How much money can I make as a massage therapist in 2022? If it’s a question you’ve asked yourself before, be sure to keep reading. We’re taking a deep dive into the profession and how much it pays. You’ll find the answer depends largely on education, experience, and place of practice. We’ll also explore entry-level rates and what the top earners are pocketing per year.
How Much Money Do Massage Therapists Make?
Salaries among massage therapists vary greatly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for massage therapists is $43,620, while the lowest earners made just $22,580 per year. Meanwhile, those making the most money in the field are pocketing over $79,000, annually.
How Much do Massage Therapists Make an Hour?
f we break that down, that’s an average hourly wage of $20 or $3,635 a month, which is well above the national average.
The organization also predicts tremendous growth for the industry, with 23,000 new jobs added to the market each year over the next decade. If demand really does skyrocket, then those just breaking into the field will enjoy increased job prospects at higher rates.
Entry-Level Salaries for Massage Therapists
New massage therapists can expect to earn less than their more seasoned counterparts. According to Zip Recruiter, entry-level massage therapists earn an average salary of $37,000 per year. Lower rates are typically indicative of less experience on the job. They may also reflect a practitioner’s inability to market themselves effectively and sustain a healthy client base.
Other skills that can help massage therapist increase their earnings are as follows:
- Skilled Technique
- Positive Attitude
- Business Skills
- Basic Marketing Skills
- Time-Management Skills
- Commitment to Continuing Education
- Networking Skills
- Proper Equipment
- Attention to Self-Care
To attract new clients and up your earnings, try connecting with other massage therapists in your area. They can offer advice on localized trends and popular marketing outlets including social media. You can also ask them for referrals when possible.
Can a Massage Therapist Make Six Figures?
While the typical massage therapist salary rarely exceeds the $100,000 mark, it is possible. Location plays a big part here.
For instance, the top 10% of earners in Alaska and Massachusetts make $132,950 and $112,470, respectively. Meanwhile, the individuals in other parts of the country who fall into the same high-earning category make less than half that amount. In South Dakota, $48,450 is considered a “high” massage therapist salary.
In What Areas of Massage Therapy Can I Make the Most Money?
Massage therapy is a highly varied career. Many massage therapists cater to personal care services, working in salons, spas, and rejuvenation centers. Others practice alongside healthcare providers in a more medical setting.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), individuals working in hotels, resorts, or on cruise ships make a relatively high hourly wage, pocketing over $60 an hour. Individuals working at chains, salons, and clinics, make slightly less.
Self-employed massage therapists enjoy the most opportunities to earn big in the field. The AMTA reports that those who conduct private sessions at their client’s homes or workplaces can earn upwards of $75 an hour. That said, these individuals with their own massage practice will be responsible for other upfront costs, including massage equipment, marketing material, and travel expenses.
Can Massage Therapists Collect Tips?
Not all massage therapists report the amount they earn through tips, so it’s hard to find national data regarding this kind of income. Based on the information that we do have, the AMTA estimates that 58 percent of massage therapists accept tips over 60% of the time.
Your place of employment has a huge impact on if you can accept tips and how much you can accept. For instance, individuals working in the hospitality industry in hotels, resorts, or on cruises net an average tip of $22.40 per massage. On the other hand, those employed in a hospital or clinic only earn an average tip of $3.31 per massage.
Self-employed massage therapists who enjoy a regular pool of customers can also make good money in tips. The more repeat clients you have, the more tips you can expect.
The Top Paying States for Massage Therapy
Working as a massage therapist can yield varying compensation depending on the state you work in. According to BLS data, Alaska, Washington, and Massachusetts remain the highest paying states for massage therapists, with salaries that far exceed the national average.
State – Median Salary – Top 10% of Earners
- Alaska – $82,600 – $132,950
- Washington – $65,140 – $86,640
- Massachusetts – $61,790 – $112,470
- Oregon – $61,220 – $96,720
- Nebraska – $57,390 – $79,390
- Hawaii – $55,700 – $89,120
- Minnesota – $54,400 – $83,810
- Maine – $53,430 – $87,240
- New York – $52,560 – $89,200
- Illinois – $49,940 – $76,900
- Kentucky – $49,930 – $75,440
- Michigan – $49,840 – $75,540
- Wyoming – $49,760 – $76,090
- New Hampshire – $49,590 – $83,930
- Wisconsin – $48,190 – $68,730
- Ohio – $48,000 – $79,750
- Arkansas – $47,200 – $63,410
- New Mexico – $46,050 – $83,750
- Colorado – $46,020 – $65,170
- North Dakota – $45,790 – $65,590
The Lowest Paying States for Massage Therapists
Now, let’s take a look at the lowest-paying states. Georgia and Louisiana offer the worst prospects for a licensed massage therapist, with Rhode Island and Nevada following close behind.
