Massage Therapist Salary Guide & Career Outlook

Massage therapists in the United States see a median annual pay of $30,225, and in Canada, the pay is similar at C$42,322 ($31,565). Those who work in New Zealand have a relatively low salary at NZ$30,273 ($20,991). The pay is comparable in India and South Africa at Rs 444,000 ($6,908) and R117,916 ($8,561). This guide covers the massage therapist salary ranges in 7 countries. After this section, there will be a focus on the impact of experience and industry.

How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make per Year by Country?

Massage Therapist Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $19.24 C$35.61 ($26.56) E8.30 ($8.79) AU$25.85 ($19.39) NZ$35.00 ($24.27) Rs 213.46* ($3.32) R100.00 ($7.27)
Annual Pay $30,225 C$42,322 ($31,565) E20,156 ($21,348) AU$53,420 ($40,075) NZ$30,273 ($20,991) Rs 444,000 ($6,908) R117,916 ($8,561)

An (*) indicates that the hourly rate was not available and was extrapolated from the annual salary.

massage therapist salary

Massage Therapist Salary Influencing Factors

Massage therapists get paid an hourly rate than an annual salary. In addition, tips and bonuses are normal for many massage therapists. The salary ranges described below come from self-reported data to Payscale.

The only country without enough data to report was India. The salary information from India is under the title of occupational therapist.

1. Location

How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make in the US?

Massage Therapist Salary US Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  $16,788  $11.69
Maximum  $51,076  $55.62
Bonus  $198.66 – $4,055  No additional pay
Comission/Overtime  $97.87 – $28,637  $10.19 to $50.34
Total Pay $21,931 – $95,023

How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make in Canada?

Massage Therapist Salary Canada Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  C$27,021  C$14.77,863
Maximum  C$61,851  C$81.39
Bonus  C$1,210  C$0.61 – C$9.93
Overtime  No additional pay  C$40.00
Total Pay C$29,753 – C$156,853

How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make in the UK?

Massage Therapist Salary UK Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  E11,962  E1.44
Maximum  E42,100  E1.89
Bonus  E983  E1.63
Comission  No additional pay  E1.00
Total Pay E13,802 – E53,215

How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make in Australia?

Massage Therapist Salary Australia Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  AU$24,190  AU$1.15
Maximum  AU$70,710  AU$1.88
Bonus  AU$2,000  AU$1.59
Comission  AU$600  AU$1.00
Total Pay  AU$37,759 – AU$99,005

How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make in New Zealand?

Massage Therapist Salary New Zealand Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  NZ$28,112  NZ$1.40
Maximum  NZ$123,647  NZ$1.41
Bonus  No Additional Pay  NZ$1.00
Comission  No Additional Pay  No Additional Pay
Total Pay  NZ$29,933 – NZ$125,637

How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make in India?

Massage Therapist Salary India Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  Rs 231,502  Rs 111.29
Maximum  Rs 628,439  Rs 302.13
Bonus  No Additional Pay  No Additional Pay
Comission  No Additional Pay  No Additional Pay
Total Pay  Rs 232,533 – Rs 1,040,000

How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make in South Africa?

Massage Therapist Salary South Africa Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  R17,879  R1.69
Maximum  R205,368  R1.76
Bonus  R8,000  R1.67
Comission  No Additional Pay  No Additional Pay
Total Pay  R120,000 – R220,000

2. Experience

The income picture for massage therapists in Canada increases significantly from 10 to years of experience from around C$53,000 to C$99,000. In comparison, pay in Australia does not increase until one has at least 10 years of experience and it increases slightly. The salary for massage therapists in the United Kingdom actually goes down sharply for those in their late-career. However, only 1 percent of the respondents fit that category so that decrease is not representative of a significant sample. In the United States, pay follows a logical, linear increase over time.

The most common category of experience in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States is 1 to 4 years. The other countries did not have data points for most frequent level of experience. This data matters because it skews the salary ranges. If one can assume that pay generally increases with experience, then the majority of information coming from those with less than 4 years of experience would skew the results toward entry-level salaries.

3. Industry

In the United States, there are approximately 168,000 massage therapists. Self-employment is very common in this position. There are different regulations for massage therapists. In the United States, they are required to have a license.

The highest paying industries for massage therapists are massage therapy schools, individual services, companies and enterprises, home health care, and specialty hospitals. This represents a very small segment of the overall employment spectrum for massage therapists. The states with the highest concentration of massage therapists are Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Washington, and Nevada. There is overlap between the highest mean salary in that Alaska is also the top paying state. Other states with a high salary are New York, Vermont, Delaware, and Washington.

Schedule & Working Hours

Approximately half of massage therapists are self-employed. Half of these professionals also work part-time. Massage therapists who are not self-employed will often work for a chain of massage therapy locations.

Massage therapists will see around 5 or 6 patients a day depending on the length of the massage. It is a physically demanding job and overuse injuries can occur such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Bonuses & Benefits

As it is a practice-oriented field, massage therapy schools prepare students for employment immediately upon graduation. Another benefit to being a message therapist is that they can pursue an official license. This provides a level of validity to the profession.

One of the biggest benefits to the job is that they have a lot of flexibility in their hours, especially true for those who are self-employed. This also means that a massage therapist is in control of their own work and specializations. One of the drawbacks of being self-employed is the lack of employee-provided benefits. There can be an option for some of these benefits for massage therapists employed by a business. The table below shows healthcare benefits provided by country.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 19 36 9 7 22 13 40
Dental 14 31 0 1 0 0 10
Vision 10 19 0 0 0 0 10
None 79 60 91 93 78 88 60

Career Outlook

The job outlook for massage therapists in the United States is 22 percent through the year 2024. This is a much higher than average job outlook. The increase in the use of licenses to certify their work along with an increased demand for their provided services increases the job openings. Most people still consider massage therapy as a discretionary form of income. Therefore, people will not spend their money on getting a massage when finances are tight.

There are limitations to a massage therapy career trajectory. No well-rounded education will be provided due to the practical nature of their education. They could pursue additional schooling in athletic training or physical therapy in order to expand their career options.

The majority of massage therapists are women. In Canada and Australia, 86 percent are female while in the United Kingdom the number is 82 percent and in the United States, it is 81 percent.

Conclusion

Massage therapists see a wide salary range depending on where they work. Freelancers will charge higher rates than massage therapy chains. However, they also have to pay for their own supplies and choose their own benefits, if needed. If you enjoy helping people and learning techniques to promote health and wellness then pursuing a massage therapy career could be a smart decision.

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