Saving for Your Massage Career as a Student

While you’re in school, it’s easy to forget about the fact that, whether you work as an employee or start your own practice, you will have some expenses related to obtaining your license and starting your career. Aim to save $600 to pay for testing and fees as you graduate. These fees include:

MBLEx Testing Fee: The Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination is the national test you are required to take to obtain your license in most states. (Only a few states don’t require an exam, or use their own test instead). The MBLEx testing fee is currently $195, which is similar to testing fees in states that use their own exam.

State Licensing Fee: Your state will require a fee to provide you with your license after you meet all eligibility requirements. These fees run from $80–$175. In addition, your state may have other requirements and fees related to obtaining your license. For example, Oregon requires practitioners to pass a practical examination in addition to the MBLEx. The fee for the practical exam is $150.

Professional Membership and Liability Insurance: You want to make sure to protect yourself from professional liability claims with insurance. Most practitioners align with a national membership association (like ABMP) that provides liability insurance and other benefits useful to massage and bodyworkers. These fees run from $99–$200+, and while a low-cost provider may seem like a good way to save a few dollars, a full-service professional association like ABMP provides a lot more resources that can help you get your career started right. Bonus tip: The best deal out there is the $75 first-year Professional membership to ABMP, which is only available to subscribers of ABMP Exam Coach, the best MBLEx test prep in the profession.

If you start a private practice, you will also want to save for your business start-up costs. Sign up for a free ABMP Student Life membership for access to helpful massage business start-up resources like our “Business Start-Up Projector” and “Master Equipment and Supply List” forms that include a list of potential costs related to starting a private practice, plus a monthly budgeting form to help you get your personal finances in order. A little planning will help you be ready to start practicing in no time.

Sign up for a free ABMP Student Life membership here.


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Read the May / June 2022 Issue of Massage & Bodywork Magazine

The May/June 2022 issue of ABMP's Massage & Bodywork magazine is available at ABMP members get a print subscription as part of membership, and the digital edition is available online and free to the profession.

In this issue, we explore pelvic tilt and spinal compensation, improving bodywork through breath, and how listening to your clients is a superpower. We also discuss SI joint dysfunction, overuse injuries, and much more!⁠

Cupping Canada Inc. and Mobile Massage Mastery GIVEAWAY: Value over $2,022!

Cupping Canada Inc. and Mobile Massage Mastery GIVEAWAY—value over $2,022!

3 lucky participants will win shared prizes:

• 16 CE live online Evidence Informed Clinical Cupping course from Cupping Canada & Cupping USA (NCBTMB approved & Canadian approvals) - valued at $405 CAD

• Online course starter kit, tie dye silicone drinking glass & silicone straw kit from Cupping Canada and Cupping USA - valued at $120 CAD

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course: Updating our Hands-On Approach

Learn about the properties of fascia and hands-on techniques for working with fascia in the leg. Join Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe for this engaging course that explores the composition and roles of fascia and collagen and demonstrates several myofascial hands-on techniques focused on the fascia in the leg and the sartorius, gracilis, semitendinosus, and pes anserinus muscles.

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