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The typical college grad, after 4 years of school and often tens of thousands in student loan debt can expect to make $30,000 a year or less (if they can get a job at all now). An experienced 5+ year professional in demand can make $60,000 a year. Of course this varies from industry to industry, from city to city, but my point is this: Massage Therapists typically think in terms of hours, most other professions think in terms of a year when it comes to income. And when you start your career you make less than when you are experienced.
There's an unrealistic gap in expectations in most new MT's (and often in experienced ones too).
How would you answer this question:
A) If I agreed to pay you $40,000 a year, would you work for me full time as a massage therapist?
B) If I paid you $20/hour, would you work for me full time as a massage therapist?
How many said "YES!" to A and "NO WAY!" to B? I'll bet many did - am I right?
Guess what - they're absolutely the same. Two weeks off, 40 hours a week. It's the same damn thing. Ok, Ok, I can already hear the comment of "Wait, wait, no therapist works 40 hours a week!" Well, you certainly can, and I certainly have, but for arguments sake let's say you think 30 hours a week is more reasonable. Equivalent hourly rate? $26.66 (that's not including tip income). The tip is another 10-20% bonus, so now your making almost $50,000 a year working 30 hours and charging $26.66.
What continues to boggle my mind is how few MT's get this and absolutely REFUSE to work for less than $60/$70 an hour. What's $60 an hour + 10% in tips working 30 hours a week? $99,000 a year. If I offered you a job working 30 hours a week for $100,000 a year, would you feel good about taking it? I can tell you most doctors would jump on that opportunity.
I've created an easy to use worksheet online to calculate your annual income given your hourly rate, hours worked per week and weeks off per year. If you have other therapists working for you, fill out the bottom section too and you can see what they contribute to your income. I'm not sure how it works if multiple people are trying to use it at the same time, so let me know if you want a clean copy and I can e-mail it to you.
Inspiring Massage Success