March 11, 2024

How Long Does It Take to Become a Massage Therapist in Iowa?

How Long Does It Take to Become a Massage Therapist in Iowa

Are you considering a career in Massage Therapy? If so, you should know there is a world of exciting career opportunities in health and wellness. We answer common questions such as, ‘How long does it take to become a massage therapist’ and what you can expect on your journey in massage therapy education.

As an integral part of the field of health and wellness, the future of massage therapy as a career has never looked brighter.

How long is a massage therapy school in Iowa?

Iowa’s Board of Massage Therapy, which is part of Iowa’s Department of Inspections and Licensing, requires that candidates for a license in massage therapy complete a minimum of 600 hours of coursework from a qualified massage school. At La’ James International College, the coursework to complete this requirement can be covered in our 33-week program.

When do massage therapy classes start? Our programs begin about every sixteen weeks. It is important to note that a class may require a minimum number of students before the class can commence. If you are interested, please contact our team to learn of the exact starting dates at the La’ James International College campus nearest you.

Steps to becoming a licensed massage therapist.

The following steps are essential on your path to practice as a professional massage therapist:

  • Step 1 – Register for and complete a professional massage therapy educational program.

An accredited massage therapy school will provide you with a recognized qualification – a certificate or diploma in massage therapy – that can testify to your skills and knowledge as a massage professional.

  • Step 2 – Pass the official licensing exam.

Applicants must take and pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Examination (NCBTMB). Doing so is a requirement for the application process in order to become a licensed massage therapist.‌

How long does it take to prepare for and pass the national exams?

On average, students take between one to two months to prepare for the massage therapy exam.‌

Licensing requirements for a massage therapist in Iowa

In order to be issued a state license and become a licensed massage therapist in Iowa, you will need to meet the following requirements of the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Examiners:

  • Complete the minimum number of hours of training (in Iowa, the minimum number of hours required is 600) at an officially recognized massage therapy school.
  • Provide proof of qualification (graduation certificate).
  • Obtain a passing score on either the MBLEx or NCETMB exam.
  • The massage therapist license is valid for two years.‌‌

What skills do you learn in massage therapy school?

In our massage therapy program, students learn massage therapy techniques including Swedish Massage, Chair massage, Stone Therapy, Deep Tissue (Sports) Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, and Pregnancy Massage. To understand how and why massage therapy works, our students will learn about Anatomy, Physiology, and Kinesiology. Our students are also introduced to Reflexology, Aromatherapy, and Hydrotherapy.

A massage therapy education and related skills can open up a potential career at a day spa, resort spa, or recreational facility in sports medicine offices and chiropractic offices.

In addition to all of this, we ensure our students are equipped with business skills so that they can start their own massage therapy businesses and take control of their futures.

What prior education do you need to enroll in a massage therapy program?

To be enrolled in the La’ James International College Massage Therapy Program, you will need to meet the following application requirements.

You must have obtained a valid high school diploma (or an official high school transcript) or provide a GED equivalent.

This must be accompanied by a completed enrollment application form as well as a government-issued form of ID. An application fee of $50 applies.

What is included in the La’ James International College massage therapy course?

In all our courses at La’ James International College in Iowa, we strive to offer students comprehensive training programs including massage therapy education. Our massage therapy course comprises the all-important theoretical sections in anatomy and physiology, practical know-how of core massage, and bodywork modalities in addition to assessments.

Our hands-on learning environment will ensure that you are suitably equipped with in-depth theoretical knowledge as well as real-world practical experience to launch successful careers as skilled massage therapists.

To help students maximize their practical experience, our massage therapy curriculum includes an authentic day spa clinic environment where, under the supervision of licensed massage therapists, you get to put into practice all you have learned on real clients.‌


‌Do my previous experiences or certifications shorten the time it takes to get my massage therapy license?

The Iowa Board of Massage Therapy makes a provision for you if you have completed your certifications in massage therapy or were licensed or registered in another state. You will need to provide official verification of licensure from the state in which you were licensed. Details on the licensure verification must include the date of issue and expiration date in addition to the status of the license.

Can I become a massage therapist without attending a formal program?

No. To practice as a licensed massage therapist in Iowa, you are required to have a minimum number of hours of professional training and have passed a competency-based, nationally recognized exam from an accredited educational institution. In addition to this, you are also required to commit to continuing professional education.

Can I work as a massage therapist while I’m still in school?

Massage therapy students may provide massage treatment sessions at a massage student clinic. Massage therapy is offered to fellow students as well as to members of the public at a discounted rate. These sessions are important to gain as much practical experience as possible and to receive feedback on the effectiveness of massage techniques and skills used. It is recommended that students wishing to provide massage therapy whilst still studying purchase Student Liability Insurance.

At our massage therapy school, we offer a student spa where our students are allowed to carry out massage therapy services on real clients. To take advantage of this service, you must have completed a minimum of 200 hours of massage therapy coursework.

How much will it cost?

Please reach out to us to find out more about the cost of our massage therapy program and any related fees. Financial aid is available to students who qualify.

Transform Your Future with La’ James International College

Our Massage Therapy School in Iowa can open fantastic opportunities for a bright future in massage therapy, providing you with all you need to know to become a licensed massage therapist. Students choose La’ James International College for our all-encompassing top-quality education programs and career development support. Contact us today to find out the next registration date for a massage therapy class.


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