Rates and massage tips are determined by the types of massage the therapist provides, the location of the service, and the experience level of the therapist.
Rates are typically $1 per minute, averaging $50-$80 per hour. Many services can even be higher if it is an advanced type of bodywork therapy, which has required specialized training by the therapist and/or clinic you are visiting.
You can also expect to pay higher rates for massage therapy (as well as massage tips) in larger cities, in a popular vacation destination, in a resort spa, on a cruise ship, and on remote island destinations.
Spa services can also be costly. Scrubs, wraps, even hot stone massage can be well over $100 per hour, with basic relaxation or Swedish massage running $60-$80 per hour.
A massage therapist salary is determined by the rate they charge clients, or the hourly rate they are paid by the spa, clinic, or resort where they work. However, keep in mind, therapists must pay hefty fees for license renewal, malpractice insurance, and business license fees and expenses.
Salaries for those who work at spas, clinics, or resorts are typically lower than a private practice therapist, because a private practice therapist makes the entire amount you pay, without having to share with the spa or pay rental fees for the room.
Cheaper rates for massage can be found:
Sign up for mailing lists with therapists. Many times they sent out social media or email notices about specials, or last minute openings, and the discounts can be steep.
You might also be interested in reading more about massage etiquette in the industry, what are appropriate social manners, and what to expect in various massage therapy offices.
Tips are often optional, especially private practice, however, they are a great way to help a therapist know that they helped you relax or helped your pain level to lessen.
But, how much should you tip and does it matter what amount you leave?
Tipping etiquette in massage therapy is slightly higher than etiquette for servers in restaurants and hairdressers, as the profession falls under "healthcare provider", rather that "service provider".
Some things to consider:
Massage tips are often based on how relaxed the client was in the massage
Massage Tips are also based on "Information", and in turn, how comfortable you are made to feel
You can also leave massage tips based on the whole experience...atmosphere, therapist's personality, comfort, technique, and whether it made you feel special!