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Job Outlook for Massage Therapists 2019


Job Outlook for Massage Therapists 2019

Breaking news: The job outlook for massage therapists in 2019 looks great!


With increasing demands and balance between work and personal life, we get caught up in the stress of daily routines. That’s why it’s important that we take time out of the hustle and bustle of daily life to rest. There’s no better way to do that than to get a massage.


Massage therapists are in high demand and 2019 is the time for students to make a career move. As more people are turning to massage as a form of stress relief, the demand for qualified therapists is increasing.


Increased Demand for Massage Therapist


According to the American Massage Therapy Association(AMTA), massage therapy is currently a $16 billion industry. Estimates show that there are 385,000 massage therapists and massage therapy students currently in the United States.


Revenue from alternative complementary healthcare providers, which includes massage therapists, increased 4 percent, and employment increased approximately 3.3 percent.


Revenue growth is projected to continue at an average rate of 4% per year through 2022. Surveys indicated that roughly 47.1 – 59.5 million adult Americans (19 – 24%) had a massage at least once.


The data is clear: the massage therapy industry is growing at a staggering rate, and there’s no better time to enter the industry than now.


Highly-specialized levels of bodywork skills such as deep tissue, sports, orthopedic and acupressure are enabling massage therapists to be recognized as leaders in a growing healthcare market that is ready to be capitalized on.


Massage Therapist Job Opportunities In Washington State are Increasing


In order to understand this massive growth, one must take into account consumer awareness. As the population ages, more people are turning to massage to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle.


Now is the time to open a massage franchise for the industry is undergoing rapid growth. Massage schools, and massage services such as Massage Envy, Elements Massage, LaVida, and Dreamclinic have blossomed in Seattle and across the nation.


The AMTA has stated that, as a result of increased licensing standards and acceptance, consumers are discussing massage therapy with their physicians.


Research indicates that the number of positions will increase as insurance companies provide reimbursement to patients.


Doctors are recommending massage therapy, so we can presume that therapy is in a period of astounding growth.


increased_demand_for_massage_therapistsProjected Job Outlook Growth for the Massage Industry


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of massage therapists is projected to grow approximately 26 % from 2019 to 2026.



This significant growth is much faster than average for all occupations and will lead to continued employment for massage therapists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects that 37,700 more therapists will be added in the next decade.


This growth positions massage therapy as a player in the future job market, as other markets are expected to stagnate.  Why? Research indicates the answer is that massage therapy is turning into a healthcare need instead of a luxury purchase.


Demand for Skilled Therapist is Growing


Demand for massage therapy treatments will continue to grow in the coming years as healthcare specialists and state insurance health plans reimburse and cover treatment. Soon after, it’s very likely that we’ll start seeing massage therapy included as part of medical treatment plans in more and more U.S. states.


The increasing number of spas and massage clinics in recent years underscores a growing demand for massage services. Individual earning potential as a massage therapist will depend on the workplace and ability to build a large client base.


Building a client base comes with practice and experience. In addition, specializing in certain types of massage can give one an edge over other massage therapists, thus bringing in a higher income.


Location Location Location LMT Success


Location plays a key role in predicting your future salary as a massage therapist. If you live in a big city such as Seattle, you can expect a substantially higher paycheck than a massage therapist living in the South or Midwest. If you plan on opening your own practice, remember that you can’t do away with overhead expenses.


Self-employed? Factor these expenses in: massage supplies, advertising, rental space, marketing materials, association dues and fees, liability insurance, laundry, etc. These costs will affect your ability to effectively run your business.


Living in a highly-populated area, your costs in any of these regards may be substantially higher. Remember, you will likely manage a higher client base, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of growing. It’s also good to keep overhead expenses for tax time in mind with increasing revenue.


Massage therapists who continue to learn their trade, will continue to increase their wages and employment opportunities.


There are many workplaces to consider such as hotels, airports, corporate environments, personal care services, and offices of other health practitioners.


However, the number one career path for a massage therapist is to be self-employed as an independent contractor and work out of a private or shared office.  Salaries can increase to well over $100,000 a year for those who own and operate a successful massage therapy clinic.


Continued Employment for Massage Therapists


People are realizing that massage therapy can enable them to be more productive in their home and professional life. This can be seen as one of the first steps in the growth of a more universal massage therapy market.


As such, it’s no wonder that the number of massage clinics in Washington and around the country have increased exponentially and are only expected to increase more in the coming years.


This significant growth is much faster than the average for all occupations and will lead to continued employment for massage therapists.


While there are several opportunities for entry-level massage therapists, established and experienced professionals generally consider establishing their own practices. Therefore, they increase their salaries to well over six figures per year. Indeed, this may be the end goal for any dedicated massage therapy student or practitioner.


Acceptance of Massage Therapy


Massage therapy is more accepted as a valid and useful form of patient care. It is growing as a viable option in patient treatment and wellbeing plans. It’s worth noting that massage therapy will continue to grow as more and more influential citizens and groups of people advocate the practice.


Self-employed therapists who continue their education in massage and obtain special degrees and certification, will find that their earnings will constantly increase.


