As you may already know, massage therapy careers are currently in-demand.
As such, One of most common questions we get from prospective students goes something like this: “After sacrificing 9-months in massage therapy school and paying more than $9,000 for tuition, can you guarantee me a job and how much will I earn?”Wondering about your employment prospects and your earning potential is legitimate concern. After all, massage therapy school isn’t necessarily cheap and will take roughly a year to complete.
Unfortunately, I can't give you the straightforward answer you want.
No school can guarantee that you will be hired after graduation or that you will earn a specific amount. Massage School can train you for a massage therapy career, but cannot guarantee any form of employment.
Part of this is because specifics about employment and earnings are contingent upon many factors, including geography (where you seek employment), industry of employment (where you work – like, a spa vs hospital), and/or whether you work full-time or part-time.
Additionally, there’s a lot of subjective criteria, which is hard to measure, but does effect employment and earning potential, such as earning your state license (required for legal employment as a massage therapist), as well as the strength of your resume and networking skills.
As such, every prospective student is in a unique situation. This is true of every career field, not just massage therapy.
However, you can always evaluate the industry to see if the employment and earning potential odds, such as the job-demand (are employers hiring for this job?) and salary rates (what is the average pay?), are in your general favor.
How Much Will I Earn as a Massage Therapist?
Job-Demand: Your chances of getting hired are obviously greater if there’s demand in the job-market. The greater the demand, the greater your chances of getting hired. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massage Therapy jobs are projected to grow by 26% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than the national average. That’s an additional 42,100 massage therapy jobs nation-wide!
You can also look at additional data that applies more specifically to you to get a more accurate image of your employment potential. For example, does your particular state or city have a high-level of employment for your industry? Unless the job market is over-saturated, the greater the concentration of jobs in an area, the higher your chances getting employed are.
In May of 2018, Florida has highest employment level of Massage Therapists in the country, right behind California.
Earnings: Earlier we mentioned that you can look at official industry statistics to determine your earning potential. While this statistic is a little more difficult to analyze than job-demand, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does provide us with some earning information for Massage Therapists, such as the mean annual wage and percentile wage estimates.
According to the BLS, national-mean annual wage for Massage Therapists is $45,880. It is important to note to that this figure is only an “average.” Without getting into a math discussion, note that averages can easily be skewed by outliers in a set of data.
As such, percentile wages give us a more accurate estimate of what massage therapists make. In May 2018, approximately 50% of massage therapists in the US made $41,420/year. The bottom 10% made $21,340/year, while the top 10% earned $78,280/year.
It is also recommended that you look at other sources for information. For example, US News and World Report puts the median salary for Massage Therapists at $39,990 for 2017. Keep in mind that these are national-figures, and you should look for figures that reflect your geography.
In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL metropolitan area, the mean annual wage for Massage Therapists was $44,510 in May 2018.
How Long Will it Take to Find Job after Graduation?
While no school (including us) can guarantee you a job, you can look at a school’s official job placement disclosures to see if the odds are your favor. For example, the official job-placement rate in 2018 for Massage Therapy graduates at Acupuncture and Massage College was 78%. This means that almost 80% of our graduates that year found employment as massage therapists!
Again, we can’t guarantee that anyone will get hired, but it does show that our graduates have more than a “lucky chance” of finding of job. Part of this is that we have a great Career Services Department that offers help with job-search assistance, through long-established professional connections with local employers, as well as a large alumni network.
How Long Between Graduation and Finding a Job?
Unlike a general college education, massage therapy school is designed to train you for a specific career. Because Massage Therapists are in-demand, massage therapists seem to have little trouble finding work after earning their state license.
In the survey we quoted in our Massage Therapy Career Satisfaction article, out of 1,182 massage therapists surveyed, 57% “strongly agreed” that were easily able to find a job after earning their state license, while another 29% “agreed.” Of the remaining respondents, 8% were neutral towards the difficulty of being able to find a job, while 4% found it difficult. Only 2% of the respondents found it very difficult to find a job after earning their state license.
The same survey also measure how long it took the respondents to find a job. Overall, 62% were offered a job within 1 month after earning their state license, 22% said it took approximately 1 month before getting a job offer, 9% said it took 2-3 months, and 4% said it took 4-6 months. Only 2% took more than 6 months.
And so it seems that while we cannot guarantee you a job or say that you’ll make X amount after graduation, the odds are in your favor in Florida and by graduating from the Acupuncture and Massage College in Miami, Florida.
For more information about our massage therapy program, visit our program page or call us at (305)595-9500. You can also visit us in person; Acupuncture and Massage College is located at 10506 North Kendall Drive, Miami, Florida 33176.