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Massage Therapy Salary Guide

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Median Annual Salary

The median salary for massage therapists is $46,910 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—but median salary doesn’t tell the whole story of this career, which is anything but your typical 9-to-5 job. There are many factors that play a role in your salary as a massage therapist, including what city and state you work in, the environment you work in, and what specialties you might choose.

Massage Therapists

National data

Median Salary: $46,910

Projected job growth: 20%

10th Percentile: $24,450

25th Percentile: $34,770

75th Percentile: $60,510

90th Percentile: $77,600

Projected job growth: 20%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $121,120 $30,330 $154,310
Alabama $28,810 $17,050 $48,730
Arkansas $37,970 $23,440 $60,400
Arizona $43,150 $29,160 $61,890
California $47,590 $29,270 $92,590
Colorado $47,900 $29,670 $62,600
Connecticut $53,060 $26,100 $113,830
District of Columbia $47,230 $31,340 $61,250
Delaware $43,600 $24,040 $78,690
Florida $38,600 $23,360 $73,190
Georgia $38,050 $18,050 $62,650
Hawaii $49,080 $23,260 $96,520
Iowa $46,440 $24,580 $60,490
Idaho $47,980 $24,470 $128,110
Illinois $49,130 $23,670 $79,010
Indiana $47,960 $22,680 $80,880
Kansas $39,370 $16,860 $66,060
Kentucky $48,700 $28,810 $78,560
Louisiana $29,550 $17,440 $78,990
Massachusetts $58,190 $37,070 $97,240
Maryland $46,940 $24,440 $122,960
Maine $39,200 $30,150 $77,450
Michigan $59,040 $26,040 $97,410
Minnesota $46,910 $29,130 $73,290
Missouri $36,610 $21,420 $60,450
Mississippi $43,460 $28,310 $51,520
Montana $59,380 $22,680 $82,970
North Carolina $47,120 $22,740 $68,920
North Dakota $60,550 $30,380 $87,620
Nebraska $46,640 $23,110 $79,010
New Hampshire $47,980 $23,250 $77,440
New Jersey $44,870 $29,110 $61,670
New Mexico $38,330 $28,190 $79,010
Nevada $30,700 $17,720 $59,380
New York $47,460 $31,930 $75,940
Ohio $46,490 $29,380 $76,190
Oklahoma $47,550 $26,160 $59,380
Oregon $70,300 $30,350 $94,020
Pennsylvania $46,410 $25,890 $71,500
Rhode Island $30,350 $24,540 $30,350
South Carolina $35,880 $17,440 $55,800
South Dakota $30,780 $23,340 $49,300
Tennessee $45,400 $18,850 $60,400
Texas $42,860 $22,330 $62,680
Utah $45,910 $18,020 $65,640
Virginia $46,460 $21,190 $76,250
Vermont $47,850 $29,650 $61,340
Washington $65,610 $31,150 $88,610
Wisconsin $39,300 $17,470 $61,450
West Virginia $46,640 $23,340 $75,450
Wyoming $47,820 $29,010 $61,690

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

In this Article

Highest Paying Cities for Massage Therapists

The BLS lists a number of U.S. cities with median salaries that tend to skew higher than the national average. A massage therapist’s full-time pay, however, can vary greatly no matter where you work, says Lisa McNeil, M.Ed, LMT, CFSS-M, a structural integrationist at Brookfield, Wisconsin’s, Momentum Movement Clinic. It is usually less than the median listed.

The American Massage Therapy Association cites an average workweek of 26.6 hours—that’s partly because other parts of the job, like the day-to-day administrative tasks of running a business (if you’re a sole practitioner), along with the marketing work associated with engaging new clients, are tasks that are often uncompensated. According to the BLS, 38% of massage therapists are self-employed.

Metro Area Median Annual Salary
Anchorage, AK $99,550
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $76,240
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI $75,410
Eugene, OR $75,410
Salem, OR $74,030
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $73,770
Bend-Redmond, OR $73,650
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $71,380
Olympia-Tumwater, WA $62,310
Wenatchee, WA $62,160

Factors that Impact Salary

Median salary can vary widely due to geography, your experience level, your certification, and the type of massage specialty you may offer, as well as your workplace—massage therapists can practice anywhere from spas to hospitals.

Geography:

Cost of living is a big factor in how far your salary will go. In general, living in cities will come with a higher cost of living—but with that often comes more job opportunities and options.

Experience:

More years of experience can bring slightly higher pay, but other factors include the massage specialties you may offer, continuing education classes you may have taken, or specialty certificates you may hold.

Licensing and Certification:

Most states require a license to practice massage therapy, which you get by taking the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination. While it’s not mandated by states, board certification through organizations like the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) can also be helpful to make you more competitive for jobs, particularly early on in your career. It can be something employers look for—and it indicates your commitment to the trade. Employers may offer a higher salary to those who have pursued board certification.

Workplace:

Massage therapists can find jobs in many different workplaces, from hospitals and medical clinics to spas and health clubs. Each has a very different atmosphere. The top median salary, according to BLS, are for therapists who work in chiropractic offices: $55,300. Working in other health practitioner offices offers the next highest median salary: $47,870.

Specialty:

Different specialties provide opportunities to work in a variety of settings that put to use your particular skills and preferences. According to McNeil, orthopedic massage, which focuses on injury rehabilitation, is a fast-rising specialty. There’s also demand for therapists who have post-concussion and neurological training for elite athletes.

What’s the Demand for Massage Therapists?

Massage therapy is a fast-growing field, projected to grow 20 percent through 2031, according to the BLS, which is much faster than average across all other occupations. The states with the highest, and the lowest, levels of employment of massage therapists are:

States with Highest Level of Employment:


  • California: 9,880
  • Texas: 8,510
  • Florida: 7,070
  • Colorado: 4,420
  • New York: 3,840

States with Lowest Level of Employment:


  • South Dakota: 150
  • West Virginia: 150
  • North Dakota: 140
  • District of Columbia: 90
  • Wyoming: 80

How Do Massage Therapist Salaries Compare?

While the median salary for massage therapists is lower than those of other rehabilitative professions, it can vary, especially if you own your own practice.

Career Median Annual Salary
Massage Therapists $46,910
Physical Therapists $95,620
Occupational Therapists $85,570
Chiropractors $75,000
Physical Therapist Assistants $61,180
niki stojnic

Written and reported by:
Niki Stojnic
Contributing writer

lisa mcneil

With professional insight from:
Lisa McNeil, M.Ed, LMT, CFSS-M, Structural Integrationist
Momentum Movement Clinic