OMG!!! You would not believe how many times I have heard this statement. Massage therapy can be a very profitable field, but if you do it wrong it won’t be. I’m going to bust some myths about making money as a massage therapist. Why? Because I want our students and graduates to be successful!!
Myth #1 – You can’t make money as an LMT
Let’s start with the nitty-gritty. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage is $47,350. According to the AMTA‘s 2020 Massage Profession Research Report, 63% of Massage Therapists earned all their income in 2020 from massage. This means that the majority of massage therapists are full-time making a living as a massage therapist. Are there those that do this part-time? Yes. Are there those that don’t want to work full time as a massage therapist? Yes. Are there those that can’t make a living at it? Yes, but I feel with education and drive, they absolutely could.
Myth #2 – You can only work at a chain and will receive poor pay.
Is your only option as a massage therapist to work at a chain? NO!! There are so many options. Right now, every spa, chiropractor, resort, etc is begging for massage therapists to work for them. If you are right out of school, I absolutely recommend working for someone starting out. Opening a business is hard!
If you start at a chain, you are probably looking at making around $30,000 per year on the lower end and an estimate. Most chains have ways for you to increase the amount you make per massage, such as working in the evenings or weekends (PS this is when most people want massages and will tip more). This isn’t a bad income starting out and doesn’t include many of the perks that these businesses can provide such as 401Ks (Hello retirement planning!!!)
Myth #3 – I can charge $100 per hour right out of school
You can but that doesn’t mean people are going to pay it. To charge a high price for your service, you need experience as well as to be in a demographic that can afford to pay this premium. There are quite a few things you need to consider when setting your price for services. The demographic of the area, the average price in the area, your experience, your expenses for the business, and your salary that you need to take home are some of the things that you need to take into consideration. If you work in West University Place where the household median income is $250,000 per year, yes, you can easily charge more than if you live in Waco, where the median household income is only $40,000 per year. So yes you can charge $100 or more per hour starting out, but there are so many factors to take into consideration to determine if you should charge $100 per hour.
There are so many myths out there about money and massage therapy. Leave me a comment and tell me what other myths you have heard or questions you have about making money as a massage therapist.