“Can I work as a part-time massage therapist in Florida?”
The short and easy answer is “Yes”.
“Okay. But can I have two massage therapy licenses at the same time?”
The answer to that question is also “yes”. And I answer that question in much more detail here: Can I Have a Massage License in Multiple States?
I can confidently answer those questions as someone who currently has two state massage licenses, shares her time between Iowa and Florida, and has helped over 2000 massage therapists get their Florida massage license.
Now that we have those two questions cleared up, we can move on to other questions you may have about working part-time as a massage therapist in the Sunshine State.
- Who needs a Florida massage license?
- Why would someone want to work in Florida part-time as a massage therapist?
- Where can I work as a part-time massage therapist in Florida?
- When is the best time to work in Florida? And when is “Season”?
- How do I get started with getting my license, starting another new business, or handling this situation with current clients?
Who needs a Florida massage license?
I’ve written about transferring a massage license to Florida and massage license reciprocity a lot. Reciprocity doesn’t really exist in the massage field, meaning you cannot just work here legally with your Illinois license. And a “national certification” isn’t what its name implies. Plus, unlike a few other states, Florida does not have a temporary massage license (except for military spouses).
The bottom line is, if you plan to work as a massage therapist in Florida, you need a Florida massage license.
Why would someone want to work in Florida part-time as a massage therapist?
There are lots of reasons!
I want to be a traveling massage therapist.
Maybe you have dreams of taking your camper around the state for a few months, or plan to enjoy an extended stay at a rental property just to see how you like life in Florida.
I’m military or a military spouse.
In the last few years, many states have made it easier for military and spouses to obtain licenses. Florida is one of those states. Here is more information for military personnel and spouses.
I’m cold, near retirement, have friends or family there that keep asking me to visit, or just want to live in Florida on a part-time basis.
Many others are doing this in Florida. There is something about the Florida sunshine that makes you feel good.
Speaking of cold. Canadian massage therapists, or RMTS, you probably need to tackle some licensing exam and work visa issues to get licensed in Florida. You can check this article specifically for Canadian RMTs Moving to Florida.
Where can I work as a part-time massage therapist in Florida?
I love that massage therapy is such a versatile career. It allows us to work in a variety of places with various populations. What other job allows you to work in a hospital, on the beach, with a team during spring training, in your home, on a cruise ship, or in a wellness clinic?
Massage Establishment Licenses
Generally, with the exception of a mobile massage business, you need to make sure your location has a Florida massage establishment license. This is true, even if you just plan to massage clients in your home. Here is our Florida Massage Establishment FAQ. Keep in mind, there are cities that prohibit massage establishments in residential areas; so do your research while you are considering this option.
Places to Work:
- Massage Clinics
- Multidisciplinary Clinics
- Yoga Studios
- Pain Clinics
- Sports Clinics
- Chiropractic Clinics
- Fitness Centers
- Veterinary Clinics
- Wellness Centers
- Recreation Centers
If you have a location in mind, contact them and ask if they need part-time massage therapists, or need extra help during their high-season. Seasonal work is not uncommon in Florida.
When is the best time to work in Florida? And when is “Season”?
“Season” in Florida is the time of year with the highest traffic of retirees, snowbirds. and spring breakers. It starts in mid-December and lasts until late April.
However, you do not need to limit part-time work to just that time period. Florida is busy year-round. Orlando’s Disney attractions, summer family vacations, and conventions keep many areas of Florida constantly busy. Even the hottest months of the year (June, July, and August) are busy in many areas.
After Labor Day, and through November are a different season in Florida, hurricane season (June 1st-November 30th). These months often have the lowest tourist counts, but may still see plenty of travel with off-season pricing.
How? Part 1: Making Two Businesses Work
How can I make two massage businesses work?
Announce Your Arrival
For some people, it is as easy as posting on Facebook, Instagram, or texting-
“I will be in Miami for two weeks beginning April 1st. Who wants a massage appointment?”
Seriously, there are people that do that and fill up appointment times quickly. But, most of the time, it takes a little more work than that. This is especially true if the length of your stay is over a couple of weeks.
If you are going to work somewhere as an employee, you won’t need to worry about this option. However, if you plan to open your own businesses, it is time to work on a marketing plan and finding new clients.
Set Up Current Clients (P.S. They will be okay!)
Many massage therapists worry about their current clients. How will they survive while you are gone? What if they find someone they like better?
I understand these concerns. When I first got my Florida massage license, I left for a trip to Florida for two weeks and made no changes other than blocking it off and letting clients know it would be gone for a couple of weeks.
In the next few years, I went for a month each time. I rescheduled clients for my return and gave them the names of two LMT’s that I talked to and were taking appointments during my absence. Did I lose clients? Honestly, I don’t remember losing any. They either just skipped the month, or made a one-time appointment with another therapist. Again, I made sure they had an appointment scheduled after my return.
It really was a smoother transition than I ever expected. Did they say they would miss me? Yes. Did that make me feel a little guilty? Sure! But, they understood my need and desire to travel and have a vacation.
Ask Colleagues for Advice on Working Part-Time
I promise you are not the first person to consider splitting your time between two states. Consider taking a continuing education course while in Florida. This is the best place to connect with other Florida massage therapists and see how they handle similar part-time situations.
Many of them worked that way for a few years before making their move to Florida permanent. This gradual transition helped them close one business and build another one with less stress and abrupt changes.
How? Part 2: Getting Your Florida Massage License
Getting my Florida massage license was one of the best decisions I made in my massage career. It is something I have yet to regret. But navigating the process was not easy. I knew others felt confused and frustrated with the process. This is why I created FloridaMassage.com!
If you are ready for the first steps to get your Florida license, I have more about the steps here: How To Get Your Florida Massage License
I have helped over 2000 massage therapists get their Florida Massage License, many of them working part-time in another state or semi-retiring in Florida.
For many, the first step and complete the 10-hour Florida Laws and Rules course. With the course, I also provide a checklist to walk you through the rest of the steps.
Have other questions? You can contact me here firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi. I have a massage license in NY. I wanted to see if I could get a South Carolina license by endorsement. I took the NY state Exam in 1995 before MBLEX was around. Will they accept my NY state Exam or will I have to take the MBLEX Exam. Thanks so much for your help! Sheila
Ivy Hultquist says
I would contact the SC board of massage office and look through their application to see what you can find out about accepted exams.