New York State Massage Therapy Regulations

New York College of Health Professions > Licensing & Certification > New York State Massage Therapy Regulations

Massage therapy has been a licensed profession in the State of New York since 1968. Licensure is a requirement for the practice of any form of massage therapy. New York College of Health Professions offers a New York State approved licensure-qualifying program in therapeutic massage. Successful completion of massage therapy course of study offered by the school qualifies graduates who meet all other state requirements to sit for the licensing examination in massage therapy.

Currently, the New York State licensing examination is administered twice annually, in January and August.

To qualify for a massage therapy license in the State of New York an applicant must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete and file an application with the New York State Education Department
  • Candidate must be a high school graduate or have the legal equivalent education (GED) or have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours at an accredited college or university
  • Candidate must be a graduate of a New York State registered Massage Therapy program or have equivalent education
  • Pass a written examination satisfactory to the Board and in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations
  • Candidate must be either a U.S. citizen or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S. Documentation beyond the candidate’s affirmation is not required.
  • Candidate must be of good moral character
  • Candidate must be at least 18 years of age
  • Candidate must hold current Red Cross or American Heart Association Certification in CPR and First Aid
  • Initially a fee of one-hundred and eight dollars ($108.00) is paid to the New York State Education Department and a fee of two-hundred and sixty five dollars ($265.00) to their testing agency. Thereafter, a triennial registration fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) is required.

To receive further information about licensing in New York State, contact the office of the State Board for Massage, New York State Education Department at (518) 474-3817, ext. 150 or write to the State Board for massage therapy, The State Education Department, State Education Building, 2nd floor, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234-1000.

Note that some states do not qualify graduates to practice massage therapy and/or differ in their licensing requirements. Check the individual requirements of the state(s) in which you plan to practice, or contact the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, an independent, not-for-profit organization at 8201 Greenboro Drive, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22102. 1-800-296-0664.  E-mail: