This article discusses a very interesting and effective route some savvy new massage therapists take after finishing massage school and getting their massage license.
While this route involves some sacrifice initially, the long term benefits are tremendous, both in terms of job security and marketability as well as in higher wages.
Some new massage therapists will actively seek jobs at higher end luxury facilities, such as a spa in a Ritz Carlton or a Four Seasons hotel. You may think that these facilities pay a good wage because their clientele pay so much more for a massage experience.
The truth is that these facilities often pay a much lower wage, sometimes as low as $15 an hour. Shocking? This is true. But if you think about it, these facilities have a high operating cost of business. The price their clientele is paying includes the price for the atmosphere, the facility itself and the overall ambience.
For a massage therapist however, while the wages may be lower, tips can sometimes be quite significant depending on the clientele that stops in. Many high net worth business executives, celebrities and athletes only go to these types of facilities. These types of clients are generally more generous as well when it comes to tipping. That said, tipping is never guaranteed.
So why would a new massage therapist seek a job at a luxury hotel or a reputable high end spa? The answer is because of the long term benefits such a job offers. Having a couple years or so of experience in such jobs looks amazing on a resume. These facilities are highly desirable, and potential employers seek out massage therapists who have had experience at these facilities.
High end facilities are also known to train well and instill a higher level of customer service etiquette in the practitioner, a skill set that is also highly desired and sought after by potential employers. The short term sacrifice can really pay off in the long term. Not only will you have an easier time finding your next job, but you will likely also command a higher wage.
Another point to note is that only YOU know how much each job pays. The fact that luxury spa facilities pay such a low wage is not common knowledge. In fact, go ask an average individual what they think. They will likely tell you that high end luxury type facilities offer the highest wages. This is the common perception out there from a consumer’s perspective.
The best time to adapt this career building strategy is earlier in your career. Financial demands will only likely increase in the future, so you want to do this while you can afford to get paid less. Remember that it is only a short term sacrifice. You will likely make a lot more later in your career than you will have left on table initially while working a relatively low paying job. Keep your focus on the long term benefits.
Many massage therapists also take this route with the intention of building a strong rapport and relationship with their clientele where their clientele can follow them long after they have left their employers. Many times these therapists start their own businesses. With a portfolio of high end clientele, you don’t need to perform too many massages to earn a good living.
Talk about working smarter and not harder: Yet some additional food for thought.