Massage Therapist Salary

A massage therapist salary often depends upon the therapists experience, training, and familiarity with certain types of massage therapy.  But, it also depends on where the therapist chooses to practice.

Most employers, such as spas, medical offices, or hospitals look for specific, specialized training before hiring a therapist.

Starting salaries for massage therapy will depend on where you live and choose to practice, but the same is true for experienced therapists and educators, as well.

Massage tips also play a role in what a therapist makes in a yearly salary.

Many areas of the country, specifically western states like California and Washington, pay a high salary for experienced therapists, while other states pay much lower wages. For the places that do pay a good salary, massage tips are also often higher.

Some massage therapists choose to teach CE classes. The great thing about teaching Continuing Education classes is that your class fees are basically the same, no matter where you choose to travel to teach.

The same is true for salaries of massage school owners. You set your prices and the student pays the school fees, no variations in price, therefore no change in the owner's salary, unless enrollment is low or high.

What's an average massage therapist salary?

Salary will vary depending on the practitioner's experience, location and types of massage therapy studied. Some practitioners make up to $100,000 per year, but most average $30,000 to $50,000.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, most massage therapists who are employed by others:

  • Earn an average of $22-$35 an hour (which includes tips) if working for a spa or salon
  • Charge on average $60 for a one hour massage
  • Provides 12-17 hours of massage per week

One of the best resources for therapists is Megan Holub's book More of The Magic Touch: How to Make $60, $80, 100,000 or More as a Massage Therapist. It is filled with tips and advice to help you make the highest massage salary possible.

She talks about how to find long-term, dependable clients that help sustain your business through a slow economy and how to market your services to this demographic on a low budget.

She also discusses the essential “do’s and don’ts”, offered by the her highest paying clients.

You will learn how to grow a medical massage practice, build a clientele, overcome the fear of billing for your services, and how to take small risks to build your own profitable massage practice.

Self-Employed Therapists

A self-employed massage therapist charges on average $1 per minute, with an average hourly rate of $50-$70. Massage tips are an additional 15-20% of the hourly rate of massage.

However, therapists must pay a hefty insurance premium each year, in addition to license renewal and any other business taxes or expenses required in their state.

Although a massage therapist salary depends on many factors, what overall will provide the highest pay for their work, is the way they treat their clients, and how satisfied clients are with the massage therapy they provide.


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