Regulation and Licensing for Massage Therapy: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a license to practice massage in Oregon?
For complete details on what education, testing requirements, and other specifics needed for licensure in Oregon, please contact the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists (OBMT) at (503) 365-8657.  If you're moving to Oregon from another state where you had a license, you will still need to go through the application process and will most likely need to take the practical exam.

Do I have I take the MBLEx or one of the FSMTB exams?
The MBLEx is the only validated exam for entry-level licensure and is accepted by Oregon as a member state of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).  Oregon has played an ongoing role in the development and revision of the MBLEx as an appropriate examination for entry-level licensure in this state.  However, Oregon does accept some of the NCBTMB exams.

I have to take the practical exam.  What do I need to know (and where can I go for help)?
The Oregon practical exam is NOT like a regular massage session.  You will receive a packet that includes information about the exam which outlines the content areas that will be tested.  The outline in the packet is extremely thorough and describes what will be tested.  Based on past test results, kinesiology is the most-often failed portion of the exam, particularly for practitioners moving here from out of state.  The instructions on the test packet (from the OBMT web site) detail how muscles must be identified on the body (outlined on the skin, with the drape set to appropriately cover the client).  Many people preparing for the exam find it helpful to practice on someone.  Please note that asking an Oregon LMT or someone who has taken (even if they failed) the exam about the test is a violation of Oregon law.  Some of the massage schools in Oregon offer a practical exam review course.  If you can find an LMT willing to help you study, this is acceptable, however, asking for/sharing/receiving actual test information is not.

Do I have to keep my NCBTMB certification current to renew my license?
At no time do you need to have NCBTMB certification to have an Oregon license for massage therapy.  While Oregon accepts the NCBTMB written exams as part of the requirements for licensure, you do not need to be certified to become an LMT or renew as an LMT in Oregon.  If you choose to maintain certification through NCBTMB, you may use the CE hours you earn for NCBTMB towards your Oregon CE requirements as well.

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