A massage therapist’s job can be a difficult one, but also extremely rewarding. Not only do massage therapists bring relaxation, harmony, and peace of mind to their clients, but also offer relief for a number of aches, pains, tension, injuries, and other medical issues. In addition to these basic requirements of the job, a massage therapist must also be able to confer with their clientele to gain an understanding of their medical history, stressors, and individual aches and soreness and build a treatment plan that is unique to each client’s needs. Massage therapy is not just about pampering; the job requires a skill and knowledge to be performed with the best results.
What does that mean for the earning potential for a massage therapist? Although the numbers vary year by year and depend on your location, experience, and several other factors, data has been analyzed and charts have been created to show the average annual salary for massage therapy. According to salary.com’s HR reported data as of January 2015, the expected median annual pay for a typical massage therapist in the United States is $46,779; the bottom 10% expected income came out to be $33,762, and the top 90% reached $60,928.
Of course, depending on specialization in the field, location, years of experience, etc., the numbers can vary greatly from study to study. For instance, the 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a much lower median annual salary for massage therapists: $35,970. Their top 10% earned more than $70,140, and the lower 10% earned in the $20,000s. According to the Bureau, employment for massage therapists is predicted to grow by 23% through 2022. Compared to the average predicted growth rate for other careers (only 11%), the field of massage therapy is fast-growing.
Your earning potential as a massage therapist will also depend on your ability to build a large client base. By establishing a regular (and growing) clientele, you will provide yourself with a steady income and the potential to earn more.