Massage regulation in California is unique. A couple of years ago, the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) was organized to implement the new California Massage Act.
Only massage practitioners certified by CAMTC are protected by California law. CAMTC practitioners have right to practice massage anywhere in California, free from the need to obtain a massage permit (or multiple permits) from any city or county. But this certification is not mandatory.
No other state offers a voluntary massage certification. Even the massage licensing examination is voluntary. Because of these two variables (voluntary exams and licenses), navigating the Florida licensing process can be confusing for massage therapists moving from California to Florida.
Today, I am here to help you figure out what you need to do based on your education and licensing exam completion. Most of you will fall into one of three situations. This will determine what you need to do next:
1. You have 500 (or more) hours of formal training, and you took a Florida Board-Approved examination (MBLEx, NESL, NCETM or NCETMB):
- You have five hundred (500) or more hours of formal education and training in massage therapy. 500 hours is the minimum hours needed to get a Florida massage license.
- And you passed a Florida Board-Approved examination (MBLEx, NESL, NCETM or NCETMB).
- Whether or not your are currently a CMT has little to do with obtaining a Florida massage license.
What should you do next? This checklist will assist you with the Florida Massage License process. You should have the least amount of work to do to get your Florida license.
2. You have 500 (or more) hours of formal training, but never took a Florida Board-Approved examination (NCETM, NCETMB, NESL, or MBLEx):
I suspect most people will fall into this category.
- You have 500 hours of formal massage training from an approved school.
- But, you never took a Florida Board-Approved examination (NCETM, NCETMB, NESL, or MBLEx). Taking one of these examinations is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a Florida massage license.
- You may, or may not, have a valid CMT massage certificate in California.
What should you do next? This checklist will assist you with the Florida Massage License process.
3. You have under 500 hours of training, or you are currently a CMP:
Florida requires a minimum of 500 hours of massage training. If you are a CMP (meaning you have 250 and 499 hours of massage therapy training from an approved school), you will need to go back to school to make up the hours that you are deficient.
What should you do next?
Contact the Florida Board of Massage for a list of schools where you can make up the needed hours and continue on with the licensing process.
Will Florida accept school your California massage training?
Florida accepts most schools that are approved in other states or jurisdictions and meet the minimum requirements in each subject area. Here is a list of schools the Florida Board of Massage does not accept. If your school is on this other list of schools not accepted by CAMTC, I would also be concerned about its acceptance by the Florida Board of Massage.
Have a more detailed question regarding Florida licensing for massage? Ask me in the comments below!