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I hear this coment about certain spas: "oh its a good working environment, the ambiance is great, but the pay sucks." If an employer does not pay you fairly, other factors do not add up to anything. Spa work is not a spa vacation. You're not the one getting the massage. Find good work. Get paid. Go on vacation.

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Pay for me at Massage Envy is Great. Plus I receive massages as often as I want at a 75% discount. What that comes out to be is $19.50 for a 1 hour massage. Free CE classes plus full benefits for those who work 30 hours a week or more. Plus discounts from many different companies for being a Massage Envy employee. I love it and am truly enjoying my experience with them.
I agree with this. I work in a spa but the pay is not all that. I work there mostly because of the prestige of being there. It has served me well to say that I work there. It has given me credibility and opened some doors for me. I only allow myself to be there part-time though. I pursue other things that pay more. I have also found that different spas pay different amounts. I get a small hourly amount at the one spa plus tips. At another location I get 40% of what they charge for the massage so I am on call there. This is better but they insist that they won't pay me 50% because the extra 10% is because the MTs are supposed to use their products. I never use their oils because they are never available when I come there to do a massage and I don't have time to keep searching around for stuff so I bring my own supplies. I work through a wellness company and I get 50% of the cost of the massage. I have private clients and work through a golf club and get full price. I did not get into this field to make little or nothing. While I love the spa environment and think it is much less stressful than my previous legal career and working in law firms, I still want to earn what I am worth. All those perks are nice but they do not pay the bills. Additionally, since our job is so physical we have to be careful not to do too many massages each week. It is easy to burn out in this business and when you are not getting paid that much it is more of a lure to do a LOT of massages in order to make the income. I know I am a healer and that I have gifts but I do not intend to just give them away. This is a real career and massage is a real business and should be treated as such. None of us should be selling ourselves short and rationalizing receiving minimal income for the intensely physical work that we do.
Donna I work 19 hours a week for Massage Envy and do on the average of 12 massage in the week. This is great for me. I do not want more than that as I to have a private business.

Donna C. Agrinsonis, LMT said:
I agree with this. I work in a spa but the pay is not all that. I work there mostly because of the prestige of being there. It has served me well to say that I work there. It has given me credibility and opened some doors for me. I only allow myself to be there part-time though. I pursue other things that pay more. I have also found that different spas pay different amounts. I get a small hourly amount at the one spa plus tips. At another location I get 40% of what they charge for the massage so I am on call there. This is better but they insist that they won't pay me 50% because the extra 10% is because the MTs are supposed to use their products. I never use their oils because they are never available when I come there to do a massage and I don't have time to keep searching around for stuff so I bring my own supplies. I work through a wellness company and I get 50% of the cost of the massage. I have private clients and work through a golf club and get full price. I did not get into this field to make little or nothing. While I love the spa environment and think it is much less stressful than my previous legal career and working in law firms, I still want to earn what I am worth. All those perks are nice but they do not pay the bills. Additionally, since our job is so physical we have to be careful not to do too many massages each week. It is easy to burn out in this business and when you are not getting paid that much it is more of a lure to do a LOT of massages in order to make the income. I know I am a healer and that I have gifts but I do not intend to just give them away. This is a real career and massage is a real business and should be treated as such. None of us should be selling ourselves short and rationalizing receiving minimal income for the intensely physical work that we do.
I am both a Massage Therapist with nearly 20 years experience and have owned and operated a full service salon and day spa for the last 7 years. I have 4 massages therapist who work for me the longest having been employed for nearly 5 years.
I have worked in spas, physical therapy departments in hospitals and have had my own private practice. I have worked for great employers and some not so great. Often, your work is what you make of it.
I understand the value of a good massage therapist from both sides of the business and sadly, find that so many massage therapists have a very unrealistic view of their worth to a business. Many who are unable to make it in their own private practice walk in and think that they should be making 60 to 70 percent commission. When I ask them how much money they put in their pocket in their own business at the end of the month after expenses very few had any idea but they felt that 50 percent was not fair.
If you are a good massage therapist and work hard and are of value to an employer and your clients, you can earn a good living. Often times people who are not very good at massage or give poor customer service wonder why they are paid $65 an hour.
Day spa owners (there are of course exceptions) don't want to try to make a killing off your hard labor or try to take advantage of you. What most of us are trying to do is keep our doors open, employ people and if we are lucky, get a check too!
I agree, if you are not paid what you are worth you should walk out the doors. What is also important is to find out what your real value is.
Hi5 Donna,
thanks for the rejoinder.
Best regards,
Alex

