California Massage Therapist License Exam

To get licensed in California, massage therapists are required to take a massage exam that covers such subjects as anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology.  Whether you live in Los Angeles, San Franciso, San Diego or another city or county, the resources below will help you get started on the path to receive your massage license.

Need of Massage Certification:  Certification as a massage therapist is voluntary in California.  To hold one self out as a certified massage therapist, and be able to work throughout the state of California without the need for multiple permits or paying additional fees, a massage therapist is required to become certified.

Who Grants Certification:  Certification is granted by the California Massage Therapy Council (“CAMTC”). 

Qualifications to become Certified:  What requirements have to be met to become certified is determined by the number of hours of education in massage therapy the candidate has completed.  If a candidate has 0 to 249 hours of education, the candidate can only get certified by passing the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). If the candidate has 250 hours of massage therapy education or above, no exam is required for certification as a practitioner or therapist.

For more information on qualifications, see California Massage Therapist

Applying for the Massage Exam:  

Candidates can apply online to take the MBLEx.  More information can be found on the MBLEx in a Candidate Handbook.

How to Apply for Certification:  Candidates must provide CAMTC the following documents:  (1) completed application; (2) transcript of completed course of study; (3) finger printing; and(4) verification of passage of the MBLEx.  The documents should be sent to:

               CAMTC
               One Capital Mall, Suite 320
               Sacramento, CA   95814

Official school transcripts and MBLEx results must be forwarded directly to CAMTC from the respective organizations.

Test Content:   The MBLEx exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions with four choices provided for each question.  Test takers have 110 minutes to complete the computer based exam.

The exam is divided into eight content areas:

     -          Anatomy & Physiology

     -          Kinesiology

     -          Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Populations

     -          Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue

     -          Client Assessment, Reassessment, & Treatment Planning

     -          Overview of Massage & Bodywork History/Culture/Modalities

     -          Ethics, Boundaries, Laws, Regulations

     -          Guidelines for Professional Practice

Fees:  There are fees to apply to become a licensed massage therapist.

Who administers the test:  The MBLEx is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) and Pearson Vue.

License Renewal Requirements:  A massage therapist must renew their license every 2 years and there is currently no continuing education requirement.

Applicable Regulations:  Massage therapists in California are regulated by Business and Professions Code Sections 4600-4620.

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 For more information on licensing and exam preparation, go to Tests.com’s  MBLEx Test Guide and BCETMB Test Guide.

 And take Tests.com’s Massage Therapist Practice Tests:

 MBLEx Practice Test

 BCETMB Practice Test

For massage therapy exam preparation products, such as study guides, flashcards and courses, go to Tests.com’s MBLEx and BCETMB listings.

Quality starts with...
...who wrote the material.
Our practice exam writers:
Charles Celeste, LMT
, is an instructor in massage therapy at Brightwood College in California.  He has also taught at Baker College and was the program director at the American Career College.  He earned his BA in exercise science from California State University and holds an MBA.  He is MBLEx certified and has been praticing massage therapy for over ten years.


Michelle MacCubbin, LMT
, is an instructor in massage therapy at Miller-Motte Technical College in South Carolina.  Prior to this position, she was an instructor and program director at the McCann School of Business and Technology in Pennsylvania.  She is MBLEx certified with over ten years of experience in the field.


Sara Rennie, LMT
, is a massage instructor at the American Massage and Bodywork Institute in Virginia.  She also tutors students to help them pass the MBLEx. She has worked in the massage industry for over ten years.


Andrew Dacres, LMT
, is an instructor in massage therapy at the Atlanta School of Massage in Georgia.  He has also taught massage therapy at the Georgia Medical Institute and at Sanford-Brown College, where he introduced an MBLEx review class for graduating students. He is an MBLEx certified massage therapist with over ten years of experience in the field.


Chanel Andrade, LMT
, was the lead massage therapy instructor at Everest College for many eyars and, as part of her program, taught an MBLEx prep module.  She has practiced massage therapy for over ten years in California.
Passing the MBLEx is one of the last steps to attain a license as a professional massage therapist in many states.  The Actual MBLEx is 100 questions with a 1 hour and 50 minute (110 minutes) time limit.  Additionally, 5 minutes is allotted for a security agreement and another 5 minutes for a brief survey for a total of 2 hours (120 minutes). 

Actual MBLEx Content Outline (source: The FSMTB Handbook):

Anatomy & Physiology 
11-13 Questions (12%)

Benefits & Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue
13-16 Questions (14%)

Client Assessment, Reassessment & Treatment Planning
16-18 Questions (17%)

Ethics, Boundaries, Regulations, Laws
14-17 Questions (15%)

Kinesiology
10-12 Questions (11%)

Massage Overview & Bodywork History / Culture / Modalities
4-6 Questions (5%)

Pathology, Contraindications, Special Populations, Areas of Caution
12-15 Questions (13%)

Professional Practice Guidelines
12-15 Questions (13%)

Are you looking for MBLEx sample questions and guidance on how to pass the MBLEx on the first try?  

Check out the Practice Exam for the MBLEx with 875 massage therapy questions covering the same main sections as the actual MBLEx.