Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labour statistics, the median wage per year for a massage therapist in the United States is $42,820, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $80,630 and the lowest 10 percent earning less than $21,810 per annum.
The highest paying industry was offices of chiropractors, where the median annual salary was $52,230. This was followed by offices of all other health practitioners ($46,670), personal care services ($40,380), personal care services ($40,380) and accommodation ($30,160).
Massage therapists may receive tips, which can enhance their annual wage. They may also receive free or discounted massages as a benefit.
Autonomy and Flexibility
The levels of autonomy and flexibility for a massage therapist will vary greatly depending on their experience or their position. Massage therapists who work for themselves, or those who are responsible for managing their own clients, will have control over their decisions – which gives them greater autonomy and the flexibility to control their working day. Similarly, those who have years of experience will be better able to treat and diagnose their patients. This, again, gives them great autonomy. Massage therapists who work for large companies, where their services are booked by administrators, will have less control over how they spend their day.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be a massage therapist, based on average annual salary and number of jobs available, are:
- Massachusetts, where the average annual salary is $60,999
- Pennsylvania, where the average annual salary is $59,714
- New York, where the average annual salary is $61,651
- New Jersey, where the average annual salary is $62,359
- Alaska, where the average annual salary is $81,304
The worst states to be a massage therapist, according to Zippia, are Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Wyoming and Montana,
35% of massage therapists in the United States are self-employed workers. 33% are employed by personal care services, 11% are employed by offices of all other health practitioners, 8% are employed by offices of chiropractors and 6% are employed by accommodation.
Some massage therapist will travel to their clients homes or offices to give a massage. Others will have clients come to their home to receive massages. To set this up, massage therapists will need their own table, sheets, pillows and lotions. If massage therapists are focusing on relaxation, they may work in dimly lit settings and use candles, incense and soothing music. Massage therapists who work to rehabilitate clients with injuries will tend to work in well-lit settings that appear more medical.
Being a massage therapists is physically demanding. Repetitive-motion problems and fatigue from standing for extended periods are common.