Salary statistics for massage therapist vary greatly by various sources. There is no accurate data on massage therapy salaries as they way massage therapists are paid as an employee varies greatly. Also the majority of massage therapists start their own business so that data is not tracked.
Entry Level Massage Therapist Salaries
Right out of massage school your salary level will be somewhere between $12-$20 an hour depending on where you choose to work. With it being a massage therapists job market (not enough therapists to fill the many job openings) you will have some power to negotiate. Franchises such as Massage Envy, Green Spa and others are usually the lowest paying massage employers. The amount that they charge clients is so low that they can’t pay much more. Your work will depend on tips and the number of hours you can work.
Some spa environments will be able to pay more as they often charge much more than a franchise.
Working in a clinical environment may get you higher pay if they are working with car accidents where the fees are higher.
Mid Level Massage Therapist Salaries
After working 2-5 years as a massage therapist in an entry level job you will be able to demand higher pay. You can expect to be paid $20-$30 an hour. Your job will most likely be in a higher end spa or medical clinic. Spa/Wellness jobs also still depend on tips to get your salary up to something reasonable. In medical clinics, tips are usually not allowed.
Advanced Massage Therapist Salaries
High salaries will be in the $$30-$60 an hour range or higher. This sort of pay will require that you are able to get the best results with clients and provide the highest levels of service to people. You may become a lead therapist for an employer or even become a manager.
The problems with Salaried Workers in the Massage Profession
The main thing to know about massage therapist salaries is that while the amount per hour varies, the number of hours that you work is usually 25-30 hours max. It is unusual for a therapist to work more hours than that because of the physical and mental demands for the job.
You also only get paid that when you have a client. If you don’t have a client, your pay will vary depending on the agreement with your employer. If you are on commission, that will vary too. That is the way most are paid – piece work. You get paid when you work on someone only. You may get minimum wage when you don’t have a client.
The concept of paying massage therapists a higher rate only when they have clients has to stop. You can be a part of the next generation of massage therapists who change the way things are done!