Home » Massage Therapy » Salary

How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make?

The salary of a massage therapist varies widely depending on where you work, what you do, and how many hours you devote to your practice.

massage therapist reviews services with client
Home » Massage Therapy » Salary

The median salary for massage therapists is $43,620 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: $43,620

Bottom 10%: $22,580

Top 10%: $79,150

Projected job growth: 32.2%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $36,300 $18,550 $52,970
Alaska $82,600 $22,140 $132,950
Arizona $43,240 $26,740 $66,690
Arkansas $47,200 $25,210 $63,410
California $34,400 $27,230 $80,940
Colorado $46,020 $25,170 $65,170
Connecticut $42,460 $24,340 $81,100
District of Columbia N/A N/A N/A
Florida $36,360 $19,770 $66,090
Georgia $23,490 $16,770 $69,490
Hawaii $55,700 $25,330 $89,120
Idaho $44,860 $23,520 $78,050
Illinois $49,940 $20,450 $76,900
Indiana $44,780 $27,060 $72,470
Iowa $36,120 $20,290 $68,740
Kansas $29,210 $17,770 $80,830
Kentucky $49,930 $18,710 $75,440
Louisiana $23,890 $17,000 $57,630
Maine $53,430 $27,910 $87,240
Maryland $41,440 $23,140 $83,190
Massachusetts $61,790 $41,880 $112,470
Michigan $49,840 $23,570 $75,540
Minnesota $54,400 $22,680 $83,810
Mississippi $34,870 $17,570 $50,860
Missouri $37,080 $20,050 $67,500
Montana $40,070 $19,230 $68,250
Nebraska $57,390 $31,290 $79,390
Nevada $28,260 $18,000 $85,180
New Hampshire $49,590 $32,070 $83,930
New Jersey $45,490 $23,420 $68,620
New Mexico $46,050 $24,320 $83,750
New York $52,560 $27,200 $89,200
North Carolina $41,220 $19,150 $67,460
North Dakota $45,790 $18,300 $65,590
Ohio $48,000 $20,150 $79,750
Oklahoma $38,030 $20,950 $52,940
Oregon $61,220 $26,010 $96,720
Pennsylvania $41,620 $21,460 $85,640
Rhode Island $28,110 $23,370 $55,690
South Carolina $36,170 $18,110 $60,240
South Dakota $30,550 $22,430 $48,450
Tennessee $42,560 $18,940 $83,240
Texas $41,820 $21,560 $63,430
Utah $44,250 $18,550 $73,450
Vermont $38,730 $24,650 $77,510
Virginia $43,690 $18,780 $63,630
Washington $65,140 $40,480 $86,640
West Virginia $39,660 $20,620 $75,740
Wisconsin $48,190 $19,300 $68,730
Wyoming $49,760 $28,510 $76,090

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2020 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. 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.

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.

Metropolitan AreaMedian Annual Salary
Port St. Lucie, Florida$86,910
Anchorage, Alaska$78,700
Eugene, Oregon$72,780
Salem, Oregon$69,580
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington$69,270
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii$68,350
Wenatchee, Washington$68,010
Portland-South Portland, Maine$65,650
Greeley, Colorado$64,740
Yakima, Washington$64,520
Sebastian-Vero Beach, Florida$64,100
Boston-Cambridge, Massachusetts; Nashua, New Hampshire$63,880
Kennewick-Richland, Washington$62,780
Bellingham, Washington$62,700
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida$62,270

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 32% between 2020 and 2030, according to the BLS, which is much faster than average across other occupations. The states with the highest, and the lowest, levels of employment of massage therapists are:

States with Highest Level of Employment:


  • California: 11,450
  • Florida: 6,450
  • Colorado: 5,240
  • New York: 5,180
  • Texas: 4,440

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.

JobMedian Annual Salary
Massage Therapist$43,620
Physical Therapist$91,010
Occupational Therapist$86,280
Chiropractor$70,720
Physical Therapist Assistant$49,970
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