In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the massage therapist salary was $38,040 per year and $18.29 per hour. On the other hand, Payscale data shows a licensed massage therapist salary of $29,863 annually and $19.83 hourly.
Even though the numbers are slightly different, the massage therapists salary in our country is usually in this range. But there are also several other definitive factors for determining the massage therapist salary you can expect. Find out more about them below.
Massage Therapist Salary Influencers
Firstly, massage therapist jobs are all part of the same industry: healthcare. Some therapists might work for a company and others are self-employed. Professionals who work on their own tend to have a greater income (anywhere between $92,000 – $153,000, according to Payscale). However, this can a massage therapist career in a large company can bring quite large earnings. Here are some top employers reported by the same source, together with their massage therapist salaries:
- Massage Heights massage therapist average salary – $24,000 – $43,000
- Massage Envy salary massage therapist gets – $32,000 – $45,000
- Elements salary of a massage therapist – $37,000 – $47,000
- Average salary of massage therapist at Marriot International, Inc. – $35,000 – $65,000
2. Geographic Area
In addition to employer, the average massage therapist salary also strongly depends on location. While some states barely cover massage therapist requirements with $25k a year, others offer as much as $84k annually. The state with the highest medical or sports massage therapist salary estimates is Alaska ($84,150). After Alaska, these are the remaining top 5 states regarding the average salary for massage therapist professionals:
- Massage therapist salary NYC professionals get – $62,980
- Washington average salary of a massage therapist – $53,780
- Average salary massage therapist gets in Vermont – $52,910
- Oregon salary massage therapist gets – $52,630
- Massage therapist annual salary in Connecticut – $52,580
Some other states that candidates search for when estimating their future salaries are:
- Median massage therapist salary California – $43,330
- Average massage therapist salary Florida – $42,240
- General massage therapist salary Texas – $38,770
- Average massage therapist salary in PA – $35,780
Employment rates are also essential to keep in mind for geographic areas. If one area has top salaries but few job opportunities, you might be moving there in vain. These are the 5 states that have employed the most massage therapists in the last years:
- New York
States with Low salaries should also be considered. Mississippi has the lowest reported massage therapist salary, of $25,030 a year. These states also have very small estimates for this category of professionals:
- Missouri medical massage therapist salary – $31,440
- Salary of massage therapist in Georgia – $30,440
- Kansas certified massage therapist salary – $30,020
- Salary for a massage therapist in Nevada – $28,500
- New Mexico registered massage therapist salary – $28,320
It’s normal for a highly experienced professional to make considerably more than an entry-level one. Nevertheless, the difference is huge for massage therapists (a gap of $31,000, to be precise). So you understand, Payscale notes that a massage therapist makes about $39,000 a year in their first 5 years. After that, their salary increases to $43,000 for 5-10 years’ experience. Furthermore, those with 10-20 years on the job earn $50,000. Lastly, therapists in their late careers (+20 years) earn $70,000 annually.
Working Hours and Environment
It is reported that the ratio is about 50/50 for massage therapists when it comes to part time and full time schedules. They work in tranquil environments, either in a spa or a client’s home, depending on their career choices.
Massage Therapist Salary by State
|State||Annual mean wage ($)|
|District of Columbia||34,890|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Most massage therapists have no health benefits, partly due to the fact that many are self-employed. To explain, a total of 79% do not have benefits, with just 19% that have medical insurance. Just about 14% have dental insurance and 10% have vision coverage.
Lastly, the best news for future massage therapists is that business is booming in this field for the next few years. In this regard, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities will have a 22% increase. This is more than triple the national percent change in employment projected for 2014-204, of 7%. They also will have more employment opportunities than healthcare support occupations in general (19% change).
In conclusion, a massage therapist salary will become more and more accessible to qualified candidates in the following few years, at least until 2024. This is thanks to the positive job outlook and the large number of states that are continually hiring massage therapists. Nevertheless, the major downside is that you risk having no health benefits. In any case, you should weigh your options and see if massage therapy is the right career path for you.
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