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How to Prepare for the MBLEx Exam for Licensing in Massage and Bodywork

Updated on January 20, 2012

The MBLEx (Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination) is used by state licensing agencies to determine who is qualified for a state massage license. Candidates should use preparation resources provided by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).

The MBLEx exam is a fairly recent attempt to standardize the state licensing of specialists in massage and bodywork. The FSMTB creates the exam, but each state massage board decides whether to require the MBLEx test as a prerequisite to getting a local massage license.

A key tool in preparing for the MBLEx exam in the Candidate Handbook. All future applicants should download this handbook from the Resources section at the bottom of this article.

When you look in that MBLEx candidate guide,you will find several things to help you study for and pass this massage license exam. The first is an extensive list of exam references. These books are your primary sources of information that may be on the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination.

Also instructive is the MBLEx exam content outline. Take this outline and go through the exam references, studying each topic listed in the outline one by one until you have completed your exam preparation.

Notes on Qualifying for the MBLEx:

The general route to getting a massage license is to attend an approved massage therapy school or training program. Generally, this is going to mean a live course with hands-on training, as massage therapy really cannot be fully taught online even if some programs claim to teach you massage therapy and bodywork over the Internet.

In addition, the only way to qualify for the MBLEx is to either attest that you have received an education in massage or are otherwise approved to take the massage licensing test by a state massage board. But boards can and typically do require a formal education. Thus, most candidates will need to have attended an accredited massage therapy school.

Contact your individual massage board for more information about quality massage and bodywork schools. Make sure you have found a reputable and approved or accredited school before signing up for classes.


The fee is $195 to take the MBLEx massage licensing test. Be forewarned that there is an additional $195 fee if you have to take the test again. Prepare like it matters the first time you are scheduled to take the test.


FSMTB: MBLEx Candidate Handbook


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