Music therapy is established as a profession in over 50 countries and a World Music Therapy Federation has been formed to promote the understanding, use and development of music therapy for the international mental health community.
In the UK many professional music therapists are employed by the National Health Service, local education authorities and social services or while others work freelance or in the not for profit sector.
In the UK the profession was recognised by the National Health Service as a Profession Allied to Medicine in 1982, and in 1999 music therapy became a State Registered profession, and was incorporated, together with Art and Drama therapy as an amendment to the 1960 legislation governing the Council for the Professions Supplementary to Medicine.
Currently music therapy is governed by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) where music therapists working in the public sector are required to maintain registration.
In the United States, a music therapist is most commonly designated by MT-BC (Music Therapist, Board-Certified). In Canada, the designation is MTA (Music Therapist Accredited/Musicotherapie Accreditee).