In order to be a certified massage therapist in the state of Oregon, LMTs must fulfill certain requirements. Massage schools in Oregon, including East West College, must prepare students to meet or exceed these basic state benchmarks. The Oregon licensing process is one of the strictest in the country, and encompasses three basic components: education, a practical exam, and a written exam.
- Educational requirements: The state requires a total of 500 educational hours related to massage. Of these, 200 hours must be in the health sciences, including Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, and Pathology. The remaining 300 hours are comprised of Practical Application, Clinical Practice, Massage Theory, Ethics, Communication, Business Development, and Sanitation.
- Pass the Oregon Practical Exam. The Oregon Board of Massage Therapists requires students to pass a hands-on exam to earn licensure. The state board organizes and conducts these exams. If students fail the practical exam more than twice, they are required to reestablish eligibility with the Board.
- Pass a Board-Approved Written Exam, as approved by the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists. The Board currently approves two exams: the MBLEX (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination), when administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards; and the NCTMB (conducted by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.) Massage therapists must pass one of these exams to be eligible for an Oregon massage therapy license.
Beyond these Oregon massage certification requirements massage practitioners must also pass a jurisprudence exam regarding the legal ethics of the massage profession.
Oregon will only consider transferring four other states’ massage certification endorsements without additional testing. And even then, the board’s site emphasizes that certification from Arkansas, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Washington state may still not transfer automatically into an Oregon massage therapy license. Those who have already practiced massage professionally elsewhere can also earn licensure through a credential review, assuming they have already passed Oregon’s written, practical, and jurisprudence exams.
Additionally, certain professionals such as doctors, nurses, and physical therapists can earn an Oregon massage license with 300 hours of Massage Theory, Practical Application, Business Development, Ethics, Communication, Sanitation, and Clinical Practice.
If you’re looking into Oregon massage schools, keep these requirements in mind. They are the targets you will set your sites on as you take the first steps toward becoming a licensed massage therapist in Oregon.