North Carolina Massage License

Asheville North Carolina skyline

Updated for 2024

Massage therapists practicing in North Carolina must have a massage license before practicing in this state. Massage therapy licenses are issued by the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy (BMBT). The primary purpose of the NC board is to regulate the practice of massage and bodywork therapy, ensure standards of competency, and to protect public health, safety and wellness. 

To become a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (LBMT) in the state of North Carolina, applicants must first complete the requirements as described on the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy website. We’ve provided a summary of these requirements below for a quick reference. Find out more about MBLExGuide to see how we can help you prepare for the massage exam.

Industry research from ABMP in 2016 estimated that there was about 8,022 massage therapists in North Carolina. That’s 1 therapist per every 1,252 people in NC.

North Carolina map

North Carolina Quick Look

Massage License Required? Yes

Designation: LBMT

Education hours: 500

Exam: MBLEx or NCBTMB

CEUs / Renewals: 24 CEUs/2yrs

Massage Education Requirements in North Carolina

Applicants for a North Carolina massage therapy license are required to complete a minimum of 500 hours of supervised classroom instruction from a board approved school. The program must be at least 24 weeks in length. The curriculum must contain the following content at a minimum:

  • 200 hours in fundamental theory and practice of massage and bodywork therapy. At least 100 hours of this must be in the application of hands-on methods. Also included in this 200-hour requirement is client assessment skills, indications and contraindications of treatment, body mechanics, draping procedures, infection control, and history of massage and bodywork.
  • 100 hours of anatomy and physiology related to the practice of massage therapy, including instruction of common pathologies
  • 15 hours of professional ethics and North Carolina laws and rules for the practice of massage and bodywork therapy
  • 15 hours of business management practices
  • 20 hours of psychological concepts including therapeutic relationships, and professional communication skills
  • 150 hours in other related courses such as adjunct modalities, specific applications, additional hands-on techniques, or in-depth study of anatomy and physiology.

An official massage therapy school transcript must be submitted directly by the massage school as part of the application process. 

Examination Requirements

The North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy will accept the MBLEx and NCBTMB exams for out-of-state applicants. In-state applicants must pass the MBLEx. As part of your preparation, utilizing MBLEx practice tests can be an invaluable tool. These tests are structured to closely mimic the actual exam, providing a realistic overview of what to expect.

  • Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB)
  • NCETMB credentialing exam offered by the NCBTMB 

If you have not yet taken the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam and are planning to seek licensure in North Carolina, simply select this state when registering for the MBLEx, and they will send your scores to the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy when you pass. Check out our About the MBLEx page to see how to apply and schedule your exam. 

Additional License Requirements

Getting a North Carolina massage license has additional requirements. The applicant must also:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have diploma or transcript with date of graduation from high school, or GED, college or other post-secondary institution
  • Submit four (4) official moral character forms
  • Complete a State Bureau Criminal History Record Check with fingerprinting
  • Pass a jurisprudence learning exercise

View the NCBMBT Rules and Regulations on their website.

Application Process

Massage therapists seeking a license to practice in North Carolina may apply for a regular license process or through the licensure by endorsement process. The requirements are almost identical, as you can see in the application instructions and checklist.  Applicants should also review the NC Massage and Bodywork Therapy Practice Act.

Massage License Fees

Below is a summary of the fees charged by the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy. All fees are non-refundable.
  • Fee for license application packet: $20
  • Initial license fee: $150
  • License renewal: $100
  • Late renewal penalty: $75
  • Duplicate license: $25
All fees must be in the form of a money order, certified check, or cashier’s check. Payments should be made payable to North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy (or NCBMBT).

Renewal Process

All massage therapy licenses expire on December 31 every 2 years. Licensees must send their renewal application by November 1 of that same year. You may also renew online beginning August 1st of the year your license expires, and early renewal is encouraged. The following must be done to complete your renewal application:

  • Download and complete the renewal application
  • Complete 24 CEU credit hours. This includes a minimum of 3 hours of ethics. A maximum of 6 hours of distance learning and 8 hours of business management can be taken. (For 2022 and 2023, all CE activities are allowed to be completed online)
  • Send renewal fee of $100
North Carolina state seal

North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy
Contact Information

Physical Address:

North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy

4140 Parklake Avenue

Suite 100

Raleigh, NC 27612

Phone: (919) 546-0050

Note: The information on this website is for informational purposes. Please inquire directly with your state and local boards to verify requirements and regulations, as this may have changed. Contact information is listed above.

Need a MBLEx

Study Plan?

Start preparing for the MBLEx the easy way with this comprehensive and organized study plan. It's a great way to get started, and it's free

MBLEx Study Plan CTA Image - 2024

Get Your MBLEx

Study Plan

Download our free MBLEx Study Plan (PDF) to help organize and guide your study sessions.

2024 MBLEx Study Plan over Image on tablet

Your Study Plan Is On The Way!

Please check your email for your study plan.