Skills that Affect Massage Therapist Salaries


As one might expect, the salary for licensed massage therapists depends largely on experience and skills. According to Payscale.com, experience affects registered massage therapist salaries.


On average, massage therapists earn $12.22-$56.11 per hour, with an average hourly pay of about $19.74, which means that you can increase your hourly pay rate by nearly five times base pay across your massage therapy career.


Those wondering if they should go into the field may learn that tips are available on top of regular pay. Tips range from about $1.30-$13.72 per hour, with overtime tip pay at $9.50-$42.50 per hour.


Becoming a Massage Therapist is Great Career Choice


The field of massage therapy is a great career choice with its low entry educational requirements, tuition, and equipment costs. Practical when compared to a typical four year college degree or trade school with much higher fees and expenses.


Most self-employed massage therapists have their own client base. Depending on skill, education, and expertise, many of these therapists manage high-scale businesses and earn much-higher-than-average salaries. Keep in mind, however, that these salaries vary by state.


Living in a high income state may be better for anyone looking to earn stellar money in the LMT field. Or you may consider a city like Anchorage that has higher pay in excess of the average U.S. therapist income.


This business is excelling in good and bad times and will be a high paying gig for years to come.


Where the massage therapy jobs are increasing and available



Spas and Salons:


When we think about relaxation, the first thing that comes to mind is the spa or salon. Spas offer the most relaxing and comfortable environments with most clients paying premium prices for services. Working as a massage therapist at a spa or salon requires knowledge of deep relaxation and stress-relief techniques.


Working in this environment is providing the client with an environment conducive to relaxation and maximum stress relief. Many spas looking to hire therapists will pay from $15 to over $90 per hour depending on location and experience.


Rehabilitation, Chiropractic, & Physical Therapy Centers:


These centers create outstanding experiences through helping alleviate pain and treat (TBI) traumatic brain injury, spinal cord, and other catastrophic conditions. These positions offer $80 – $100 hourly pay and $60,000 to over $110,000 annually along with benefits including 401K, dental, medical, and vision.


Working for a physical therapy center requires experience, knowledge, and an advanced skill set. The goal of rehabilitation therapy is to provide injured patients with the care they need to improve their condition.


Therapists working at rehabilitation centers must ensure patient recovery and minimize pain clients are experiencing as a result of injury. Physical therapists, or PTs, are largely tasked with improving the wellbeing and motion of patients who have experienced debilitating injuries.


If you are interested in therapeutic massage therapy, you may find this form of employment the most rewarding. Likewise, this is especially true if you are interested in sports. As teams utilize personal staff, a therapists can work with younger, more athletic clients if that is their prerogative.




There are many opportunities for massage therapists in hospitals. Many hospitals now offer massage complementary massage service to their patients. There are many jobs available for those looking for a massage therapist position in a hospital.


Providence Health & Services is one of the largest health care providers in Washington State. It offers offers Swedish, Reflexology, Craniosacral, Aromatherapy and more services from licensed therapists.


As you might have imagined, the number of hospitals requiring quality massage therapists is increasing. Many hospitals contain physical therapy departments with high-need patients.


Also orthopedic departments, in particular, make use of massage therapy to reduce patient pain. More hospitals are exploring acupressure and massage to reduce patient stress and pain and help with mobility.


Cruise Lines, Hotels, and Resorts:


Most Cruise lines hire licensed massage practitioners to provide relaxation and other services to guests, crew, and passengers. Candidates from all countries must be qualified in Swedish massage. Professionals can increase their chances of keeping busy if they have additional skills like Reflexology, Sports Massage, Deep Tissue, etc.


Massage services are becoming a norm in hotels and resorts  and offer these services to patrons to stay competitive. Marriott International Inc., runs advertisements looking for massage therapist on a regular basis and offers full, part-time, and on-call positions. Also, Hilton Hotels, Hyatt, and Four Seasons is hiring massage therapists.


These days, massage therapists are in demand and readily available when traveling. This is important for anyone looking to enjoy their trip with confidence and have a more relaxed experience while vacationing.


Healthcare and Wellness Centers:


Healthcare centers employ therapists when medicine and other treatments do not work rapidly, therefore, massage can be added to supplement. Some patients don’t want to take medication and use massage therapy for the health of their bodies and minds.


Many health and wellness centers are non-profit community oriented and sometimes rely on volunteer work and government grants.


Healthcare centers around Washington are turning to massage therapists to offer patients an alternative form of care. This is especially important for those patients that are experiencing intense pain that medicine isn’t relieving.


Working for a healthcare center is an option where you make a significant difference in lives while gaining valuable experience.


Athletic Facilities:


Many sports teams hire massage therapists to help their athletes rehabilitate from injuries and to relieve or manage pain and increase mobility and agility. Furthermore, athletic trainers are also one kind of massage therapists and are routine for many professional teams.


Russell Wilson quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks spends 10 hours a week getting massages. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback massage routine consists of five two-hour sessions each week that is really important when playing in the NFL.


More sport teams offer massage therapists to their players for recovery from injuries to help them through their workouts.


In addition to helping with muscle injuries, sports therapist may help with bone injuries and general diagnoses and treatments.


