When massage school students tell their friends and family that they are going to massage school they are often told that you can’t make any money as a massage therapist. Students hear this so often that it can undermine their confidence in their new career path. The purpose of this article is to let all massage students know that yes, you can make money as a massage therapist.
As a field, massage therapy has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. More and more people are seeing massage as more than just a luxury. It is becoming an important part of their health and wellness regimen. Because of this, there are so many more employment opportunities for massage therapists. According to the 2012 AMTA Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet provided by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), employment for massage therapists is expected to increase 19 percent from 2008 to 2018. While many therapists still work on their own, there are job opportunities at spas, chiropractor offices, medical facilities, and massage therapy only franchises and chains (Massage Envy, Massage Heights, etc.).
The 2012 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet states that the average hourly wage (including tips) for a massage therapist is $47.00. Working for someone else is a great way to get started, but you will most likely make more money with your own business.
If you build your massage practice on solid business and marketing principles, are reliable, and responsive to your client’s needs, you will have a great chance of making a good living doing massage. In my area, a one-hour massage will cost, on average, $60.00. There are therapists who have a lot of years of experience and specialties who can charge even more per hour. But at $60 an hour, you can still make a good living. For example, if you work 20 hours a week and you plan for four weeks off during the year, you annual income is $57,600. If you work 25 hours a week your income increases to $72,000.
There are other streams of income you can look into as well. If you get your massage therapy instructor license, you can make money teaching your skills to others. You can also build a massage-related website designed to bring in passive income.
However you decide to pursue your massage therapy career, do not let anyone tell you that you cannot make any money as a massage therapist. Yes, you may have to put some work into it to make the amount of money you want, but the good news is that it is up to you! If you are not happy with the amount of money you are making as a massage therapist, you can change it and find a way to make more. I replaced my full-time income as a technical writer with working less than 25 hours a week as a massage therapist. If I can do it, so can you!