How to become a massage therapist in Florida|8 Best Steps

“How to become a massage therapist in Florida” is one of the top queries by individuals who want to become professional massage therapists in Florida.

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The massage therapy career is a promising one and in this article, we will not only show you how to become a massage therapist in Florida but also we will show you the career benefits that come in this field.

Being a massage therapist is an exciting and meaningful career path. Your anatomical knowledge and manual manipulations skills will allow you to make a serious difference in the way your clients feel emotionally and physically.

Massage therapy can be used to alleviate stress, reduce discomfort and pain. Read on to see the steps on how to become a massage therapist in Florida.

How Long Will It Take to Complete Your Training?

A lot of massage therapy programs take about 5 months to complete. Such legitimate massage therapy programs will give you the tools that you need to get started.

While in massage therapy programs, there are so many factors that will affect the speed you learn, such as teaching style, the kind of classwork and the learning atmosphere.

These few factors will affect different people to varying degrees.

While choosing a massage therapy program, it is important to take note of what helps you learn and also what inhibits your learning, so that you can have the best learning experience.

If you choose a good program with qualified and enthusiastic instruction, your chances of timely success through that program are extremely high.

How to become a massage therapist in Florida

Below are the 8 most common steps on how to become a massage therapist in Florida:

  1. Check Your State Regulation of Massage Therapy
  2. Check the requirements needed to become a massage therapist in Florida
  3. Check the general Prerequisites to becoming a Massage Therapist
  4. Search for an accredited massage therapy school for your massage therapy program
  5. Enroll in a state-approved massage therapy program in a massage therapy school
  6. Go for Licensing examination: Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx)
  7. Apply and get Licensed
  8. License Renewal

1 Check Your State Regulation of Massage Therapy

As you may know, massage therapy is regulated at the state level, but you have not asked why this is the case.

In the United States, all health care fields, such as massage therapy have a defined scope of practice.

Licensure exists as a legal regulatory process to ensure that medical practitioners stay within their scope of practice.

This board also ensures that you are sufficiently qualified to practice treating the general public.

As such, violating licensing and scope of practice laws may result in legal punishment.

Who regulates licensure for massage therapy?

Massage therapy licensure is handled at the state level, usually by a state board of massage therapy.

For example, in Florida, the license to practice massage therapy is granted by the State of Florida Board of Massage Therapy.

How does the state determine the scope of practice for massage therapy?

While massage therapy practice is legally regulated by the state, massage therapy competency is determined by the Federation of State Massage Boards (FSMB).

The FSMB is the nationally-recognized professional organization that sets the educational and training standards for massage therapists.

2 Check the requirements needed to become a massage therapist in Florida

Checking the requirements is one of the vital steps on how to become a massage therapist in Florida.

Specific requirements usually vary from state to state, but generally speaking, for you to be legally employed as a massage therapist in Florida, you will need to meet the general prerequisites and you need to complete the massage therapy program.

3 Check the general Prerequisites to becoming a Massage Therapist

One of the reasons why massage therapy is a popular career choice is that the entry-level requirements to the profession are quite reasonable.

Massage therapy is often a second and third career path for many people. Some of the prerequisites which you must consider are:

  • Age
  • GED
  • Background check
  • Health and self-care

Age:

Just like other professions, the minimum age to become a licensed massage therapist is 18.

The median age for professional massage therapists in the United States is 46, with roughly 22% being under the age of 35.

General Education Requirement(GED):

You will also need a minimum of a high school or General Education Development.

Background Check

Florida requires a criminal background check, including fingerprinting, before obtaining a professional massage therapist license.

Because this is a general requirement, many massage therapy schools will also require a background check prior to applying.

However, check your state’s laws prior to applying or you can bring it up to your admissions director to be sure.

Health and Self-Care

While it is not a technical requirement, it is very necessary to know that massage therapy is a job that requires you to work with your hands.

As such, the work can be physically demanding for a lot of people, especially for individuals who have some preexisting conditions.

To avoid burnout and long-term injury, learn to take good care of yourself early on, especially your hands and wrists, and always be sure to practice massage with proper technique.

4 Search for an accredited massage therapy school for your massage therapy program

Not all the massage therapy schools in Florida are accredited, therefore you must search for an accredited massage therapy school.

Also, since MBLEx is required in Florida and almost every other state, MBLEx pass rate of the massage therapy school you choose should be one of your major-decision factors when choosing the massage therapy school.

The MBLEx pass rate is a major indication of quality education.

5 Enroll in a state-approved massage therapy program in a massage therapy school

Florida requires that massage therapists successfully complete a massage therapy program that is approved by the Department of Education or an equivalent licensing organization prior to applying for a massage therapist license.

500 education hours is usually required. Though most approved massage therapy programs are longer, they will require specific programs, such as anatomy.

6 Go for Licensing examination: Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx)

If you have gone through the steps above and you have met the general requirements and has graduated from an approved massage therapy school.

Most times, the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) is the common exam applicants take. There are alternatives.

This examination determines the professional competency in massage therapy and bodywork.

The MBLEx is administered by the Federation of State Massage Boards (FSMB), the professional massage therapy organization we mentioned earlier.

The state of Florida also requires applicants for massage therapy licenses to pass 2-hour prevention of medical errors course as part of their course of study.

License candidates take either the National Certification Examination for Massage Therapy NESL/NCETM/TMB or MBLEx tests to become massage therapists in the state of Florida as we state earlier.

7 Apply and get Licensed

After successfully completing massage school, passing the MBlex, then applying for a license is very vital in the steps on how to become a massage therapist in Florida.

After that, you are legally qualified as a professional massage therapist and you even get a cool new title: LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist).

License Renewal

The state of Florida requires massage therapists to take a training program that includes at least 500 training clock hours.

After you complete the application process and become licensed. This license has to be renewed every 2 years with a fee of $105.

Applicants are required by Florida to complete at least 25 hours of continuing education courses every two years.

One of these must be the HIV/AIDS course. You can find all the information about licensing and renewal through the Florida Board of Massage Therapy.

A promising job outlook for massage therapists

More people are choosing to live a healthy life day by day, and as a result of that, the demand for massage therapists are on the increase.

In Florida, the need for massage therapists is much greater than the average and the need for massage therapists is projected to increase by 29 per cent through 2024. 

The variety of settings where massage therapists can work include:

  • Franchised clinics
  • Chiropractic offices
  • Spas
  • Hotels
  • Fitness centers
  • Sports medicine facilities

Another benefit of this career path is that it is very much possible to be self-employed which is perfect for anyone trying to maximize a work-life balance.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 39 per cent of massage therapists were self-employed. This enables them to set their own hours and schedules.

In Florida, massage therapists can earn an annual mean wage of $38,500 or $18.51 hourly according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020.

Growth in the massage therapy field is expected to be approximately 32% by 2026, a growth considered faster than the average rate compared to other careers in the United States.

The BLS reports Florida has the second-highest rate of employment for massage therapists in the country.

For massage therapists in Florida, opportunities for them include work at arthritis clinics, health resorts and spas, home health care programs, physical therapy clinics and sports medicine centres.

Florida is home to many cruise ship operations and is therefore a place where a lot of massage therapists are employed. What are your thoughts about these steps on how to become a massage therapist in Florida?

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