On November 9th, the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists voted to significantly change the state’s massage therapy licensure requirements. The board eliminated the practical massage exam for most applicants and increased the required massage education requirement from 500 to 625 hours. Beginning on January 1, 2016, most aspiring Oregon LMTs pursuing massage therapy training will no longer have to pass a hands-on state test for initial licensure. Those who wish to practice massage in the state of Oregon will still be required to pass an approved national massage exam as well as an online massage law test.


East West College supports the OBMT’s decision to eliminate the practical exam for most individuals seeking licensure. This, along with the bump in educational hours, brings Oregon’s massage licensure requirements in line with most other states in the country. Moreover, the elimination of the practical exam will simplify the process for individuals seeking licensure.

We hope this change will lead to more East West College graduates getting their massage license immediately after graduation, rather than delaying licensure due to concerns about passing the practical exam. Although EWC graduates have done extremely well on the practical exam, we know that text anxiety has prevented many skilled graduates from completing the licensing process. We regularly hear from employers throughout Oregon, and particularly in the Portland area, that there aren’t enough massage therapists available for all of the clients seeking massage. These new Oregon licensure requirements should help to alleviate this LMT shortage.

For those who are curious about how to become a massage therapist and are considering attending massage school at East West College, this OMBT decision is good news. EWC’s massage program requires students to complete 800 hours of massage classes, exceeding even the state’s increased hourly requirement. What’s more, those who are researching how to become a massage therapist in different states may feel more inclined to seek schooling in Oregon now that there is no practical exam component for state licensure.

The massage therapy profession is within your reach. Get in touch with the EWC admissions team today to explore pathways to jump starting your massage career.


Oregon Board of Massage Therapists, Oregon.gov