As a sports therapist, you specialize and work with pro athletes, provide value, and earn a nice paycheck.


Shopping Centers and Malls:


If you’ve ever been to a major mall or shopping center, there’s a chance you’ve seen the massage booths and chairs that have sprung up in stores all over Washington State and elsewhere.


These locations offer quick 15 to 60 minute chair massages for cheap prices and without making an appointment. Clients are asked to lie down in chairs and receive bodywork from the professionals manning the booth or kiosk.


A growing trend for massage services is in store front and kiosk locations directly in busy shopping malls. Kiosks are great for quick chair massages and bring top dollar to the practitioner and relaxation to busy shoppers.


Malls and shopping centers serve as great locations for anyone looking to open their own practice, simply due to the large amount of walk-in traffic available and growing popularity.


On Demand Massages and IOS/Android Massage Apps:


With the growth of the massage therapy industry, professionals have found it increasingly difficult to make time for their clientele. That’s why on demand innovative methods for patient care is necessary.


Through their website and Apple/Android App, Zeel (www.zeel.com) provides on demand massages that allow consumers to choose from a variety of techniques (Prenatal, Deep tissue, Swedish, Sports, etc.)


Zeel allows you to connect with a network of 9000+ therapists and get a quality massage in home or office!


With call on demand you hire your favorite practitioner or first available session at a place of your choosing.


On demand massages are becoming popular due to the busy schedules of a therapists clientele. Zeel.com is quickly becoming the UBER and LYFT of the massage industry through their real time tracking, booking, and customer service. And of course they are looking for qualified practitioners who want to join their network.


“Post workout recovery. In home sports massage from Zeel.”

Matthew Judon, Baltimore Ravens Linebacker


Zeel is available nationwide and in the following areas: Ballard, WA, Bellevue, WA, Bothell, WA, Burien, WA, Downtown Seattle, WA, Factoria, WA, Federal Way, WA, Issaquah, WAKent, WA, Kirkland, WA, Mercer Island, WA, Northgate, WA, Queen Anne, WA, Redmond, WA, Renton, WA, SeaTac, WA, Shoreline, WA, Tukwila, WA, West Seattle, WA, Woodinville, WA.


Reflexology Centers:


In addition, another popular and growing trend for the massage industry is foot treatment or reflexology. Foot reflexology massage is growing in popularity for those suffering from everyday wear and tear on the feet.


Based on an ancient form of therapy, reflexology gives relief from those suffering from plantar fasciitis and ankle injuries, as well as, calming nerves, and decreasing stress and anxiety in the entire body.


With all the nerves, bones, and muscles in the foot, getting massage on the feet can alleviate many symptoms.


Great Time to Become a Licensed Massage Therapist


Many massage therapy techniques are now in high demand with job positions and wages increasing steadily.


If this isn’t reason enough, keep in mind there is incredible mobility for those looking to excel in the industry.


You can continuously increase your salary through working for others, you can also start your own practice and earn $100,000+. That’s a great deal, and it’s one that should be seriously considered by anyone interested in a massage therapy career.


Likewise there’s nothing more rewarding as a massage therapist than helping others gain the care they need. As a massage therapist, you will have the opportunity to impact many lives—you can’t put a price on that.


Best Cities for Increased Massage Therapists Salaries and Wages


ZipRecruiter.com mentions January 24, 2019 the New York Therapist salary is the highest in the U.S. with and hourly wage of $25.94 and an annual salary of $53, 952, Washington State is (20th) with and hourly wage of $23.52 and $48,913 per year.


As for the highest paying cities for LMT Jobs, Seattle, WA ranks third at $25.74 per hourly wage and $53, 542 for annual salary. Tacoma WA ranks high with an hourly therapist wage of $24.22 and $50,372 annual salary.


Also according to ValuePenguin.com some of the best cities for a massage therapist include Eugene, OR., Spokane, WA., Kennewick, WA., Seattle, WA., Olympia, WA., Bremerton, WA., and Bellingham, WA.

best_cities_for_massage_therapists_According to Glassdoor.com the average base pay for massage therapists in the U.S. is $45,408 per year with a low of $28,000 and a high of $75,000 with additional cash compensation average of $6,190 and a range of $690 – $21,789.


As stated by Salary.com, the average massage therapist salary in the United States is $50,026 as of January 16, 2019, with a range of $44,773 – $57,471.


In contrast, this range depends on factors such as education, certifications, skillset, location, and the number of years in the profession.


In Conclusion


Massage therapy employment jobs are secure and increasing and offer above average pay. Becoming a licensed massage practitioner is a viable career path now and in the foreseeable future.


There are thousands of employment opportunities as seen on job boards postings for LMT’s.


It’s very likely that massage therapy will continue to grow. Beginning a career in massage therapy is an investment for anyone who has the slightest interest in the field.


With an ever increasing market, massage therapy is a booming field that offers stable employment for years to come.


With various companies, hospitals, and patient care centers searching for qualified massage therapists, there is no better time than 2019 to start your career in massage therapy.


Finally. Want a job that aims, above all else, to make people feel better? Consider becoming a massage therapist today!

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