Tennessee Increases Minimum Education Hours

On April 16, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into law House Bill 1610 (HB 1610) and Senate Bill 1588 (SB 1588), raising the state’s minimum massage education hours from 500 to 650.

The new law increases the minimum massage curriculum hours that an applicant for massage licensure must complete at an approved school for massage, bodywork, or somatic therapy to be eligible for licensure under the Massage Licensure Act.

Due to changes issued last fall in the federal Gainful Employment rules, aid-eligible schools would not have been able to offer programs in excess of the 500-hour state requirement and maintain federal aid eligibility. The new state licensing requirement of 650 hours will allow programs at that length to maintain aid eligibility under the new Federal Title IV regulations.

ABMP was in support of HB 1610 and SB 1588 to protect student access to federal aid and to reduce barriers to entry into the massage profession. You can read our comments here. Congratulations and thanks to the Tennessee Massage Therapy Association for their leadership and efforts, along with everyone who championed the bill, contacted their legislators, and advocated for students and schools.

The new law is effective immediately.