Donna C. Agrinsonis, LMT said:
I agree with this[...]This is a real career and massage is a real business and should be treated as such. None of us should be selling ourselves short and rationalizing receiving minimal income for the intensely physical work that we do.
Hi Christopher,
Thank you for providing a pov from both sides of the fence.
I'm not sure I understood the "$65" part of your comment...
Best regards,
Alex


Christopher Gates said:
[...] Day spa owners (there are of course exceptions) don't want to try to make a killing off your hard labor or try to take advantage of you. What most of us are trying to do is keep our doors open, employ people and if we are lucky, get a check too! I agree, if you are not paid what you are worth you should walk out the doors. What is also important is to find out what your real value is.
Hi Darcy,
sounds like it is working out well for you. I dread to imagine what a $19.50 massage would earn the therapist doomed to perform it but I'm sure that as my Texas friends say: "beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."
Best regards,
Alex


Darcy Neibaur said:
Pay for me at Massage Envy is Great. Plus I receive massages as often as I want at a 75% discount. What that comes out to be is $19.50 for a 1 hour massage. Free CE classes plus full benefits for those who work 30 hours a week or more. Plus discounts from many different companies for being a Massage Envy employee. I love it and am truly enjoying my experience with them.
Overall I think massage therapists would do well to always keep their options open and continue to explore additional opportunities. I have done this for two years and I keep learning about new opportunities. I almost took a job with Spa West, which is the biggest spa in this area and they would have paid me $9 per hour and had me working like a Hebrew slave doing many many massages every day. Yesterday I interviewed for a part-time position for in-house massage (at a smaller spa) as well as doing outcalls and the in-calls will pay no less than $50 per massage plus up to $20 tips and the outcall will pay $82 plus tips. Not bad. More like what I was expecting to make in this field. This lets me know that there are great opportunities out here if you take the time to look for them and look at all types of entities.
What I meant by the $65 dollars an hour is about the average price of a massage in our area. Many massage therapists leave school convinced they are going to make 50 to 60 dollars an hour because they have not taken the time to research how much the average massage therapist really makes.

If a massage therapist owns their own office and is in their own office 6 hours per day and they do 4 massages per day at 65 dollars and hour they are making $260 per day and about $44 dollars an hour before expenses. Take out rent, advertising, phone, the time spent traveling to and from the office, supplies etc and you are closer to $30 an hour or about 50% commission. I don't think this is bad money at all. I would never work for less than 50% commission and the environment has to be great.

There are alot of very demanding jobs that pay much less, are alot more work, don't allow the freedom we have or the wonderful rewards. Again, I am not saying work for less than you are worth, just understand what your are really worth in the marketplace.
As with any job, you need to figure out -- realistically -- what you think your time is worth and work for someone who will pay you that sum -- a combinations of rate and volume, not some arbitrary % your heard from some teacher at massage school.

if you can't find someone to pay you that amount, then you probably are not being realistic.

i wish the industry would ban the whole notion of %. It leads to bad thinking and emotional assessments instead of factual ones.

When I was a management consultant, MBA in hand, I was paid between 20 - 25% of what the partners billed me out to clients. It never occurred to me to think of it as a % -- mind you I was trained in such analysis - since it made no sense to do so. That "meager" % was more than what I thought I was worth, so I was quite thrilled at the prospects.

From the spa workers' perspective, 20% is, what was the phrase, "Hebrew Slave" wages.
The $19.50 is just what I pay. The Therapist who performs the massage still receives their full pay on employee massages plus I give them a great tip. it comes out to them making $60 off of me. It is about discounting the massage for the empyee receiving not the employee performing.

Alex Frigino MT said:
Hi Darcy,
sounds like it is working out well for you. I dread to imagine what a $19.50 massage would earn the therapist doomed to perform it but I'm sure that as my Texas friends say: "beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."
Best regards,
Alex


Darcy Neibaur said:
Pay for me at Massage Envy is Great. Plus I receive massages as often as I want at a 75% discount. What that comes out to be is $19.50 for a 1 hour massage. Free CE classes plus full benefits for those who work 30 hours a week or more. Plus discounts from many different companies for being a Massage Envy employee. I love it and am truly enjoying my experience with them.
So how much do you make at Massage Envy per hour on average? And what happens when you do not have clients? Are you paid for that also?

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