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Licensing and Certification

Anyone practicing massage in New York State must have a license issued by the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department.

In order to be licensed, candidates must have successfully graduated from a program that has a minimum of 1,000 hours and is approved by the NY State Education Department Board of Regents, and pass a state licensing examination. The Massage Therapy Program at Swedish Institute surpasses the minimum hours required by the state; its graduates are qualified to sit for the licensing exam provided they meet all other requirements.

In addition to education and examination requirements, candidates for licensure in massage therapy must have completed high school or its equivalent, be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or lawful alien, be proficient in English, be of good moral character and have completed a CPR course within 3 years prior to licensure.

The unlicensed practice of any profession within the jurisdiction of the Office of the Professions is a criminal act punishable as a Class E Felony.

Consumers who suspect unlicensed practice of massage can report it to New York's Professional Misconduct Enforcement System

Graduates of Swedish Institute’s Massage Therapy Program are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. However, this examination cannot be used in place of the NYS exam, and does not qualify anyone for legal practice in New York State.

Verify Practitioner License

New York State massage therapists must display a current New York registration certificate which shows they are active, licensed practitioners. Massage therapists must register every three years in order to practice in New York.

Consumers can confirm that a practitioner is licensed to practice massage by contacting the Office of the Professions at 518.474.3817 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Search for any disciplinary actions taken against a licensee since 1994.

For more information

Details on NY State laws, rules and regulation for massage therapy can be obtained from:

NYS Education Department
Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
State Education Building, 2nd Floor
Albany, New York 12234

Access an on-line brochure for consumers regarding professionalism.

Contact the Office of the Professions at 1.800.442.8106 or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to report someone who may be practicing without a license. Anyone teaching a massage modality must also be a licensed practitioner.

Information about massage therapy regulation in other states can be found at the following sites:
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
Associated Bodywork Massage Professionals
American Massage Therapy Foundation