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Massage Students & National Board Exams in Michigan

Which massage exams matter most in Michigan?

When applying for a Michigan Massage License, the State of Michigan requires one of the following exams as part of the application requirements.  The national board exams listed here are the only exams the State of Michigan accepts to obtain massage licensure. 

  • Federation of State Massage Therapy Board's Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) 

  • National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

  • National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM)

  • NCBTMB National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB)

Access Michigan Massage Therapy Licensure application requirements here.

How are board exams generally used?

  • The State of Michigan uses specific national board exams as an eligibility requirement when applying for a massage therapy license by examination. See the list above.

  • To provide an avenue for licensed massage therapist’s to show competence in a specific area of massage study after completing massage therapy school.

  • To certify completion of a massage school program focused on a specific massage technique or protocol.

This examination measures professional accomplishments for medical massage therapists who have learned evidence based massage therapy. Commonly taken as an optional medical massage certification exam for the Blue Heron Academy’s medical massage program.

Please keep in mind that if a student receives tuition assistance from the State of Michigan through MI Works, the funding agreement may require the student to take a school specific national board certification in addition to the one required by the State of Michigan during the licensure application process. Students should check with their case manager to see if this requirement applies to the massage school program they are interested in.

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