The State of Alabama Massage Therapist Requirements
Throughout the 52,419 square miles of the Heart of Dixie, approximately 1,400 massage therapists work to help the more than 4 million people in their state find relief from pain, rehabilitation from injuries, and comfort in the midst of stress and anxiety.
With 212,237 people in Birmingham, 205,764 people in Montgomery, and 195,111 people in Mobile, massage therapists who work in Alabama can find an engaged environment to open, continue, or join a massage therapy business.
How Do I Become A Massage Therapist in Alabama?
If you’re ready to move into your career as a massage therapist in Alabama, you must register with the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy. The registration fee is $25. Once you are registered, you must receive licensure by the Board. If you do not register, you will be working illegally and can receive a fine.
In order to receive this license, you must complete a minimum of 650 hours from an approved massage therapy program and be certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
You will also need to prove that you have $1,000,000 of personal liability coverage.
You can find application request forms on their website.
Where Can I Study?
The Alabama Board of Massage Therapy provides a list of approved schools where future LMTs can complete their 650 required hours.
Birmingham is one of the most popular cities in Alabama to study massage, with two leading schools operating there: Birmingham School of Massage and Virginia College at Birmingham.
- Birmingham School of Massage: With a mission to “provide students with the best training and education possible in the field of massage therapy according to the standards set by the Alabama State Board of Massage Therapy,” this school includes lessons on anatomy, physiology, interpersonal communication skills, business, and marketing. Students will also receive clinic experience to learn the skills necessary in a professional massage practice.
- Virginia College at Birmingham: With small class sizes and the option to study during the day or at night, this school wants future LMTs to learn at their convenience. As a career-training school, Virginia College specializes in “providing the education and training demanded by a competitive job market” and hopes that this training will lead to exciting opportunities for their graduates.
How Much Will I Earn?
The average annual wage of a massage therapist in Alabama was $32,610 in 2014. This is on the lower side of state earnings, with the average national salary at $41,790. However, massage therapists who work in Birmingham-Hoover have the opportunity to earn a higher salary, with the average for this city at $47,870 annually.