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The State of Tennessee Massage Therapist Requirements

Throughout the 42,143 square miles of The Volunteer State, approximately 4,300 massage therapists work to help the more than 6.5 million people in their state find relief from pain, rehabilitation from injuries, and comfort in the midst of stress and anxiety.

With 656,861 people in Memphis, 644,014 people in Nashville, and 184,281 people in Knoxville, massage therapists who work in Tennessee can find an engaged environment to open, continue, or join a massage therapy business.

How Do I Become A Massage Therapist in Tennessee?

If you’re ready to move into your career as a massage therapist in Tennessee, you must register with the Tennessee Board of Massage Licensure. The registration fee is $280. 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 accredited massage therapy program and have passed a national massage licensing examination. 

You can find application request forms on their website.

Where Can I Study?

The Tennessee Board of Massage Licensure provides a list of approved schools where future LMTs can complete their 500 required hours.

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

  • Appalachian Training Center for Healing Arts: Approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, this school offers flexible class schedules and learning paces. Wanting to help their students make the “best decision possible” for their future, ATCHA teaches students about the different facets of massage therapy, including the services, products, work environments, etc.
  • Chattanooga Massage Institute: Training the best massage therapists in a short amount of time, this school has a high success rate of students passing the board exam on their first try. Their mission is to “meet the need for quality, affordable and professional massage education.” They work toward this mission by providing students with a well-rounded curriculum.

Other education options include Brightness Massage School for the Blind and Gould’s Academy of Massage.

How Much Will I Earn?

The average annual wage of a massage therapist in Tennessee was $37,480 in 2014. This is on the lower side of state earnings, with the average national salary at $41,790. However, massage therapists who work in Chattanooga have the opportunity to earn a higher salary, with the average for this city at $44,930 annually.