Tennessee Massage Therapist Licensing and Certification Requirements
If you've graduated from a massage school in Tennessee and are interested in practicing massage therapy as your career, it is important to stay up to date on the rules and regulations that apply to massage therapists in Tennessee to verify what the requirements are. It is mandatory for Massage therapists in the State of Tennessee to obtain and maintain a state license from the Tennessee Massage Licensure Board.
Tennessee Massage Therapy Board - New License Requirements
Successful applicants for a Massage Therapist license in the state of Tennessee will complete, notarize and submit the application (see additional resources list below) along with the $280 fee. All applicants must meet both education and examination requirements of certification from the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (have proof sent directly to the board) and successful completion of a course of study of not less than five hundred (500) hours from a massage school approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission or the Tennessee Board of Regents.
You'll need to submit a copy of your birth certificate or passport with your application. Two original signed and dated character reference letters that attest to your ethics must also be included. Be sure that the professional credentials of the reference are included in the letter.
All applicants applying for initial Massage Therapist licensure in Tennessee are required to obtain a criminal background check conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The fingerprint fee is $48.
Also, a Mandatory Practitioner Profile Questionnaire for Licensed Health Care Providers is required in Tennessee (see additional resources links below for a copy to complete and submit). The Health Care Consumer Right-to-Know Act of 1998, requires designated licensed health professionals to furnish certain information to the Tennessee Department of Health, and is requested in the questionnaire. From the information submitted, the Department compiles practitioner profiles which the law requires to be made available to the public via the World Wide Web and their toll-free telephone line. Each practitioner who has submitted information must update that information in writing by notifying the Department of Health, within 30 days after the occurrence of an event or an attainment of a status that is required to be reported by the law.
Failure to comply with the requirement to submit and update profiling information may result in a delay or denial of your licensure application and/or may result in disciplinary action against your license.
The license renewal period occurs every 2 years; the renewal fee is $185. Renewal notices are mailed from Board's administrative office forty-five (45) days prior to the expiration of the license to the current address on record. Licensees are responsible for renewing their license on time and keeping the Board apprised of current information. Licenses can be renewed on-line one hundred twenty (120) days prior to expiration.
Continuing education is mandatory for licensed massage therapist. Each licensed massage therapist must attend and complete twenty-five (25) hours of massage therapy related continuing education in courses approved by the Board on or before December 31st of 2004 and again every two (2) calendar years thereafter (for example January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2006 and then again from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2008, and so on) for as long as the therapist's license remains active. The due date for completion of the continuing education hours is the same for every licensed massage therapist in Tennessee.
New licensees will have his or her required continuing education hours pro-rated and for those obtaining a license during October, November and December of the second year of the cycle must obtain four (4) hours of continuing education in the subject areas required by subparagraphs (2) (e) and (2) (f) which are the two (2) hours pertaining to federal and Tennessee statutes and rules concerning massage therapist and establishments and two (2) hours pertaining to the management of practicing massage therapy, or to professional ethics, or to substance abuse.