licenses in their specific fields.  Students working towards New Mexico massage therapy certification are also exempt while practicing under their licensed instructor’s guidance during practicum.  This is also the case with massage therapy instructors from other states, provided they’ve met certain requirements.
Steps to Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist in New Mexico

  1. After completing a training program, massage therapy license applicants must also complete and pass the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work (NECTMB.) Even if a license applicant has already completed and passed the exam, educational requirements must still be met before a license will be issued in the state of New Mexico. A New Mexico massage therapy license does not transfer to other states as the Massage Therapy Act doesn’t require the Board to have reciprocity agreements with other states.
  2. Massage therapy license candidates must be at least 18 years old on the date they submit the application and must have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED.) In order to apply for and obtain the license, they must provide a 2 by 2 inch headshot of themselves taken within six months of application submission. Plus, they should include a legible application form, as provided by the Board, which should be handwritten or printed in black ink, along with all other required documents like transcripts, CPR and First Aid certifications and NECTMB results. Those who attend out of state or more than one school must request that the school provide certain items to the New Mexico Massage Therapy Board. These include a specific form to be completed by the school, official transcripts and proof of the school’s accreditation, all of which should be submitted directly from the school to the New Mexico Massage Therapy Board.
  3. All candidates must provide an official transcript of their training, which documents that they’ve completed the minimum 650 hours of training, or a minimum of 300 hours if more than one massage school was attended. Continuing Education classes may also be considered acceptable for licensing in some circumstances. If for any reason the official transcripts aren’t available (if the school closed or the records have somehow been destroyed, for example) the board will review other reasonable proof of training on a case-by-case basis and may make exceptions. Once the Board receives all required documents, it can take up to four weeks to complete an average license application process.

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