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Massage Therapy Salary Guide

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Median Annual Salary

The median salary for massage therapists is $49,860 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: $49,860

Projected job growth: 18.3%

10th Percentile: $29,040

25th Percentile: $39,080

75th Percentile: $67,300

90th Percentile: $90,530

Projected job growth: 18.3%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $25,670 $18,780 $56,460
Alaska $127,470 $41,710 $151,400
Arizona $49,920 $29,920 $93,010
Arkansas $38,440 $25,480 $51,800
California $58,920 $30,830 $100,830
Colorado $51,010 $28,640 $72,520
Connecticut $66,140 $33,650 $122,620
Delaware N/A N/A N/A
District of Columbia $50,500 $40,150 $76,340
Florida $46,720 $29,000 $74,130
Georgia $46,720 $19,310 $71,890
Hawaii $61,520 $23,120 $104,050
Idaho $57,220 $31,810 $75,730
Illinois $60,880 $34,370 $95,840
Indiana $49,930 $33,770 $80,470
Iowa $47,450 $31,980 $63,510
Kansas $47,090 $22,280 $68,560
Kentucky $47,110 $23,500 $81,110
Louisiana $35,580 $18,780 $70,300
Maine $44,930 $27,550 $95,250
Maryland $57,860 $35,980 $101,330
Massachusetts $49,740 $35,840 $92,870
Michigan $58,240 $31,410 $87,240
Minnesota $48,600 $43,540 $74,870
Mississippi $45,330 $30,850 $108,440
Missouri $28,730 $23,190 $68,990
Montana $52,260 $22,430 $95,970
Nebraska $55,990 $25,910 $83,000
Nevada $36,010 $18,520 $63,470
New Hampshire $62,400 $40,960 $75,690
New Jersey $48,250 $29,960 $71,190
New Mexico $41,510 $26,080 $67,600
New York $49,350 $34,250 $97,690
North Carolina $55,170 $32,470 $108,330
North Dakota $49,330 $29,500 $80,110
Ohio $47,140 $29,640 $74,060
Oklahoma $47,350 $26,240 $54,080
Oregon $77,080 $34,430 $93,600
Pennsylvania $58,940 $29,170 $95,800
South Carolina $44,500 $17,560 $65,060
South Dakota $41,500 $29,650 $69,540
Tennessee $49,010 $20,450 $65,450
Texas $48,100 $24,290 $76,280
Utah $51,100 $24,420 $83,550
Vermont $80,360 $27,590 $103,760
Virginia $52,870 $25,060 $83,010
Washington $76,290 $39,160 $99,960
West Virginia $48,550 $25,690 $76,130
Wisconsin $47,180 $19,110 $78,990
Wyoming $49,650 $31,150 $53,900

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 median salary; projected job growth through 2032. Actual salaries may 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

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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 $127,470
Fairbanks, AK $126,310
Salisbury, MD-DE $95,250
Kingston, NY $80,780
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA $80,360
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $78,930
Bend-Redmond, OR $77,860
Salem, OR $77,600
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $77,280
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $75,720

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.

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.
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.
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.
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 18.3% through 2032, according to the BLS, which is much faster than average across all other occupations. The cities with the highest levels of employment of massage therapists are:

Metropolitan Areas Employment
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 5,230
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 5,220
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 2,820
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 2,440
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 2,210
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 2,100
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 1,900
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 1,780
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 1,670
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 1,590

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 $49,860
Physical Therapists $97,720
Occupational Therapists $93,180
Chiropractors $75,380
Physical Therapist Assistants $62,770
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