Massage Therapist

Department of Public Health


Performs massage, myotherapy, massotherapy, body work, body work therapy, or therapeutic massage including hydrotherapy, superficial hot and cold applications, vibration and topical applications, or other therapy which involves manipulation of the muscle and connective tissue of the body, excluding osseous tissue, to treat the muscle tonus system for the purpose of enhancing health, providing muscle relaxation, increasing range of motion, reducing stress, relieving pain, or improving circulation.

Code Citation IC, Chapter 152C; 645 IAC 130

Who Applies Any person who wishes to treat clients by practicing therapeutic body massage or manipulation of the muscles or connective tissue in Iowa.

When To Apply After completing educational requirements.

Initial Requirements An applicant must successfully complete a curriculum of massage education approved by the board at an approved school, including at least 600 hours of instuctor-supervised, in-classroom academic instruction. The school curriculum must include 100 hours of anatomy and physiology, basic first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and 400 hours of other subjects relating directly to development of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to render competent professional massage therapy to the public. Massage therapists from other states seeking a license to practice massage therapy in Iowa will be considered on an individual basis. Issuance of a reciprocal license to licensees of states with license requirements equal to or exceeding those of Iowa will be considered after the applicant provides an official statement from each state board of examiners in which the applicant is currently or formerly licensed. Information should include the status of the applicant\’s license, issue date, expiration date, any information regarding any pending or prior investigations or disciplinary action, and a statement outlining the licensure requirements. A certified copy of the scores from the appropriate professional examination must be sent to the department, if applicable.

Duration 6 to 29 months for initial, 2 years for renewal.

Processing Time 30 days after submission of all required materials. Online license renewal in real time.

Fee Structure Initial License: Renewal:

Renewal Requirements

Exam National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) examination or the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).

Additional Information Online applications may be made at: The Board of Massage Therapy home page can be accessed at:

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Bureau of Professional Licensure
Lucas Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319