After working for the 알바 erotic massage industry for around nine years, I am painfully aware of its darker side. I tried four times over the following years to quit the massage business.
When I left home for the first time, I was living with my girlfriend, who was just a couple years older, who was working at that kind of arrangement [of massage parlors]. One of those women worked for like two years at the first massage parlor, one and a half years at the second. The first massage parlor was raided three times, because competing massage parlors were going to tell on us, so one of these women found another small parlor that she could work in. It was the woman that had directed me to the opening in a restaurant, so I will not go looking for more massage jobs in that area.
Massage jobs will not be nearly as challenging as jobs in restaurants, and one of those women might be making a lot more money. I worked to maintain a little bit of a chitchat with clients, since my massage skills were not that good to begin with. Now, one of those women makes $3,000 a month or something, certainly less than I made doing massages.
Between tips and base charges, I ended up making $230 dollars for two hours of massages. I was going to do massages and only the arm work – there was no extra, in the parlance of the business, meaning sex work and a blowjob. I would sit at the table with the handlers and massage workers, discussing passionately about overcoming challenges in our lives, as well as the erotic massage industry. More importantly, massage therapists are paid only about 70% of the hours that they work, and the remaining hours are spent on non-massage tasks related to running a business.
From a median wage of $84,270 in 2014, the wages for massage therapy have fallen by 8.5 percent to the present-day median. In both states, the median massage therapy salary is more than $60,000, with wages having increased in the past five years. According to job site PayScale, New York City-based massage therapists make on average 85% more than the national average. According to NCBTMBs annual survey, board-certified massage therapists make $33,139 on average a year – over $7,000 higher than the average reported by AMTA members, certified or not.
Industry experts estimated that the median day spa owner salary was $80,000 a year or more, and that many owners earned over $100,000 annually. Because many massage therapists are employed part-time instead of full-time, the hourly compensation figures provide a more accurate picture of earnings than the annual salary. According to the AMTA, practitioners who make home visits or work in resorts make the most money per hour, and massage therapists who work in chain spas usually make the least.
Many massage therapists like having the flexibility to work part-time, set their own hours, and make additional money while working other jobs. In the highest-paying states for massage therapists, they make an average of $77,080 per year, far higher than the average of all professions nationwide. While our guide is meant to provide a better idea of what you can earn as a massage therapist, keep in mind that, like most careers, what salary you make will vary greatly depending on what city and state you live in, where you work, and for how long, what specializations you have, and how well you are able to market yourself and attract clients. The starting salary of your opening position will vary depending on the skills required and experience the therapist has.
Massage therapists in large metro areas may be able to charge two and sometimes three times as much as those in smaller towns, so it is best to do your research to determine what the market will allow. Massage therapists generally have completed some type of postsecondary educational program with 500 hours of training or experience, though standards and requirements differ widely from state to state or another jurisdiction. Successful completion of a massage therapy program generally requires at least 500 hours of training, although some programs require 1000 hours. State regulations typically require completion of an approved massage therapy program and passing of a test.
While not every state licenses massage therapy, it is possible that local regulations do exist. In states that regulate massage therapy, workers are required to obtain a license or certification before practicing massage therapy. As a result, many erotic massage parlors are operating using holistic licensing, which is an affront to the legitimized holistic healing community.
Yvonne Chen, the private-sector engagement director for anti-child sex trafficking organization ECPAT-USA, has spent years working with Chinese women who are trafficked into IMBs, and she agrees that the illicit massage industry is incredibly complicated, different from mainstream sex trafficking. Yvonne Chen said people trafficked in IMBs are often vulnerable immigrants who came to the U.S. to earn more money for their families or help ailing relatives, and are often duped into working in massage businesses on the premise they are working for a traditional massage spa. A 60-year-old former Taiwanese massage therapist, who agreed to be identified only by her widely used moniker, Tina, said a decade ago that a travel agent helped secure her visa for her trip to the United States enticed her into working in a New York massage parlor.
Recent studies have shown massage therapy is a $18-billion industry, more than twice as large as the industrys forecasts in 2005. Giving potential spa owners more certainty about the resilience of the spa franchise industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects massage therapy jobs will grow by 21% between 2019 and 2029. Using employment data from the BLS, we analyzed and put together a breakdown of average massage therapist salaries in each state across America. Read on to get an in-depth view of where massage therapists earn more money, and where they earn less.