How Much Can You Make as a Massage Therapist?

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If you would like to know more about the different income opportunities for massage therapists and learn about ways you can increase your salary, you have come to the right place, as in the following guide, we will cover all bases of massage therapy income and ways to enhance your resume.

Massage Therapy Annual Salary

First up, we will let you into all the numbers regarding massage therapy. Of course, depending on your location, your salary will differ, with the highest pay in the US for massage therapists being in New York. However, as estimated by, the average annual base salary of a massage therapist in the United States is $54,963. 

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Use Your Resume to Stand Out

Once you have the training and certifications that guarantee your pay rate to go up, you need to put these skills to use in a resume. To ensure your resume is professional and reflects your achievements in the best way possible, it is always a safe option to use a resume template. ResumeHelp has specific massage therapist examples, which you can use for free! 

Best Paid Skills and Qualifications 

A base salary is calculated by analyzing a range of massage therapists’ income, but it is important to remember that everyone’s situation may be different. For example, some licenses and qualifications will increase your pay if you secure them. Here are some of those attributes; 

  • Physical Therapy License – A physical therapy license is necessary if you want to go into massage therapy’s health side. By obtaining a physical therapy license, your salary can increase by over 35% of the base salary of massage therapy. 
  • AED Certification – An AED (​​automated external defibrillator) certification is desirable in many massage clinics and increases your base salary by up to 25%. You can fulfill an AED training program to gain the certification, either completing this online or in person.
  • Specialize in Orthopedics – An Orthopedic massage therapist focuses on soft tissue injuries, using their hands to promote injury rehabilitation. If you were to specialize in this area, you could raise your base annual pay by 16%. 
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Other Skills to Highlight 

The following skills may not directly affect your salary, but having them will help you secure a massage therapy job, so they are important to note! 

  • Communication skills
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Customer service
  • Stamina
  • Attention to detail
  • Patience
  • Empathy

Years of Experience

With massage therapy, it is essential to note that your salary will likely increase with more experience, so if you are new to the field and have just finished your training program, your wage will probably be a little less than you would like to begin with. This is why going into a salon job after training is a good idea, as you will have consistent work hours and pay while you gain experience with clients and working as a team.

Don’t let entry-level pay put you off! We all have to start somewhere, and as you gain more experience and certificates throughout your massage therapist career, your income will rise. 

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Another positive of pursuing a massage therapy job is that there will always be opportunities to progress and learn more. You will likely start with essential and popular massage therapies such as hot stone and Thai massage. Once you feel confident handling clients and have fulfilled standard salon massage therapy roles to a level you are happy with, you can change your environment, opting for a Spa or hotel. Or, you can take on more training and go back into education to enter a physical therapy role, which in the long run would be very rewarding. 

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