If you want to get a better quality of life, reduce stress, and improve blood circulation, undergoing massage treatments will surely help. Also, massage therapists are fundamental in the treatment of issues like muscle pain, disc pain, and arthritis.
Read on for a full overview of massage therapy licensing in Florida.
Massage Therapy License Florida – Understanding the Concept
Florida Statutes §480.033 (11) defines the term “massage therapy” as “the manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body with:
- The hand, foot, knee, arm, or elbow, regardless of whether such manipulation is aided by hydrotherapy, including colonic irrigation, or thermal therapy
- Any electrical or mechanical device, or
- The application to the human body of a chemical or herbal preparation”
Under Florida Statutes §480.033 (10), a massage therapist is a “person licensed as required by this act, who performs massage therapy, including massage therapy assessment, for compensation.”
How to Get a Massage Therapy License in Florida
The agency responsible for licensing massage therapy within state jurisdiction is the Florida Department of Health. Before obtaining a valid license, the therapist must go through one of the required licensing procedures – examination, endorsement, or an apprenticeship program.
If you choose to get a license through an examination process, you must attend an approved school for massage therapists.
After a course of at least 500 hours, you must pass an official exam approved by the Florida Massage Board, such as the National Exam for State Licensure (NESL). Once you are approved in the exam with a passing score, you can apply for a license online.
It is not hard to find massage therapists that move down to Florida to enjoy the state’s favorable tax policies and the massive number of potential customers. A massage therapist licensed in another state can apply for a Florida license through endorsement, which is a process conducted with the Florida Massage Board.
Similar to the examination process, apprenticeships allow aspiring massage therapists to obtain licensing after going through one to two years of continuous training in an approved entity. The Florida Massage Board is also responsible for regulating the existing programs.
Is it Possible to Practice Professional Massage Therapy Without a License in Florida?
Under Florida law, it is illegal to practice any profession in the healthcare segment without proper licensing. Failing to meet this basic requirement may result in felony charges. Statutory rules also establish solid standards to be followed in the industry, such as:
- Ensuring massage establishments are always clean and sanitary
- Employees cannot be sick or use illegal drugs
- Never incur any sexual misconduct within the premises
- Never let unlicensed individuals impersonate a licensed therapist
- A licensed practitioner must always display the license
Failing to meet the statutory requirements for the practice of massage therapy in Florida may expose one’s license and reputation to unnecessary risk. The best approach is to work with an expert licensing attorney to ensure full legal compliance.