How Much Do Masseuses Make?

If you pursue a career as a massage therapist, you’ll have the opportunity to use healing touch to improve the lives of others. Of course, you also have to approach this career path with a sense of practicality. That means understanding what you can expect to get paid. More importantly, you need to know what you can do to maximize your earning potential. Take a look at the answers to the following questions to learn more.

Can You Make Good Money as a Massage Therapist?

The median salary for a massage therapist is around 31K. An experienced massage therapist, or one who is in high demand, can make close to 75K. The salary you earn will depend on your experience, area of specialization, location, and other factors. One fact that’s important to note is that career growth for massage therapists is expected to grow much faster than other fields.

Is a Massage Therapist a Good Career?

Not only can you earn a decent wage as a massage therapist, you are very likely to be happy in your career as well. Most massage therapists report being quite happy with their careers. In fact, massage therapists tend to be much happier than people who have pursued other careers.

Is Massage Therapy in High Demand?

Absolutely! Massage therapists are in high demand. Their services are used by people in all walks of life. Massage is a therapeutic treatment, part of many athletic training programs, and widely seen as an important self-care ritual. The fact that this is such a fast growing field is also evidence that massage therapists continue to be needed by their customers.

What is The Highest Paid Massage Therapist?

The highest paying massage therapists will either work in areas where pay rates tend to be the highest in their field. This includes states like Alaska, Hawaii, New York, and Oregon. Therapists who attract high-end clients will also make more. A massage therapist who works for a top sports team will probably earn more than one who works at a massage therapy franchise.

A massage therapist’s earning potential also depends on how they work. Some therapists opt to work for other businesses earning either a salary or hourly pay. They may make tips on top of that. Others choose to rent space in salons or spas. They are then able to keep more of the money they earn. Finally, there are massage therapists who open their own studios, or choose to offer massage therapists at clients’ homes and offices. They have the potential to earn a significant amount of money. They must also manage their expenses, and market their services successfully.

Is This a Growing Field?

Massage therapy is a fast growing field. Many people are incorporating healing touch as part of their overall self-care routines. People who suffer from illness or injury are now more likely than ever to consider adding massage to their treatment protocols.

It is important to mention that although growth in this field is high, it can be difficult to move into a full-time carer as a massage therapist. The average massage therapist only works 26.6 hours per week. Most report wishing that they could work more hours than they do.

Is There Much Competition?

That depends. There will always be competition among massage therapists for the most lucrative jobs. A therapist who wants to work with elite clients, or who wants to work at high-end spas will certainly have to prove they are worthwhile. In addition to this, if a massage therapist plans to live and work in a small town, they may find themselves waiting for a job opening at the local massage studio.

Some of the most intense competition is related to client acquisition and retention. Massage therapists depend on repeat customers to maintain their salaries. They must obtain new customers to create a client base. That can be challenging depending upon the number of massage therapists that work in your area.

What Institutions Hire Massage Therapists?

A massage therapist may work in a variety of environments. This includes:

  • Sports Teams
  • Hospitals And Medical Clinics
  • Chiropractic Offices
  • Physical Therapy Centers
  • Spas And Resorts
  • Hotels
  • Beauty Salons
  • Massage Therapy Clinics
  • Cruise Ships

Basically, any company that is interested in providing customers with massage to treat injuries, for wellness, or as part of spa services will have a massage therapist on staff. Many will employ several.

Sometimes, large corporations will contract with massage therapists to provide services to their employees. These are companies that believe in providing as many in-office comforts and conveniences as possible to their employees.

What do Self Employed Massage Therapists Make?

If you can secure plenty of clients, perhaps even have other massage therapists working under you, it is possible to make quite a bit of money. Just keep in mind that as a self-employed massage therapist you must consider:

  • Paying Rent
  • Cost of Equipment And Supplies
  • Insurance
  • Marketing And Advertising Costs
  • Taxes
  • Licensing Fees

Most importantly, keep in mind that your income can vary widely. You may have back to back clients one week, and only see a handful of customers the next. You should always be prepared for these fluctuations.

You must also consider the market in which you work. If you live in a low population area, or one where the average SES is low, it could be difficult to get a business going. The same is true if there are already established massage therapy businesses in the area.

One alternative to being a fully independent massage therapist is to work as a freelancer or contractor who is associated with another business. You could rent space in an existing spa, or travel to different locations offering your services to the customers of established institutions. This will allow you to be self-employed while avoiding some of the overhead costs.

What Progress Can I Expect to Make in The Future?

This really depends on your goals, and your willingness to work hard. Once you finish school, obtain your license, and begin working, you can begin to plan the rest of your career. Here are some possibilities:

  • Opening Your Own Studio
  • Specializing in Specific Types of Massage
  • Continuing Your Education And Becoming a Massage Therapy Instructor
  • Moving Into Management at a Spa or Studio
  • Studying Other Forms of Alternative Healing And Wellness Practices

If you are willing to continue learning and work hard, you can enjoy a satisfying career as a massage therapist.


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