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Continuing Education Requirements for Massage Therapists and Instructors

See also: Frequently Asked Questions

License Renewal Requirements

Massage therapists must complete at least 12 hours of TDLR-approved or recognized continuing education to renew a license.

Massage instructors must hold a current massage therapist license and meet the 12-hour requirement for that license in order to renew an instructor's license. There are no specific continuing education requirements for massage instructors.

Approved Continuing Education Providers

Search for a TDLR-approved continuing education provider

All licensed massage therapy schools are also approved to provide continuing education, and may issue either continuing education certificates, or transcripts showing advanced course work (as described in the rules, §117.60. Massage School Advanced Course Work). Search for a licensed massage school

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, (NCBTMB) is a recognized continuing education provider. Providers and courses which have been approved by the NCBTMB will be accepted for continuing education, but courses must be directly related to the acceptable course curriculum.

Acceptable Course Curriculum

Acceptable continuing education includes attendance and completion of courses that are directly related to the theory or clinical application of theory pertaining to the following:

  • Practice of massage therapy
  • The manipulation of soft tissue
  • Massage therapy laws and rules
  • Business practices
  • Professional ethics
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Health and hygiene

Courses must be designed to increase and enhance professional knowledge, skills or competence and be provided by a TDLR-approved provider or one of these recognized continuing education providers:

  • Institutes
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • State or National conferences
  • Advanced Course work
  • College and university academic courses

Bodywork Classes

Most massage and bodywork modalities are acceptable, provided the sponsor is acceptable. Unacceptable modalities would include activities which are not part of providing a massage (e.g. ear candling) or that require another license (e.g. chiropractic adjustments).

Energy Work Classes

Most energy work classes are acceptable, provided the sponsor is acceptable. They must be designed to enhance the provision of massage, and they may not involve any false or misleading health claims (e.g. claiming to cure or treat diseases).

Exercise or Movement Classes

Yoga, martial arts, and exercise classes are not acceptable unless they are specifically designed as self-care for massage therapists.

First Aid or CPR

Courses in first aid and/or CPR will be accepted if the course is taught or presented by a certified First Aid Instructor or certified CPR instructor who was certified by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross or National Safety Council. Courses cannot exceed six hours total each renewal period.

Online or Correspondence Courses

Continuing education that otherwise meets the standards, but is offered or presented online or by correspondence is acceptable only if the subject matter is not massage therapy techniques or manipulation of soft tissue.

Unacceptable Course Curriculum

The department shall not give continuing education credit for the following:

  • Education incidental to the regular professional activities of a massage therapist, such as learning occurring from experience or research
  • Professional organizational activity, such as serving on committees or councils or as an officer in a professional organization
  • College academic courses which are audited or not taken for credit
  • Independent study, except online or correspondence courses in accordance with the acceptable continuing education requirements of this subchapter
  • Any experience which does not comply with the approved continuing education in §117.31 of the Massage Therapy Administrative Rules.

Pre-Approval of Coursework

The department does not pre-approve CE programs. Please consult the Acceptable Course Curriculum section of this page (above) and the Massage Therapy Administrative Rules to determine whether or not the program is acceptable. If the sponsor, content, and certificate are acceptable, then you may use that program as continuing education for the purpose of license renewal.

All licensed massage therapy schools are also approved to provide continuing education, and may issue either continuing education certificates, or transcripts showing advanced course work (as described in the rules, §117.60. Massage School Advanced Course Work). Search for a licensed massage school.

Course Instructor Qualifications

Continuing education courses must be developed and presented by qualified persons. Please see the Continuing Education Provider Licensing page for details on requirements that instructors must meet for course curriculum to be deemed acceptable.

Reporting Completed Courses

TDLR uses an audit system for continuing education reporting. Each licensed massage therapist is responsible for maintaining a record of his or her continuing education experiences. The certificates, diplomas, or other documentation verifying continuing education hours should not be forwarded to TDLR at the time of renewal unless the licensee has been selected for audit.

TDLR will select for audit a random sample of licensed massage therapists for each renewal month. If selected for an audit, then you will be notified at the time of your renewal. You will be required to submit copies of certificates, transcripts or other documentation to verify attendance, participation and completion of continuing education requirements. If selected for audit, all documentation must be provided at the time of renewal before the license will be renewed.

The licensee is responsible for maintaining a record of continuing education experiences or certificates. If you are selected for audit, then you will be notified and records will be required to be submitted to TDLR.

Official transcripts do not have to be in a sealed envelope from the school. Transcripts may be submitted by mail to the following address:

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, Texas 78711