The State of Alaska Massage Therapist Requirements
Throughout the 663,300 square miles of the Last Frontier, approximately 550 massage therapists work to help the more than 700,000 people in their state find relief from pain, rehabilitation from injuries, and comfort in the midst of stress and anxiety.
With 291,826 people in Anchorage, 31,535 people in Fairbanks, and 31,275 people in Juneau, massage therapists who work in Alaska can find an engaged environment to open, continue, or join a massage therapy business.
How Do I Become A Massage Therapist in Alaska?
If you’re ready to move into your career as a massage therapist in Alaska, you must register with the Board of Massage Therapists. The application fee is $200. You will also need $350 for a massage therapist license fee and $60 for a fingerprint processing fee.
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. This regulatory process went into effect July 1, 2015.
In order to receive this license, you must complete a minimum of 500 hours of in-class supervised instruction and clinical work from a board-approved school and pass the national exam (MBLEX). You will also need a current CPR certification and have been fingerprinted and passed a national criminal history record check.
You can find application request forms on their website.
Where Can I Study?
Though the Board of Massage Therapists has not yet decided on a list of approved schools, it did approve that the following accrediting agencies be included in proposed regulations being put out for public comment: American Massage Therapy Association, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. Keep this in mind when choosing a massage therapy school in Alaska.
Most students will attend school in Fairbanks and Anchorage. These two leading schools can help you get a start on what you may be looking for.
- Kindred Spirits School of Massage: Approved by the NCBTMB, this school has many different modalities students can learn, including canine sports massage professional training. The school provides small classes, one on one time with the instructor, and all the supplies needed for the technique being taught.
- Alaska Institute of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Massage Therapy: The number one reason students choose this school is because they want to “help people and be a healer” and they heard this school was “the best.” Students will receive instruction with both a western and eastern point of view. They boast that many local businesses love their graduates.
Other education options include Alaska Career College and CB Healing Institute in Anchorage.
How Much Will I Earn?
The average annual wage of a massage therapist in Alaska was $84,270 in 2014. This is on the higher side of state earnings, with the average national salary at $41,790. Massage therapists who work in Anchorage have the opportunity to earn a slightly higher salary, with the average for this city at $86,270 annually.