State Licensure FAQs
The MT-BC is a national certification. Isn’t that enough? Why might we need a separate state credential?
A national certification is not enough in most states. This is the result of a policy shift over the past 10-15 years as the federal government moved towards deregulation and allocated more regulatory control to state governments.
In addition, many existing state regulations require that education and healthcare providers hold a state license. As a result, many current and potential clients have difficulty accessing music therapy services within educational and healthcare facilities. Communication with most state education and healthcare agencies emphasize that service provision procedures require official state recognition—often in the form of a state license—in order for state citizens to access music therapy services.
What is the difference between a title protection, registration, state certification, and licensure?
Title protection prohibits an individual from saying he or she is providing music therapy services or is a music therapist unless he or she is a board certified music therapist. A registry is a list of professionals who have met predetermined education, clinical training, and certification requirements. It offers the same benefits of title protection plus a mechanism through which consumers can search for a qualified professional. State certification functions like a registry in that it offers a state maintained list of professionals who have met certain education, clinical training, and certification requirements. However, this program is often voluntary and, depending on the state, may or may not offer title protection. A license outlines specific education, clinical training, and continuing education requirements and provides title protection, practice protection (also called scope of practice protection), and public protection.
What fees are associated with state licensure?
Fee structures vary significantly state by state. They can range from $50.00 every two years to $200.00 every year.
Would every MT-BC have to be licensed if a state decides to pursue licensure?
Yes. If a state passes music therapy licensure legislation, then any MT-BC who practices in that state (part-time or full-time) will have to apply for the license in order to legally practice music therapy.
Will there be additional coursework?
We are asking states to pass legislation that recognizes the current MT-BC credentialing process as the measure of competent practice and continuing education requirements. As a result, there are no additional training requirements at this time. Sometimes states require a background check; if so it is often required for all professions registered or licensed in that state. This background check may be required only with the initial application or maybe with every renewal of license. There is usually a fee of $25.00-$50.00 for this background check. Some states may also require a short ethics course, which as of 2010 is also a requirement to renew your MT-BC credential.
Would federal employees be under the same requirements?
No. It is customary for state licensing laws to exempt federal employees from the license requirements as long as they are employed by the federal government.