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New and Revised Massage Therapy WACs Effective 9/1/21

8 Mar 2021 10:33 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)

On 9/1/21, revisions and additions to the regulations in the Massage Therapy WAC Chapter 246-830 will go into effect.  One of the biggest changes that will go into effect on 9/1/21, will be that 625 massage school hours will be the new minimum requirement to obtain a new massage therapy license in Washington state.  Historically, 500 hours has been the minimum hours required.  If you are already licensed in Washington State, this will not affect you, but it will affect massage schools and massage therapists transferring in from another state.

Back in 2012, the Coalition of National Massage Therapy Associations initiated the Entry-Level Analysis Project (ELAP) which analyzed our profession to determine the minimum level of coursework for a basic massage program that would keep the public safe and provide safe and competent massage therapists.  ELAP proposed a program which in total added up to 625 hours.  After much public discussion, including from WSMTA, the Board of Massage made some changes to the ELAP content to make it work for Washington State, but kept to the recommended 625 hours.

Although more and more states are moving to 625 hours as the new minimum number of massage school hours, most states have not.  Because many states still require only a minimum of 500 hours, credentialed massage therapists from other states can transfer in to Washington State if they meet the following new revised requirements found in WAC 246-830-035 Licensing by endorsement for out-of-state applicants (just click on the link, make sure to look at the revised wording effective 9/1/21).

Over the upcoming weeks, we will bring you more details about the WAC revisions and updates.  The Department of Health has the CR-103 language (shows the revisions) posted on the Massage Therapist landing page which you can read at: (just scroll down the landing page to the third bullet under “Current Topics” titled “Rule Making Activity” and click on the link for the CR-103 document).  If you would like to see the current WACs listed with full language next to the revised language that is effective 9/1/20, click on this link, Massage Therapy WAC Chapter 246-830, and open one of the sections, such as  “Definitions”.  First, the current language will be listed and then the revised language.  Not all sections were revised, so you might see some sections that do not have revisions.

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