How to Understand a Massage Therapist’s Salary: The Story Behind the Numbers
so what ’ s the best way to understand a massage therapist wage ? accuracy be told, there ’ s no easy answer to that .
“ The variations are huge across the state, ” says Joanie Holst, MS, BCTMB, CNMT, CMLDT, CKTP, associate professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University .
More than that, Holst says the numbers themselves don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate truly explain how massage therapists typically get paid. Nor do they convey the cardinal importance of touch hours vs. non-contact hours. We ’ ll get more into those in a bit .
It ’ south besides crucial, says Holst, to weigh the monetary rewards with the many other factors that make being a massage therapist a great career choice .
For model, she points out that helping people relax or manage pain can be incredibly rewarding. On exceed of that, massage therapists are fast-becoming an built-in share of the healthcare populace .
Below, we ’ ll take a closer expect at those factors. But first, let ’ s try to understand the earning potential of a massage therapist by looking at some numbers .
How much is a massage therapist’s salary?
Larry Morgan of the Orion HR Group, a human resources consulting fast specializing in compensation analysis, reports the come average massage therapist wage information for the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area as of May 2020 .
note that these salaries are for W-2 employees and do not reflect the income of massage therapists who own/operate their own business :
- Graduate to one year of experience: $42,000 annually, with data varying from $39,000 to $45,100
- 10+ years experience: $52,850 annually, with data varying from $46,000 to $59,700
Remember, this is data for the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. many variables go into formulating reliable wage estimates. That ’ mho why providing a individual nationally number is not the most accurate way to understand what a massage therapist earns .
Below, we provide information that will help in your wage research and explain a number of factors that go into determining a massage therapist ’ sulfur wage .
What to look for in your salary research
There ’ s no deficit of on-line sources regarding a massage therapist ’ south income. But to make the most of your research, consider the following significant points .
Rely on the most trusted sources
According to Morgan from the Orion HR Group, the best wage information starts with industry surveys conducted by HR professionals. The results are then compiled and reviewed for accuracy. For any reported data that seems out of place, HR professionals conduct follow-up conversations .
“ In summation to having the right expertness, HR professionals have access to resources that will produce the most accurate and unbiased wage information possible, ” says Morgan .
Keep these data caveats in mind
When it comes to online sources for massage therapist salaries, Morgan recommends paying attention to factors like the following :
The source of the data. Does the informant have bias toward inflate numbers ? How is the data collected, and is it “ scrubbed ” for outliers that can skew results and make them less accurate ?
The method of data collection. How was the data gathered ? By students, self-reporting, anonymous sketch, HR professionals ?
Size of the data set. How many participating organizations and how many people does the data map ? The more organizations participating and professionals represented, the more probably the data can be considered accurate .
Date of the salary data. The marketplace is not static. The date the wage surveil information was collected is important. The general labor marketplace is trending up at 3.1 % to 3.2 % annually. That ’ s why data should be “ aged ” to portray day numbers .
Know the shortcomings of salary sources
Morgan besides says to be aware of the implicit in shortcomings of wage sources like the follow :
Professional associations and industry magazines. These trust on member- or subscriber-reported data. These data sets may be little, reflect higher conclusion salaries, and could be biased toward friendly numbers .
Salary-specific websites. Popular sites like GlassDoor, Salary.com, and PayScale rely heavily or entirely on self-reported wage information. The datum sets reflecting wage amounts tend to be less accurate .
Government sites. State government sites and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, may reflect data that ’ south low to market and unmanageable to review .
however, they may be helpful in providing wage information, particularly when considering location and the larger data sets from which their numbers are based .
How much does a massage therapist make in an hour?
To understand the earning potential of a massage therapist, you need to understand the realities behind an hourly wage. Depending on where you practice, typical massage session fourth dimension frames can range from 45 minutes to 60 minutes .
If you ’ re thinking about the massage therapy profession in terms of an eight-hour day, you should know that giving eight massages a day is merely not a realistic schedule for massage therapists .
Why not ? Because practicing massage therapy is physically taxing. The dependable news is that massage therapists can counter this by limiting the number of massages they give in a day and by using a combination of massage techniques that help conserve their energy .
Depending on the specific workplace, you could still spend eight hours on the problem. however, you won ’ thyroxine be doing eight actual hours of what the massage profession calls contact hours—the total of meter spent specifically doing massage .
Hourly wage scenarios. To understand more on the hourly pace question, think you ’ re an employee at a massage clinic that charges clients $ 75 per massage .
Your employer may agree to pay you a percentage of each massage school term you do. Let ’ s say it ’ s about 33 % ( or one-third ). so in that scenario, you earn $ 25 for a standard session. ( That percentage would likely be maintained for massages you do that are longer or shorter angstrom well. )
Employers vary as to how they may pay you for your non-contact clock. For example, some will incorporate downtime in the share you get paid for each massage you give. Others may pay you a set wage for the clock time you don ’ thyroxine spend actually giving a massage .
On the other hand, if you own a exercise and charge $ 75 per criterion one-hour massage, a commodity fortune of that money will go back into running your clientele .
One concluding note : Like so many other professions, the more experience, discipline and certifications you have, the more a client can expect to pay.
Keep in mind taxable income for owners vs. employees
many massage therapists have their own alone practice. In these cases, massage therapists double as business owners. That means they have a host of overhead tax-deductible business expenses that can lower their reported taxable income .
To understand what a massage therapist in truth earns, this is an important point. The report income for these massage therapists may appear lower than what some would expect ( or hope ) .
however, that income—thanks to legitimate tax deductions—may not necessarily reflect the dependable fiscal rewards they enjoy .
