Understanding what the going pay rate is in your industry is critical especially when you are new. Ideally you will have researched how much a massage therapist gets paid before you even decided to go to massage school. But in the event you did not, it is never too late. Make sure you research the market before you actively enter the job search phase.
Aside from ensuring that you are getting paid a fair wage for your time, talents and services, there are two main reasons why it is important to understand your market:
First, there are still some facilities/employers out there who will offer you a job but low ball you in terms of pay. Remember that they are running a business at the end of the day. The less they pay you the more they can keep for themselves.
We continuously see new massage therapists take jobs at $10 an hour. This is simply not enough for the service you provide. Massage is not an easy job. It takes a toll on the body. You deserve to get paid a fair wage for a fair level of effort.
Second, many massage therapists quickly experience burn out not because of physical stress and the demands on their body, but because their jobs are not as financially rewarding as they thought they’d be. It is easier to overlook fatigue and physical discomfort sometimes when you are getting paid for it. But what happens when you don’t feel the pay is adequate?
This is when your job starts to get to you. This is when your morale turns lower. This is when you start to contemplate leaving your profession. Adequate research beforehand will ensure you don’t run into these situations and get off on the right foot and continue to maintain overall job satisfaction after finishing massage school.
Here are just a handful of practical steps we require you take to better understand your market:
Talk to others: This is a no brainer. Make sure you are talking to people. Whether they are your colleagues, senior students who got a job before you, instructors, existing practitioners, friends and family. Talk to anyone and everyone and pick their brains. Ask what they know.
Pay for a massage: Go get a massage and ask your therapist how they like it. Ask them what you can expect to earn when you get out of massage school.
Scour job listings: Look at as many job listings as possible and understand what each is offering. If the pay is not mentioned, call the number and ask them how much they are offering.
Use the internet: Scour the web for articles, blogs and forums where you can interact with others and learn more about the profession.
Understand the different massage jobs: You can earn a significant amount in tips in some massage jobs, while others do not offer tips, or not as much. Make sure you understand the difference. When considering jobs that do not involve tips, ensure that the base salary is high enough to compensate for the lack of tips.