The median average annual massage therapist salary in the United States is reported to be roughly $46,000. This adds up to around $22 per hour. While it is not luxurious, the salary for a massage therapist should easily keep a person in the middle-class, and far from poverty. Those therapists in the upper 10th percentile can make around $58,000 a year, or $28 an hour. Massage therapists just starting out or in a lower-income area, those in the lower 10th percentile, can make up to $32,000 annually, or $15 an hour. While a high-income is nowhere near the norm, such people can face rewarding work. Those in the median income range can make anywhere from $38-$53K a year. They would be working for an hourly rate of between $18 and $25 an hour.
A number of factors can either increase or decrease the average salary of a massage therapist. This goes for any profession. These factors may include experience, location, and area of employment. Massage therapists working in the health care fields, or who are associated with ambulatory care or physicians, can earn between $50 and $60K a year, while those working in the personal care industry or through travel resorts will earn much less. Location will also play a major part. Metropolitan areas will offer a much higher pay-grade. Experience will play an important role. The more experience, the bigger a clientele base, meaning greater chances at a higher-paying income.
Benefits will add to the overall of a massage therapist salary. Paid benefits may include social security, 401K plans, paid time off, health care benefits, and many others. The overall total compensation package for a massage therapist could boost the average salary to about $67,000. This easily raises highly trained and experienced professionals into the upper-middle class.
Job Description of a Massage Therapist
Massage therapists work to provide just what is expected from the name – massage. The purpose of massage is to manipulate the muscles and soft tissues to promote relaxation, improved health, and other benefits. There are well over eighty different types of massage, and most massage therapists will be trained to administer many different types.
While there is not much room for advancement in the massage industry, client base can increase overall income. A loyal clientele is vital for a massage therapist. Prices can be raised as demand for services becomes greater.
Overall, a massage therapist faces many benefits. The hours are flexible, a calm work environment is essential, and the job is focused entirely on relaxation and health. There should be no stress involved in the massage industry.
How to Become a Massage Therapist
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The educational requirements necessary to become a massage therapist vary from state to state. Typically, a postsecondary education program must be completed. These programs can require five hundred hours or more of study and experience, but, again, these standards vary by state.
Most states will require massage therapists to have a license or certificate, since they deal in the health industry.
Massage Therapist Salary in Other Countries (Canada, Australia and UK)
Massage therapists working in Canada will accumulate a higher income yearly. The average annual income in Canada is C$58,000. Australia is not far behind. Massage therapists working in that country should make A$45,000 yearly on average.
The United Kingdom (UK) pays their massage therapists much less. The typical massage therapist in the UK will only make about £17,000 a year.
Verdict on Massage Therapist Salary
It is not going to be an easy ride for the beginning massage therapist. Annual incomes are low at the beginning. However, experience throughout the years will help grow a loyal clientele base. This allows for a higher annual income. The most experienced massage therapists have the potential to make $60,000 a year, and sometimes higher. While this is not entirely grandiose, it will keep someone in the upper-middle class. The work environment required evens out these salary differences. Calm and relaxation is promoted on a daily basis. While the salary might not be good at the beginning, the job will certainly be good for the health.