How to Become a Massage Therapist in Rhode Island - RI

The massage therapy field is growing every year, according to information published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.) The BLS reports that employment opportunities will increase by 20 percent between 2006 and 2016.  This means in Rhode Island, massage therapy certification is the first step to a successful career in bodywork.

How to Become a Massage Therapist in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Board of Massage Therapy oversees Rhode Island massage therapy certification for licensure. The Board requires that massage therapists be licensed, except those who are exempt and present sufficient evidence of such, including doctors and certain other medical professionals. Plus, students may practice under the supervision of a licensed instructor for their clinic practicum hours.
Other exemptions include massage given in beauty salons or barbershops, personal trainers and coaches in accredited high schools, colleges and universities, and anyone who works in a physical fitness facility that is organized specifically for the purpose of moral or mental improvement of the people who patronize it.

Steps to Becoming a Massage Therapist in Rhode Island

  • After completing a Rhode Island massage therapy certification program, candidates must also take and pass three exams, including:
  • National Certification Examination for Therapeutic
  • Massage and Body Work or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic
  • Massage of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

Alternate examinations may also be approved by the Board on a case by case basis.

  • People who are licensed to practice massage therapy in other states may be able to receive a license from the state of Rhode Island, provided their previous training and experience meet requirements as determined by the Board on a case by case basis.
  • Once a massage therapy license candidate has met all of the previously listed requirements, it’s time to submit the application to the Rhode Island Board of Massage Therapy. Candidates born in the United States must provide a certified copy of their birth certificates, while those born outside of the US must provide proof of their legal residence. All candidates must also include the following items:
  • A headshot or passport style photograph.
  • Payment of $50.00 for license fees. Checks and money orders should be made out to “General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island.”
  • Proof of education and training.
  • Proof of a criminal background check from an approved agency, including fingerprinting, paid for by the candidate. If disqualifying information is discovered, the candidate will be informed in writing.

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