State – Median Salary – Top 10% of Earners
- Georgia – $23,490 – $69,490
- Louisiana – $23,890 – $57,630
- Rhode Island – $28,110 – $55,690
- Nevada – $28,260 – $85,180
- Kansas – $29,210 – $80,830
- South Dakota – $30,550 – $48,450
- California – $34,400 – $80,940
- Mississippi – $34,870 – $50,860
- Iowa – $36,120 – $68,740
- South Carolina – $36,170 – $60,240
Career prospects among massage therapists are growing rapidly. According to the BLS, the industry will grow by over 32% by 2030, with about 23,300 new jobs hitting the market each year over the next decade. That shift far exceeds those projected for other professions and is largely attributed to individuals aging out of the workforce or transferring to different industries.
Top Companies to Work for
While massage therapists can work in a freelance or private capacity, finding employment through a company can also turn into a profitable experience. Listed below are the highest-paying companies for massage therapists.
Company – Hourly Wage
- Soothe Inc. – $95.12
- Zeel – $77.21
- Great Jones Spa – $56.57
- Oak Haven Massage – $50.77
- Yuan Spa – $49.07
*Data sourced from Indeed.com
How Can You Increase Massage Therapist Salaries?
While it’s not always possible to influence how much massage therapists make, certain things can help increase earning potential. Continuing education, location, and place of employment remain the most important influential factors surrounding massage therapist salaries.
Most states require massage therapists to graduate from a certificate or degree program and get licensed before beginning their practice But that doesn’t mean your educational requirements come to an end. A commitment to continuing education can help massage therapists expand their skill set and diversify their client base. It can also make you more marketable to high-competition employers.
Demands for massage therapy differ depending on your location. Salaries dip dramatically in states where demand is low. That said, it’s not necessarily more profitable to pack up and move to a high-paying state like Alaska, Massachusetts, or Washington. Though these areas pay well comparatively, the cost of living and operating your own practice may not make relocating worth it.
Place of Employment
As a massage therapist, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of potential work environments. You can even split your time between, say, working at a salon and servicing private clients for additional income.
According to research conducted by the AMTA, individuals who work out of their client’s home or workplace have the largest earning potential. Individuals who work in hotels, resorts, and cruises come next, with an average hourly pay of $56.31. These practitioners also receive the highest amount in tips.
Meanwhile, massage chains, medical offices, and integrated clinics remain the lowest paying institutions. This information is important to keep in mind when deciding which area of massage you want to study and where you can anticipate landing your first job.
The massage therapy field is ballooning, with thousands of job openings hitting the market each year over the next decade.
Start your journey towards a successful career at ICOHS College. Our Professional Massage Therapist certificate program is a California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) approved school as recognized by the state of California. Program courses include the following subjects:
- Fundamentals of Massage
- Kinesiology and Client Assessment
- Anatomy and Deep Tissue
- Eastern Modalities
- Western Modalities
- Body Systems, Pathology, and Special Populations
- Career Development
Students will receive bodywork techniques and therapeutic massage methods designed to relieve pain and improve the overall health and wellness of their clients. They’ll also undergo classroom experiences to learn all necessary medical terminology and prepare for the state licensing exam. Financial aid options apply to those who qualify.
After leaving our programs, students can find promising career opportunities at massage therapy clinics, spas and resorts, cruise ships, holistic health centers, and more. Students may also open up their own businesses or work as independent contractors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make good money as a massage therapist?
Depending on where you work and where you live, you can make a very comfortable earning as a massage therapist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for massage therapists is $43,620, with the highest ten percent of earners pocketing over $79,000, annually.
Can a massage therapist make 6 figures?
Massage therapists don’t typically make over six figures, though it is possible. Practitioners tend to make more money in certain states over other areas of the country. For instance, the top 10% of earners in Alaska and Massachusetts make $132,950 and $112,470, respectively. Individuals who are self-employed or own their own massage business can also attract additional clients and earn higher wages.
What is the highest paid massage therapist?
According to labor statistics from the Bureau of Labor, Alaska provides the highest massage therapist salaries, with the top ten percent of earners making over $130,000 per year.
Is being a massage therapist worth it?
If you like working with people and helping them restore health and function, then a career as a massage therapist is definitely worth it. Not only do they make a comfortable living, with some earning more than six figures a year, but they also report extremely high levels of job satisfaction as compared to other professions.