Raising the bar. Serving the public.

You are here

State FAQ

Will you still offer licensing exams?
A: Yes. The states determine the requirements for licensing. The NCETM and NCETMB will still be available for licensing purposes. There are 2 changes—1) you will be able to take the exam at any time during your education, 2) you will not receive formal notification until proof of graduation from an NCBTMB Assigned School with a minimum 500-hour program.
A:  Yes. You may take the licensing exam any time. However, formal notification will be released only upon proof of graduation from an NCBTMB Assigned School with a minimum 500 hours of massage therapy education. 
A: Yes. The current exam used to satisfy a part of licensing requirements in the states that accept NCBTMB exams is based on the following 500 hour core massage therapy curriculum:
  • 125 hours of instruction in the body's systems and anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology
  • 200 hours of in-class, supervised hands-on instruction in massage and bodywork assessment, theory, and application instruction
  • 40 hours of pathology
  • 10 hours of business and ethics instruction (a minimum of 6 hours in ethics)
  • 125 hours of instruction in an area or related field that theoretically completes your massage program of study
A: No, NCBTMB will communicate information regarding this new exam. It is up to each individual state to determine what they will accept for licensing in their state. 
A: NCBTMB does not determine what state regulatory boards accept or approve for licensing in their individual states.
Q: Is NCBTMB a for profit company?
A: NCBTMB is a not-for-profit agency with revenue going back into programs like School and Certificant Compliance, Human Trafficking Initiative, a new Board Certification Credential to aid in elevating the profession, an Approved Provider Program for Continuing Education and Assigned School Program.  These programs benefit the entire industry and support the states’ goal of protecting the public, and NCB's goal of elevating the standards for the profession.
Q: Is NCBTMB ADA compliant?
A: Yes, NCBTMB complies with all federal laws.
Q: How long have NCBTMB’s exams been in use?
A: NCBTMB exams have been in use for 20 years.
Q; How many states accept NCB’s exams as part of their state licensing requirements?
A: The NCETM and NCETMB are currently accepted in 38 states as part of their licensing requirements.
Q: How do States receive notification of applicants information?
A: NCBTMB, through our test vendor, provide Official Score Report information through a secure SFTP site that is password protected for each state. Results are posted within 24 hours of an applicant taking and passing an exam.

Q:  How much does NCB charge states to accept their exams?
A: There is no cost to any state for the acceptance of NCBTMB exams.

Q: How do we know that NCB exams are valid for testing entry level knowledge, skills and abilities to safely enter the profession?
Our exams are developed by using best industry practices supported by Pearson Vue—a multi-billion dollar, internationally recognized authority in the test development market. NCBTMB has gone through five iterations of Job Task Analysis of profession review.  The most recent completed in Fall of 2012 with over 8,500 massage professionals participating.  The report is available on our website for your review.

Q: What is the NESL?
A: The NESL stands for National Examination for State Licensing.  The NESL option became available at the request of State Boards who wanted to use the exam portion of the National Certification Credential. It is at the State’s discretion to accept this option or not. The NESL Option will not be available after 12/31/2012.

Q: Are NCBTMB’s exams legally defensible?
A: NCBTMB’s exams are all psychometrically sound and undergo rigorous review in order to ensure their integrity.