How much can you make as a massage therapist?

Massage therapy is considered as the manipulation of muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and soft tissues found in our body. Contrary to what most people believe, a massage therapist earns a decent living. Nevertheless, there are a number of questions that still float around concerning the career choice of a massage therapist; questions like “how much do massage therapists make?” or “how long does it take to be a massage therapist?”

There are even funnier questions floating around such as the difference between a massage therapist and that of a masseuse. Well, a masseuse is very gender-specific, which mean that this profession only pertains to women. On the other hand, massage therapists can be of any gender. Moreover, Massage Magazine even shared how the term “masseuse” or even “masseur” can be a bit awkward or non-educational, depending on how people handle the term. This is just one of the many confusions the public has over massage therapists.

It’s quite common that the public is confused as to how much money a massage therapist earns because they are not familiar with what they do. Do note that massage therapists tend to perform their practice in a wide range of workplace setting. They can work in hospitals, wellness centers, nursing homes, corporate offices, airport lobbies, shopping malls, salons, hospitals, and so much more.

You’ll be surprised to know that massage therapists require extensive training to be able to safely perform it on other people. They use the power of their touch as a means to manipulate the soft tissues and muscles in the patient’s body. What massage therapists aim for is the reduction of pain as well as the improvement of blood circulation in the body. Other benefits of hiring a massage therapist include an increased sense of relaxation, stress relief, and the elimination of injuries, as well as the improvement of the patient’s general wellness.

In general, people are always generally curious about how much money they make.

How much is the average massage therapist salary?

According to Zip Recruiter, the average salary of a massage therapist can range from an hourly wage of $18.73 to $25.98. Of course, this would always depend on the state as much as any other profession. Moreover, the answer to the question “how much do massage therapists make?” can also tackle on matters such as the particular field in which a massage therapist takes on.

Today, there are now a number of massage therapy types. Those practicing this profession can focus their practice on maternity and pregnancy, geriatric, sports, neuro, pediatrics, rehabilitation, chronic illnesses, and more.

In addition, the number of years of experience of a particular massage therapist can also affect their income. Of course, similar to any profession, the more experienced you are, the higher you can charge your clients for your service. In general, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirms that the median salary of a massage therapist in all areas is around $39,860 on an annual basis.      

On another note, someone who practices prenatal massage therapy earns about $39,860 on an annual basis. Those who practice geriatric massage therapy can earn about $40,000 yearly. Those who practice sports massage therapy can earn anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000. Sports massage therapists earn a little bit higher as compared to the other areas as some of their clients may include professional athletes. In addition, massage therapists who focus on chronic illnesses, as well as rehabilitation therapy, can earn an annual income of $39,860.

Of course, there is also a difference in salary if you are a massage therapist who works for an employer or if you work for yourself. Managing your own massage therapy business can allow you to earn annual earnings of $39,860 or an hourly rate of $19.17. Do note that when you run your own massage therapy business, you also perform other administrative tasks aside from the actual practice of massage therapy. Moreover, you will be working around 40 hours per week.

Is getting into massage therapy worth it?

According to Adryon Hutton, the career path of a massage therapist is slowly becoming much more diverse and it continues to evolve into a number of medical professions today. There will always be a number of disciplines being taught while an individual is attending Massage school.

There is also the flexibility of work as well as the ability to follow what you really love to do. If you are undecided as to whether or not you should pursue a career in massage therapy, you have to first ask yourself what you like about massage therapy. Whether or not you are willing to overcome the difficulties that lie ahead is completely up to you.

Thus, it is highly recommended that you perform research on massage therapy as a career as much as you can. Therefore, you’ll eliminate confusion and be able to decide whether massage therapy as a career is worth it. To ease your mind, about 88% have claimed that they were satisfied with their career choice in massage therapy.

There will always be competition in the field of massage therapy. The good news is that a number of national long-term projections are stating that massage therapy is growing exponentially over the next couple of years.

Nevertheless, massage therapy is evolving and it has now become a diverse medical profession over the years. You can focus on a number of area practices, each having their own ability to provide a stable source of income. Furthermore, becoming a massage therapist grants you the freedom to choose when you plan to work and which field to work in. For most people, having this kind of job that grants a high level of freedom is the ultimate goal.

In the end, if you are someone whose main goal is to help other people, massage therapy is a worthy career in that area alone. You will always find yourself working with a team, whether you work for an employer or you have your own massage therapy business. Massage therapists work in a team to realize one particular goal, and that is to assist a patient in achieving success and a healed mind and body through massage.

Truly, massage therapy is a career that gives you the freedom to choose when and where you work, a stable income much like other professions in various industries, and a humbling experience that helps those in need.

Can you earn more by freelancing?

Self-employment in massage therapy can be different as compared to working for an employer. However, the money you earn completely depend on you. Nevertheless, the same factors – years of experience, area of expertise, and location – can greatly affect the money you earn regardless of whether you are a freelance massage therapist.

Do note that if you work as a freelance massage therapist, you need to be able to build a valuable and profitable career. Thus, this entails growing your business, paying close attention to your expenses, hiring additional therapists, and even focusing on minor marketing aspects of the business.

You’ll need to foot the bill for business expenses as well. A tranquil setting is key, so you might have to rent a venue. This can set you back a few thousand dollars a month. However, if you have a space in your apartment that you can transform that will more than suffice. This would allow you to utilize unused space in your home and earn that much more.

Other costs to consider are things like insurance. Because you’ll likely start out as a sole proprietor, you’ll be personally liable for any injuries that your clients claim you caused. Working on people’s bodies all day exposes you to liability, so massage liability insurance is absolutely necessary. Thankfully, massage liability insurance is very affordable and can protect you against things like rental damage, and stolen equipment claims etc. – has a full list of these.

Another main difference when it comes to working freelance or not is the fact that as an employee, your employer takes care of your tax withholdings for you. Either way, you can choose to work at an hourly base pay plus your commissions per session; a flat rate per session; a percentage commission per session; or even only at an hourly pay.

As for the specific amount, you can expect that your base pay can vary from a $12 to $15 per hour. There are also times when a massage therapist can earn about 15% to 30% service commission per treatment.

To make things more cohesive, imagine a massage therapist working on a 60-minute massage. With this, you can expect to earn around $60 to $75 per hour with an $8 to $10 base pay as well as 15% to 30%  service commission.

How much can you make as a massage therapist?

All in all, there is no direct answer to the question “how much can you make as a massage therapist?” As explained earlier, there are a number of factors that affect the salary of someone who practices massage therapy. Some of these factors include the location as to where you practice, the years of your experience, the area of expertise in which you practice, and whether or not you perform freelance massage therapy or work for an employer.

Nevertheless, salary is always an interesting thing to assess when it comes to working freelance. The bottom line is that you can make good money as a massage therapist. Similar to other professions, the challenge is being able to build a huge client base and develop loyal customers.

The beauty of working freelance is that you can earn as much as you possibly can. There is no real limit, which makes this fact more appealing to those who aspire to become a freelance massage therapist.

You are always in charge. If you want to reach the limit of how much you can earn as a massage therapist, start focusing on having a fully-booked list of appointments; always be available for consultation; start marketing your services and create a stable professional network; and build a profitable and valuable business for yourself.

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