Who Are Today’s Massage Therapists

Who Are Today's Massage Therapists

A Look at Today’s Massage Therapists

According to an  IBIS World Industry Report back in January 2015, they say it is “estimated that there are 300,000 to 350,000 massage therapists and massage school students in the United States.”  But just who are these therapists and what are their demographics.

Today’s Massage Therapist

The AMTA or American Massage Therapy Association is the largest non-profit professional group serving massage therapists, massage students and schools.  Their purpose is to promote massage to the general public and support research as well as fair state licensing.

According to a 2015 AMTA survey, today’s massage therapist looks like this:

  • Although 21% of massage therapists were younger than 35 in 2015, the median age for a therapist is 45.
  • Most therapists come into this industry as a second career.
  • They are most likely to be sole practitioners. – 67%
  • The majority (86%) are female practitioners.
  • They are averaging about 20 hours a week of actual massages.
  • They are charging an average of $68 for a 1-hour massage.
  • They are earning an average of $47 per hour for all massage-related work
  • The average annual income for a massage therapist is about $24,519 – this includes tips.
  • They are providing their services in a number of different settings.
  • They depend on repeat clients.


Again, according to AMTA surveys about education:

  • Massage therapists have an average of 671 hours of initial training.
  • 93% of massage therapists take continuing education classes.
  • The continuing education consists of 20 hours per year.

How Much Are Massage Therapists Being Paid?

According to the Department of Labor Statistics:

The median annual wages in 2015 were $38,040. So what does “median annual wages” mean?

It means that half of the massage therapists earned more that $38,040 and half of them made less. The lowest 10% earned less than $18,860 while the highest 10% made more than $74,860.



1 Enlightened Reply

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  1. Jill I Ursich says:

    Ok..I have several questions, I was a Massage Therapist for over 10 yrs..for a Holistic Chiropractor in Redondo Beach, also the same location, where our Massage School was located. I stayed and worked as a student and as a grad student. I then stayed working there as well as 2 different high end spas in the beach area and fill ins for other Chiropractic offices, and had in home massages and did many free lance massage parties. I was constantly reinventing myself, and taking many jobs, as well as additionally studying other forms of energy healing, as in Qi Gong. At the time the CA license was not required within the State of CA.. We had to get licenses in the City we were working in, which became very expensive. I continued to work for the holistic chiropractor, who after 25 yrs in business, shut his doors last year, due to an illness he had been battling.

    So, I have the experience, the time, the patience, the different Massage styles I have worked with, but apparently I need this NEW CALIF Massage License. How much is the license in Riverside County area, can you use in LA County or is it generalized for the entire State of CA?

    Another question, where can you find a Massage job and get paid over 7 4,000 a yr as a therapist, unless you are working for a celeb or a Sports Team? Please advise I have worked on many celebrities..thru the beach area job. I look forward to hearing from you. Additionally, the cost of a license is also weighing heavily upon me. Thank you, Jill I Ursich

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