How Much Do Massage Therapists Make on Average (Salary)

How much do massage therapists make? A massage therapist is a certified practitioner who specializes in the manual, or hands-on, manipulation of soft tissues. Muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments are examples of soft bodily tissues.

massage therapist salary

What is a massage therapist?

A massage therapist uses touch to manipulate the body's soft-tissue muscles to treat clients. Massage therapists use their hands to help their clients relieve pain, recover from injuries, reduce stress, relax, and improve their overall health.

massage therapist salary

What is massage therapy?

massage therapist salary

Massage therapy has a lengthy history in various cultures. People nowadays employ a range of massage therapies for a number of health-related reasons. Massage therapy is frequently classified as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the United States, despite the fact that it has certain traditional applications.

massage therapist salary

What does a massage therapist do?

Massage therapists usually perform the following tasks:

  • Discuss symptoms, medical history, and desired outcomes with clients.
  • Evaluate clients to locate painful or tense areas of the body.
  • Manipulate the body's muscles and other soft tissues.
  • Provide instruction on how to improve posture, stretching, strength, and overall relaxation to clients.

massage therapist salary

Massage therapists knead muscles and soft tissue of the body with their hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to treat injuries and promote general wellness. A massage can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to more than an hour.

When treating a client, massage therapists can use lotions and oils, massage tables or chairs, and medical heat lamps. They can provide clients with additional relaxation techniques or exercises to practice in between sessions.

massage therapist salary

Massage therapists can specialize in a variety of modalities, or different types of massage. Modalities include Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, and sports massage, to name a few. Most massage therapists specialize in a variety of modalities, each of which necessitates unique techniques. The type of massage given is usually determined by the client's needs and physical condition. Therapists can, for example, use a different technique for elderly clients than they would for athletes. Some types of massage are reserved for a specific clientele; for example, prenatal massage is reserved for expectant mothers.

How much do massage therapists make? (Average salary)

A massage therapist's average salary is higher than the national average. Wyoming is at the top of the list, followed by Massachusetts and Montana in second and third place, respectively. Montana outperforms the national average by 1.9%, while Wyoming continues the trend with a $4,462 (8.1 percent) increase over the national average of $55,009.

massage therapist salary

Massage therapist salaries by state

Average massage therapist salary by state:

  • Alabama: $52,253 per year.
  • Alaska: $52,590 per year.
  • Arizona: $55,463 per year.
  • Arkansas: $45,599 per year.
  • California: $49,351 per year.
  • Colorado: $48,500 per year.
  • Connecticut: $54,499 per year.
  • Delaware: $48,286 per year.
  • Florida: $50,426 per year.
  • Georgia: $53,503 per year.
  • Hawaii: $55,417 per year.
  • Idaho: $46,210 per year.
  • Illinois: $45,351 per year.
  • Indiana: $55,108 per year.
  • Iowa: $49,869 per year.
  • Kansas: $49,553 per year.
  • Kentucky: $49,797 per year.
  • Louisiana: $51,005 per year.
  • Maine: $46,011 per year.
  • Maryland: $51,651 per year.
  • Massachusetts: $56,596 per year.
  • Michigan: $45,501 per year.
  • Minnesota: $52,594 per year.
  • Mississippi: $46,435 per year.
  • Missouri: $44,474 per year.
  • Montana: $56,040 per year.
  • Nebraska: $50,782 per year.
  • Nevada: $52,175 per year.
  • New Hampshire: $52,439 per year.
  • New Jersey: $54,991 per year.
  • New Mexico: $50,247 per year.
  • New York: $54,343 per year.
  • North Carolina: $41,426 per year.
  • North Dakota: $52,418 per year.
  • Ohio: $52,322 per year.
  • Oklahoma: $47,198 per year.
  • Oregon: $50,182 per year.
  • Pennsylvania: $47,010 per year.
  • Rhode Island: $53,252 per year.
  • South Carolina: $48,613 per year.
  • South Dakota: $50,887 per year.
  • Tennessee: $52,707 per year.
  • Texas: $44,609 per year.
  • Utah: $51,387 per year.
  • Vermont: $49,300 per year.
  • Virginia: $50,116 per year.
  • Washington: $54,437 per year.
  • West Virginia: $47,238 per year.
  • Wisconsin: $52,846 per year.
  • Wyoming: $59,472 per year.

Information provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (source).

Per week

The national average is $1,058 per week.

Per hour

The national average hourly wage is $23 to $29.

massage therapist salary

Per month

The national average is $4,584 per month.

National average salary by seniority

How much does a massage therapist make based on seniority and experience?

Top-level massage therapist earnings begin at:

$43.15 per hour, $89,759 per year.

Senior-level massage therapist earnings begin at:

$31.35 per hour, $65,207 per year.

Mid-level massage therapist earnings begin at:

$21.98 per hour, $45,718 per year.

Junior-level massage therapist earnings begin at:

$15.41 per hour, $32,054 per year.

Entry-level massage therapist earnings begin at:

$11.20 per hour, $23,286 per year.

Job outlook for a massage therapist

Massage therapists' employment is expected to rise by 32% between 2020 and 2030, significantly faster than the average for all occupations.

massage therapist salary

Over the next ten years, an average of 23,300 vacancies for massage therapists are expected. Many of those opportunities are projected to arise as a consequence of the need to replace people who change occupations or leave the workforce for other reasons, such as retirement.

Common questions

Common questions from job seekers:

How long does it take to become a massage therapist?

In the United States, the legal minimum hours required to obtain a massage therapy license vary by state and range from 330 to 1,000 hours. Because education programs vary in structure, students can complete requirements and obtain their license in as little as a few weeks or as long as two years.

massage therapist salary

Should I become a massage therapist?

Aspiring massage therapists should think about the abilities and attributes required before committing to the field.

Comfort with physical touch

Massage therapy is a physically demanding job. Physical touch is unavoidable for practitioners.

Physical fitness

Massage therapists need strength, agility, and the ability to stand for up to 90 minutes at a time to do their job. They can need to adapt their methods in health-care environments to accommodate beds and medical equipment. Overworking therapists risk tendonitis in the wrists, elbows, and shoulders, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and trigger finger/thumb. Reputable institutions recommend a 4- to 6-hour work day with 10-minute rests in between massages.

Mental health

Massage therapists must establish rapport with their customers and maintain proper limits while doing so.

massage therapist salary

Interpersonal skills

Massage therapists must be good listeners and communicators in order to understand their customers' ailments, goals, and preferences, as well as to build a loyal client base.

Decision making skills

Ability to make decisions Evaluating clients' requirements and developing suitable treatment plans is an important aspect of the massage therapist's job.

General business acumen

For the numerous massage therapists who are self-employed, marketing, bookkeeping, and other business skills are very crucial.

How much does a massage therapist earn?

Average base salary can vary based on geography, skill, expertise, employer, and other factors.

As more health care providers see massage as a vital element of total patient wellbeing, the demand for competent massage therapists has increased. Massage therapist employment is expected to rise by 22% by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

massage therapist salary

How do massage therapist salaries compare to other careers?

Massage therapists earn 11% less than their Florida counterparts. They make less money on average than naturopathic doctors.

  • Naturopathic physician: $65,000 per year.
  • Midwife: $47,000 per year.
  • Recreational therapist: $47,000 per year.

massage therapist salary

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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