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Massage Therapy licensing in North Carolina

Massage therapists and graduates of massage therapy programs wishing to live under the Carolina blue skies and practice in North Carolina must go through the state's board of massage therapy, which regulates and governs certification and practice of all therapists in the state, including those working along the state's many beaches and in towns and ski resorts in the state's mountains.

One of the primary duties of the board is to ensure that therapists given licenses in the state are qualified to practice, and have the necessary skills to carry out their jobs and enhance the well-being of patients. To be licensed in the Tar Heel State, therapists have to meet a specific list of requirements.

Whether a therapist wants to practice in Charlotte, Ocean Isle or Boone the following requirements must be met before he or she can be considered for licensure:

Therapists must complete a massage therapy program that contains at least 500 class hours. These hours are to be conducted under the supervision of a qualified instructor and the course work has to take place at a school meeting the standards set forth by the N.C. regulating board. The board will need a transcript of any potential therapist, and this transcript should be sealed and sent from the institution that awarded the degree of certification of completion.

Therapists completing their educations at schools outside of North Carolina that have not been previously approved by the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy will find the process is a bit longer. The board will need to learn more about the institutions from which a degree was awarded. The board will need to know that the school is licensed. A photocopy of the school's active license, which states that the institution is qualified and licensed by an accepted regulatory agency to award degrees in massage therapy. The board also asks for information on the classes that the applicant completed while attending the institution. This means a description of the classes and the hours earned for each course while the student was under supervised instruction. The program curriculum should answer all questions in this area. A copy of the school's current or most recent catalog will be needed by the board as well as a transcript.

Students who graduated from schools that are no longer operating will be unable to provide much of this information, so another avenue has been laid out for these individuals. When a potential therapist needs a license in North Carolina and cannot provide required documentation for a legitimate reason as determined by the board, the therapist may be allowed to complete an Affidavit of Professional Training that will state the date of graduation and course of study of the student. Each such case will be judged on its individual merit.

People applying for licensure in North Carolina must have passed the following examinations: The National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork or The National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage; The oriental Bodywork Therapy Examination; The Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination.

Once all of these requirements have been meet, massage therapists are well on their way to enjoying the sunshine, beaches, mountains and all the others attractions of the state of North Carolina.