MBLEx Vs NCETMB Which massage license exam should I take?

MBLEx Vs NCETMBYou are not sure which is massage license exam is best for you???

Do you wonder which Massage exam is easier, cheaper is accepted by your state board, or gives extra letters to put after your name?

Once a massage therapist has completed an accredited massage therapy training program from one of the various massage school, they will then need to take a Massage certification exam, before they can be considered a certified massage therapist. However, there are two main exams that students may take: MBLEx Vs NCETMB. This leaves many students confused as to which Massage exam would most benefit them

Here is some advice, insight, and direction for someone who are going to take the MBLEx or NCETMB



The Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.(FSMTB)It was introduced in October 2007 as an an entry level exam for massage licensure.It is a very popular choice and has received good reviews from test takers.It is now accepted by most state regulatory boards as an entry level licensing exam.Check here to see if your state accepts MBLEx. The National Certification Examination in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB), the National Certification Examination in Therapeutic Massage (NCETM), and the National Exam for State Licensure (NESL).These exams are all administered by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).This exam is accepted by most state boards.Check here to see if your state accepts NCETMB
The exam is composed of 100 questions, focusing on eight areas of massage and bodywork including:1. Anatomy & Physiology 14%2. Benefits and Physiological Effects of Techniques that Manipulate Soft tissue – 17%

3. Ethics, Boundaries, Laws, Regulations – 13%

4 . Guidelines for Professional Practice – 10%

5. Kinesiology -11%

6. Overview of Massage Bodywork & History/Culture /Modalities- 5%

7. Client Assessment – 17%

8  Pathology Contraindication  – 13%

The exam is composed of 125 questions1.Kinesiology and Musculo-skeletal Anatomy and Physiology (19-23%)2 Systemic Anatomy and Physiology (13-17%)

3  Pathology, Contra-indications, and Cautionary sites (14-18%)

4 Professional Standards (11-15%)

5 Massage Therapy Theory, Evaluation, Methods, and Techniques (33-37%)

Who is eligible to apply to take the MBLEx.Any one can take MBLEx at anytime, even before graduation.It is up to state boards to verify a person’s massage training, not the FSMTB.




Who is eligible to apply to take the NCETMBThe eligibility criteria to sit and test for NCETMB/NCETM:A minimum of 500 hours of instruction as follows:

  • 125 hours of body systems (anatomy, physiology and kinesiology)
  • 200 hours of massage and bodywork assessment, theory and application
    • 40 hours of pathology
  • 10 hours of business and ethics (minimum of 6 hours in ethics)
  • 125 hours of additional instruction in an area or related field that theoretically completes the massage program of study



Unlike after passing the NCETMB, you are not “nationally certified” after you pass the MBLEx.

For most of you, your LMT, CMT, LMP letters after you name will come with your state license.




This exam is a little longer and more expensive than the MBLEx.For years, massage therapists complained about the inclusion of Eastern (Asian) theories, such as meridians, on the NCETMB.The NCBTMB listened, and offered a new option of the exam, the NCETM.

To maintain your NCTMB/NCTM certification/credential, you need to complete 48 hours of continuing education and pay the $100 fee every four years.

Note: If you do not need, or want, the extra letters after your name, you are not required to renew your “national” or NCTMB/NCTM certification/credential when it expires.

You must wait until you graduate from training to take this exam (although you can take the NESL option before graduation).



It is shorter and  cheaper than the NCETM and the NCETMB.There is a few question about Eastern/Asian theory on the MBLEx.It is an entry level exam only used to help obtain a massage therapy license.

You will not need to renew anything additional with the FSMTB, or take any additional massage continuing education courses (other than the hours required for your State license) as you would with the NCETMB/NCETM credential.

You can take the exam before graduation. This should help speed up the licensing process (and earning a living as a massage therapist) for most of you.



The NCETMB/NCETM does give you a credential that can help distinguish you from other massage therapists in areas where licensing is unavailable.These are the extra letters after your name that I was talking about (e.g. Ivy Hultquist, NCTMB)

MBLEx InformationFederation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB)7111 W 151st Street, Suite 356Overland Park, Kansas 66223Phone: 913.681.0380

Fax: 913.681.0391

Email: info@fsmtb.org

Website: FSMTB

Current Fee: $195

Massage Exam Study Guide

NCETMB informationNational Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)1901 South Meyers Road, Suite 240Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Phone: 630-627-8000 or 1-800-296-0664

Email: info@ncbtmb.org

Website: NCBTMB

Current Fee: $225 (NCETMB/NCETM Option)

I hope I’ve been able to provide you with the information necessary to assist you in making your Massage licensing exam decision. Good luck!!!

mblex study guide 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

mblextest.com © 2014 Frontier Theme