Are you interested in upgrading your credential to a master massage therapy license? Arkansas may have made the process easier for you by adopting House Bill 1115 (HB 1115) in early March 2023, creating a second pathway to obtain the higher licensing tier.
Before we dive into the alternative pathway, it’s important to review the foundation of how to become a master massage therapist. After getting your massage therapist license, you must complete at least 250 hours of practical experience as a massage therapist. This experience can be gained by assisting an instructor in a massage school. You must also complete at least 125 continuing education hours approved by the Arkansas Department of Health (Department). In addition to these qualifications, HB 1115 has created the following pathway for applicants to earn a master massage therapy license. Applicants must:
- Be an active, practicing licensee registered as a massage therapist for at least 12 months before submitting their application for an upgrade to master massage therapist, and
- Complete at least 300 hours of advanced coursework in massage therapy as part of an associate of applied science degree from an accredited college or university.
If an applicant does not want to earn their master massage therapist license via the new pathway, they can still apply for the license the traditional way. This requires applicants to:
- Be an active, practicing licensee registered as a massage therapist for at least two years before submitting their application for an upgrade to master massage therapist, and
- Complete at least 125 continuing education hours approved by the Department (these hours are in addition to the 125 hours mentioned above).
Effective date: July 1, 2023.