Employment & Licensing

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What can I do as a licensed massage practitioner?

Licensed massage practitioners (LMPs) are members of the healthcare community. They work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, sports medicine clinics, medical and physical therapy offices/clinics, health clubs, spas, alternative medicine clinics, counseling and rehabilitation centers, and private massage clinics.

Being an LMP offers you the opportunity to help others achieve their healthcare goals and re-establish the connection between mind and body. This is done through the application of therapeutic touch. Massage is a very personal, hands-on approach to healthcare, giving both the practitioner and the client the opportunity to connect at a deeper level.

There are different areas of specialization within the massage profession including:
  • Therapeutic medical massage
  • Infant massage
  • Pregnancy massage
  • Sports massage
  • Wellness massage
  • Massage within the hospitality industry (e.g. hotel spas)

WCC's massage practitioner program is approved by the Washington State Massage Board, a subsidiary of the Washington State Department of Health.

Licensing process, costs and pass rate

Be sure you are aware of the massage practitioner licensing requirements in the state where you intend to work.

Click here for information from the Washington state Department of Health on applications and forms, education requirements, fees, and laws.

Students who complete the massage program at WCC receive an associate in science degree or a certificate in massage. Students are then eligible to take a national licensure exam, which is one requirement for licensure in Washington state.

Other requirements for licensure include:

  • Statement about:
    • physical and mental health status
    • lack of impairment due to chemical dependency/substance abuse
    • history of loss of license, certification or registration
    • felony convictions
    • loss or limitations of privileges
    • disciplinary actions
    • professional liability claims history
  • State licensure verification (for applicants who have held licenses in another state)
  • Four hours of HIV/AIDS training
  • First Aid and CPR cards or verification from an approved education program.

These requirements are submitted to the Department of Health, Board of Massage for consideration of licensure.

How much can I earn and what is the employment rate?

In addition to licensing, you should also be aware of wage and employment rates.

According to an AMTA member survey, the national average income for massage practitioners working 15 hours per week was $31,980. This income amount included both wages and tips.

Employment rates are difficult to specify. The majority of licensed massage practitioners are also small business owners. Some are not pursuing the equivalent of a full-time income. Others will manage their small business more aggressively and, as a result, generate larger numbers of repeat clients more quickly. Whatcom's massage practitioner program includes course work introducing students to the "business side" of their career.

Can I move to another state and still work as a massage practitioner?