How to Become a Massage Therapist in Vermont - VT

Becoming a Massage Therapist in Vermont

Vermont is among a minority of U.S. states that currently do not have statewide regulation of Massage Therapists. Since Vermont massage therapy certification is a mandate, and city and county governments may have their own local rules, it’s always a good idea to check the locale where you plan to work. Employers in Vermont’s private sector have hiring requisites, often aligned (not surprisingly) with those of the America Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) or the American Medical Massage Association (AMMA).

The AMTA Vermont Chapter’s position on qualifications needed to be a Massage Therapist is simple: Its members must conform to the by-laws of their organization, which require that Massage Therapists work within the AMTA’s “Scope of Practice.” Visit www.amtamassage.org for more information.

To be sure a Massage Therapist is allowed to practice in Vermont, a “safe” approach should be taken by complying with the following minimum requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have good moral character
  • Possess a valid high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
  • Complete at least 500 hours of massage therapy related education that is approved by a national certifying agency such as the National Certification Board for Massage Therapy and Bodywork* (NCBTMB)
  • Obtain a passing score on the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB), providing a widely recognized and accepted national credential

*The NCBTMB (www.ncbtmb.org) is nationally accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)

Since Vermont massage therapy certification and licensure are required to enter practice, an option worth a look is taking the National Examination for State Licensing (NESL). Vermont’s employers may consider passing this exam a sufficient testimonial to a Massage Therapist’s ability to meet job requirements. If you later decide to pursue NCTMB national level certification, you can do so, provided you have completed your educational and hands-on requirements and pass either the NCETMB or the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM). A special request form can be found on the web at http://www.ncbtmb.org/applicants_what_you_need_to_know.php and navigating to the “NESL Conversion Form” link. Submit the completed form to the NCBTMB.

Some important caveats:

  • Before deciding to pursue the NESL option, check with employers in Vermont and / or with the AMTA Vermont Chapter to verify that passing the NESL only will be sufficient to land the job you seek
  • Be sure to comply with all applicable timing requirements for taking the NESL relative to completing the NCETM or NCETMB exams and submitting the NESL Conversion Form (contact the appropriate agency for specific information)

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