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The State of Washington Massage Therapist Requirements

Throughout the 71,362 square miles of the Evergreen State, approximately 13,113 massage therapists work to help the more than 7.6 million people in their state find relief from pain, rehabilitation from injuries, and comfort in the midst of stress and anxiety.

With 724,305 people in Seattle, 217,353 people in Spokane, and 212,869 people in Tacoma, massage therapists who work in Washington can find an engaged environment to open, continue, or join a massage therapy business.

How Do I Become A Massage Therapist in Washington?

If you’re ready to move into your career as a massage therapist in Washington, you must register with the Washington State Department of Health. The registration fee is $226. 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 pass a national massage licensing examination

You can find application request forms on their website.

Where Can I Study?

The Washington State Department of Health approves schools with the following criteria: 130 hours of anatomy and physiology, 50 hours of pathology, 265 hours of theory and practice of massage, 55 hours of clinical/business practice and first aid certification with the American Red Cross.

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

  • Massage School and Wellness Clinic: Bringing heart and meaning to massage therapy, this school’s goal is to “provide the highest quality massage practitioner training in a holistically nurturing environment, to equip students with all the tools necessary to build solid foundations for careers as LMTs, and to bring out the true heart and humanity in each individual.”
  • Bellevue Massage School: Founded in 1977, this school was one of the first schools of massage therapy in Western Washington, and the first massage school on the eastside of Lake Washington. Interested students are welcome to attend a complimentary introductory class to determine whether the school is right for them.

Other education options include Body Mind Academy and Everest College.

How Much Will I Earn?

The average annual wage of a massage therapist in Washington was $56,841 in 2021. This is on the higher side of state earnings, with the average national salary at $53,222. Massage therapists who work in Bremerton-Silverdale have the opportunity to earn a higher salary, with the average for this city at $57,480 annually.