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.



Oregon Seeks Applicants for Grant Program Advisory Committee

The Healthy Oregon Workforce Training Opportunity (HOWTO) Grant Program is seeking people to serve on the HOWTO Grant Program Advisory Committee. If you are a motivated leader committed to advancing health equity, trauma-informed workspaces, and expanding the health-care workforce in Oregon, apply before December 15, 2022.

Agenda Confirms CAMTC Could Seek Fee Hike

CAMTC's meeting agenda confirms there may be a vote on a fee increase and discloses meeting location. Submit comments to the CAMTC as soon as possible.


Make Gratitude Part of Your Daily Life

Man Giving Thanks to Nature.

While this is the time of year that #gratitude starts trending, living a grateful life is not something to wrap up in a day, a week, a month . . . or a hashtag. We need to honor it all from an open heart.

Upledger CranioSacral Therapy Can Help with PTSD

CranioSacral Therapy can help with PTSD.

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on treatment modality that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance.


ABMP’s Lymph Talk Series

Lymph Talk is a series of conversations ABMP Director of Professional Education Kristin Coverly had with practitioners who specialize in the manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) modality. These talks were recorded in conjunction with the October 25, 2022, free, online ABMP CE Summit on Lymph. Kristin says, “My hope is that these conversations increase the awareness of MLD and demonstrate how effective it can be with different populations so massage therapists and bodyworkers are inspired to learn more about this gentle, yet powerful modality!”

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—MLD: Basic Techniques for the Neck and Face

Gain an understanding of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) movements and the location of important lymphatic structures as you watch Nicola McGill’s dynamic demonstration of three MLD techniques and MLD sequences for the neck and face. Learn about this important modality that, when provided effectively, can support and enhance the movement of lymph fluid through the lymphatic vessels and eventually back to the cardiovascular system.

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—Introduction to Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmic form of bodywork that enhances and supports the movement of fluid through the lymphatic system to support health and well-being. Developed by Danish therapists Emil and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s, MLD is now practiced extensively by health and wellness practitioners and is used within the medical community to treat lymphedema and post-surgical and post-traumatic edema. Join Nicola McGill in this engaging course to learn the benefits, indications, and mechanics of this gentle, effective modality.

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