Massage therapists in the United States make on average $43,170, while those in Canada average C$80,412. In the United Kingdom, a massage therapist salary is about £17,077 per year. For massage therapists in Australia, the mean pay is AU$53,685. Those in New Zealand generally make between NZD$13,000 and NZD$35,000.
How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make?
|Massage Therapist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand|
|Annual Salary||$43,170||C$80,142 |
Massage Therapist Salary Determinant Factors
The massage therapy industry has a strong presence of self-employed persons. For example, Canada’s “Job Bank” reports that 62 percent of therapists were self-employed. In New Zealand, approximately seven out of ten massage therapists fall in that category, while approximately half of those in the United States work for themselves.
With a substantial number of massage therapists being self-employed, pay often depends on the number of clients and the source of payment for these clients.
1. How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make by State?
Massage Therapist Salary in US
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for massage therapists stands at $43,170, as of May 2015. The median salary is $38,040, with the top ten percent of earners fetching salaries above $74,860.
Massage Therapist Salary in Canada
PayScale reports that registered massage therapists in Canada earn on average C$38.53 per hour, or $80,142 per year. According to PayScale, the total pay range is expansive, running from C$29,928 to C$153,299 per year.
Massage Therapist Salary in UK
According to the National Careers Service, massage therapists are primarily self-employed. Hourly rates for their services range from £25 to £60. PayScale reports the average is £8.21 per hour, or £17,077 per year. Pay ranges between £13,239 and £52,590.
Massage Therapist Salary in Australia
PayScale reports that massage therapists in Australia earn on average AU$25.81 per hour, which translates to AU$53,685 per year. Total pay runs from AU$39,490 to AU$97,499 per year.
Massage Therapist Salary in New Zealand
According to the New Zealand Government, massage therapists in New Zealand generally bill NZD$50 to NZD$120 per hour for their services. According to a 2013 New Zealand census, earnings fell between NZD$13,000 and NZD$34,000, with a median pay NZD$23,000.
2. How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make According to Experience?
For massage therapists in the United States, the mean salary is $38,000 per year at entry-level, $42,000 at five years, $48,000 after ten years and $57,000 beyond 20 years.
According to PayScale, Canadian registered massage therapists start with a salary of about C$56,000. After five years, a massage therapist salary can reach a level of C$60,000. Massage therapists’ salaries peak at C$80,000 after ten years.
In Australia, mean pay for massage therapists remains generally level. The figure for entry-level therapists is AU$53,000 per year, reaching AU$55,000 after year five years of experience. This is more or less the maximum, with massage therapist salaries remaining at this level, even after ten years. The average earnings rise to AU$62,000 in late career stages.
3. How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make According to Work Environment?
With a heavy reliance on billable hours for earnings, massage therapists tend to fetch higher earnings in urban or high-population areas.
As a general rule, insurance companies may cover or reimburse customers for massage therapy only when the service is medically necessary. Moreover, Medicare does not afford coverage for massage therapy. Where customers seek general comfort rather than medical treatment, they pay out-of-pocket. Therefore, earnings for massage therapists likely will rise with the incomes of potential customers in their area.
Significant percentages of massage therapists work part-time. In the United States, approximately one-half are part-timers. The American Massage Therapy Association reports that, in 2015, nearly 45 percent of massage therapists worked in an additional profession.
The full-time rate in Canada is 53 percent, compared with 81 percent of workers overall in that country. The New Zealand Government reports that six out of ten massage therapists in New Zealand work part-time. According to the Australian Government, only three in 10 are full-time workers.
Generally, massage therapists, especially self-employed ones, set their own hours. They accept walk-in clients or may choose to see clients by appointment only. To accommodate clients’ work schedules, massage therapists may work evenings or weekends.
Bonuses and Benefits
According to PayScale, massage therapists in the United States receive bonuses ranging from $200 to $5,000. Commissions have reached as high as $28,637. In Canada, commissions average C$6,500.
Massage therapists in Australia and New Zealand who are not self-employed obtain pension benefits in the form of compulsory employer contributions, or superannuation. Also, employees in New Zealand are entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave, after 12 months of continuous employment. Those in Australia also enjoy paid time off and holiday pay.
Generally, the services of massage therapists will enjoy strong demand. Customers rely on massage therapy for stress relief, pain management, rehabilitation from injuries, conditioning for athletics and sports and treatment of certain diseases.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of massage therapists in the United States should rise by 22 percent through 2024.
The Australian Government’s “Job Outlook” projects between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings for massage therapists through November 2019. As of November 2015, Australia had approximately 11,800 massage therapists.
In New Zealand, prospects for employment are generally “average,” but are stronger for those with experience.
While salaries appear to be low compared with the skills, many massage therapists work part time and depend upon clients and billable hours. The occupation often serves as a second source of income.
Prospects for earnings depend upon the number and repeated visits of clients, as well as whether the client has insurance or sufficient money to pay for the services. Where clients need massage therapy for treating medical conditions, payment through insurance is more likely and can afford massage therapists better prospects for earnings.