Demand for massage therapists is outpacing nearly every other career in the workforce. Surveys indicate that roughly 57 million adult Americans have had a massage at least once making massage therapy a $12 billion industry. With massage therapists in demand, now may be the best time to consider getting your license.  Massage is moving beyond spas and can now be found in medical practices and health clinics. That makes obtaining a license to practice massage therapy more important than ever.

State Laws

Most states regulate the massage therapy profession. All legally practicing massage therapy practitioners are either licensed or certified, but in some states, they can be both. A certified therapist is considered the highest level of a practitioner. This is applicable to all massage jobs, whether you are working as a freelance massage therapist, or if you wish to be employed by an establishment offering massage therapy services. Your clients will require a licensed massage therapist even if you are working on a freelance basis, even more so if you will join a clinic, hospital, day spa, beauty salon, hotel, or any other establishment where you are seeking employment.

Counties or other local governments also may regulate massage. In Colorado massage therapy is regulated by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Under regulations that went into effect in 2014, those seeking to work as a massage therapist must obtain a license from the Colorado Office of Massage Therapy Licensure. Licenses are granted based on education, examination and a background check. In addition, all Colorado massage therapists are required to carry liability insurance.  

Client Safety

A massage therapy license assures clients of their safety while inside your business premises. It’s a big risk for clients to go to massage parlors or day spas that do not have a license to operate. Not only are there sanitation concerns, but it is the personal safety that is being put at risk when you walk into an unlicensed establishment offering massage services.  When you become a licensed massage therapist, your primary job function will be to perform bodywork and massages. You are responsible for promoting good health while putting your clients in a relaxed state of mind.

Knowing how to properly deal with physical contact on another body can eliminate awkwardness, injuries, and maybe even lawsuits. Areas such as acupressure, deep tissue massage, and Thai massage require much training to execute properly. Educating yourself in these areas will not only protect you from incompetence, but it will also give you the right tools to do your job.


Establishing a positive reputation with clients and relevant healthcare professionals is important for success in this industry. A massage therapy license enhances your reputation as a therapist and as a legal massage therapy business. More importantly, a license serves as a safeguard against any unsavory reputation that your business might earn in the industry. Most massage referrals come from word-of-mouth advertisement. So the more that clients give you a sterling review, the more business will come your way.

As you can see, acquiring the proper license is extremely important when working in the massage therapy industry. The right education and training will give you the adequate preparation to not only practice but successfully complete licensing exams. You will want to choose an accredited school, like The Academy of Natural Therapy. Our graduates have a consistently high pass rate on national board exams, and our program successfully supplies you with all of the tools you need to obtain a massage therapy license to practice in Colorado.