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The State of District of Columbia Massage Therapist Requirements

Throughout the 68.3 square miles of the United States capitol, approximately 780 massage therapists work to help the more than 692,683 people in their city find relief from pain, rehabilitation from injuries, and comfort in the midst of stress and anxiety.

Massage therapists who work in Washington D.C. can find an engaged environment to open, continue, or join a massage therapy business.

How Do I Become A Massage Therapist in the District of Columbia?

If you’re ready to move into your career as a massage therapist in the District of Columbia, you must register with the District of Columbia Board of Massage Therapy. The registration fee is $262. 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.

In order to receive this license, you must complete a minimum of 500 hours from an approved massage therapy program and be certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

You can find application request forms on their website.

Where Can I Study?

The District of Columbia Board of Massage Therapy provides education and approved school rules that future LMTs should take into consideration before choosing a school to complete their 500 hours.

Below are two approved schools in the District of Columbia to help you get started on what you may be looking for in a massage therapy education.

  • Potomac Massage Training Institute: As a leader in massage therapy education, this school has been training professionals for more than 38 years. Students here are diverse with a strong interest in “being of service to the world we live in.” The school partners with community outreach programs to incorporate this goal. PMTI holds itself accountable to the laws and licensing regulations of the District of Columbia, Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, and the AMTA Council of Schools.
  • Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage: Nationally accredited by NACCAS and recognized by the United States Department of Education, this school provides students the opportunity to become a certified massage therapist in less than 7 months. Students will learn massage in a variety of styles, including Swedish, sports, deep tissue, clinical, chair and Chinese.

How Much Will I Earn?

The average annual wage of a massage therapist in the District of Columbia was $59,247 in 2021. This is on the lower side of state earnings, with the average national salary at $53,222. However, massage therapists who work in Arlington-Alexandria have the opportunity to earn a higher salary, with the average for this area at $68,059 annually.