Massage Therapy Salary

How much do independently employed massage therapists earn?

The pay for massage therapists can vary greatly, but, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), their average income, including tips, was about $22,165 in 2014. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) places this much higher, at about $41,790, as of May 2014. However, income for massage therapists can rely on a number of factors, including how many massages they do per week, any specialties or modalities they work in, where their clientele is based, and so on.

However, the most important factor in their income may be the repeat business they have, according to the AMTA. Most are not salaried and work on a per-hour basis. The AMTA shows that the typical massage therapist charged $68 for a one-hour massage in 2014, up from $65 in 2013. Considering related charges, such as overhead and insurance, this may come down to about $43 per hour, including tips, reports the AMTA.

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Is massage covered by health insurance?

Some health insurance companies may cover massage therapy, but typically coverage is provided through: major preferred provider organizations (PPOs), automobile insurance and worker's compensation, according to the Holistic Massage and Wellness Clinics (HMWC). Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Medicare and Medicaid are less likely to cover massage, reports HMWC.

Where can massage therapists work?

At least 15 percent of adult Americans received a massage between July 2013 to July 2014, according to the AMTA, showing that there is a need for massage therapy in the U.S. Unlike other jobs, therapists are not stuck working in just one place in the occupation. In fact, 60 percent of therapists work as sole practitioners, meaning they are employed by themselves and run their own businesses, according to the AMTA. This can give them flexibility as to when they work but also as to where they work. As a matter of fact, 37 percent work out of their own home while 36 percent work out of their own office, shows the AMTA. Others choose to be employed for organizations such as spas, healthcare facilities or in corporate settings.


  1. Industry Fact Sheet, American Massage Therapy Association, no date. https://www.amtamassage.org/infocenter/economic_industry-fact-sheet.html?src=navdropdown
  2. Major Medical Insurance, Holistic Massage and Wellness Clinics, no date. http://hmwcinc.com/major_med.htm
  3. Massage Therapists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319011.htm

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