Joan Adam, Secretary of Health

South Dakota Board of Massage Therapy

Education and Training

To be licensed as a massage therapist, an applicant must have at least 500 hours of specific education and training from a board recognized facility or instructor.

The 500 hours of education and training must include: (ARSD 20:76:01:06)

  • One hundred twenty-five hours of training in the body’s system and anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology;

  • Two hundred hours of training in massage and bodywork assessment, theory, and application;

  • Forty hours of training in pathology;

  • Ten hours of training in business and ethics, with a minimum of six hours in ethics; and

  • One hundred twenty-five hours of additional training in an area or related field that theoretically completes a massage program of study.

At least 200 hours of hands-on training must be completed.

The board currently recognizes certain facilities as approved providers of the required education and training. These facilities include: (ARSD 20:76:08:01)

  • Black Hills Health and Education Center;

  • Headlines Academy aka Paul Mitchell The School Rapid City;

  • National American University;

  • Pam’s Massage School;

  • SD School of Massage Therapy;

  • Sioux Falls Therapeutic Massage & Education Center; and

  • Springs Bath House School of Massage.

Additionally, the Board may recognize training from additional facilities if such a facility is either licensed or approved by a state board of massage therapy in the state where the facility is located or is accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. (ARSD 20:76:08:02) The South Dakota facilities accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education are:


A passing score on a national exam is required for licensing. The board approved national examinations for purposes of licensure are:

Examinations are computer-based. Candidates need to register directly with the national exam provider and request that results be provided to the Board of Massage Therapy.