In bend, the income of massage therapists as employees will not reflect the assorted kinds of deductions that private practice owner-operators have .
bill that more and more massage therapists are joining hospital and clinic staffs. In these cases, they ’ re besides receiving employee benefits like health insurance coverage, retirement benefits, and paid time off .
Remember that geography matters
As we noted at the beginning, where you practice as a massage therapist will influence how much you make. Keep this in thinker as you ’ re looking at overall “ average ” salaries .
Understand that compensation will vary with the work setting
If you ’ re trying to understand what a massage therapist can make, it ’ sulfur authoritative to know that your compensation will vary from one workplace setting to another. And massage therapists today can work in a wide range of places .
note that in spa-type settings and private massage therapist offices, massage therapists are more likely to receive tips. In hospitals and healthcare clinics, tips are less likely or possibly even prohibited .
hera are some examples of the many places massage therapists work nowadays :
- Integrative care clinics
- Primary care clinics
- Corporate settings
- Private practice
- Wellness centers
- Fitness centers
- Luxury hotels
- Cruise Ships
Beyond the dollars: The many benefits of being a massage therapist
As you get a better smell of the gain electric potential for massage therapists, you should besides consider a numeral of other crucial factors – and attractive features – that are separate of the profession .
Let ’ s tax return to Joanie Holst, MS, BCTMB, CNMT, CMLDT, CKTP, from Northwestern Health Sciences University to better understand some of them .
In addition to being an consociate professor in massage therapy, she has been a rehearse massage therapist for about 30 years .
An exceptionally bright job outlook for the foreseeable future
In late years specially, Holst says the massage therapy profession has been going through some arouse developments. And there ’ s plenty of testify that demonstrates this :
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a whopping 22% employment increase for massage therapists. That’s almost four times the average growth rate for all occupations.
- Given the painkiller/opioid crisis, a massage therapist’s non-invasive services are becoming an increasingly popular and effective approach for pain management. In fact, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), 88% of adult Americans believe that massage can help reduce certain forms of pain.
- Research continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of massage therapy for pain. For example, the journal Pain Medicine states there is “clear evidence supporting the efficacy of massage therapy” as a pain management option.
- The benefits of massage therapy extend to mental health as well. The AMTA points to numerous studies showing that massage can help those with anxiety, and the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has shown evidence that massage can alleviate certain symptoms of depression.
- Surveys conducted by the AMTA indicate that more and more medical doctors, chiropractors, and other healthcare providers are recommending massage to their patients.
A rewarding, low-stress career helping others and being appreciated
Why do people become massage therapists in the first place ? Holst says the number one argue is that they want to help people. And for her the massage therapy profession is an exceeding place to do that .
“ Every sidereal day you get to experience helping people feel effective, ” says Holst. And what makes the massage therapy profession even more reinforce is that, as Holst puts it, “ People love to see us ! ”
“ Clients walk through the door saying things like, ‘ I ’ m so glad I ’ megabyte hera ! ’ How cool is that ? It ’ s a great feel to spend your sidereal day with people that are truly glad to be with you. ”
On lead of that, Holst says you get to play a role in people ’ s health and health in a first gear stress environment .
Growing opportunities for massage therapists in healthcare
Have you ever thought about becoming a healthcare master ? If thus, Holst says there ’ s never been a better time to consider massage therapy. As consolidative models of healthcare become more and more common, opportunities for massage therapists in the healthcare field will continue to grow .
Both healthcare consumers and providers are looking for less invasive, non-pharmacological approaches to pain such as massage therapy .
The american Massage Therapy Association provides a detail composition of massage therapy ’ randomness advances in healthcare. here are just a few examples from the report of how massage therapy has become an integral part of major – and influential – healthcare providers around the country :
- Fifteen years ago, Michigan’s largest healthcare system, Beaumont Health, began a massage therapy program by hiring one massage therapist in its oncology department. The program has expanded into departments like cardiology, urology and pediatrics, and today Beaumont Health has dozens of massage therapists on staff.
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City employs massage therapists throughout its facilities for inpatients and outpatients.
- Mayo Clinic has been a true leader in integrating massage therapy into its inpatient and outpatient services since 2002.
In addition, massage therapy train and education can provide an excellent foundation of cognition in health and the human consistency. Some massage therapists choose to expand this cognition to finally become chiropractors, acupuncturists, nurses, and more .
A profession with lots of opportunity to create your own path
In many ways, massage therapists enjoy a bunch more exemption, specially compared to other healthcare professions, says Holst .
For case, self-employment is a viable — and popular — choice for many massage therapists, which makes it easier to shape your own schedule .
But that ’ s actually good the begin .
If having your own massage drill international relations and security network ’ metric ton for you, that ’ s not a problem. The opportunities in massage therapy are however huge, says Holst .
“ Massage is found in so many environments, ” Holst says. “ You can work at a health spa or repair or health club. You can provide massage onsite to office workers. You can be employed by a hospital. ”
Holst explains there are besides numerous other options to work at clinics or early types of practices like the follow :
- Massage therapy group practices or franchises
- Chiropractic practices that also offer massage therapy
- Integrative clinics that provide massage therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture
- Sports and rehabilitation clinics that include physical therapists, medical doctors, as well as massage therapists
Along with the kind of work environments, massage therapists can besides specialize to work with specific kinds of patients or clients. Veterans, children, seniors, athletes, big mothers, cancer patients, hospice patients — these are barely some of the many possibilities .
here ’ s a graphic demonstrating the wide variety of career paths that massage therapists have.
Read more: Debt settlement: Will it work for me?
Take the next step toward becoming a massage therapist
Are you concerned in a career as a massage therapist ? then take the following step today !
LEARN MORE About Our massage therapy Programs