Sports Massage Salary Package | BF (2023)

When someone starts a new job or business, they naturally want to know what they can expect to be paid now and in the future. How much does a sports massage salary cost, and how much can a therapist really expect to make? These are the questions we will explore in this article.

However, one of the first things to note is that most sports masseurs don't work 40 hours a week to provide massage therapy. If they do, they can burn out quickly. Doing 20-25 treatments a week is a busy and demanding schedule, and if you value your musculoskeletal health, you probably won't be doing more. If you have 20 treatments in a week and charge €35.00 per treatment, you could be earning around €700.00 per week. The table below gives you a summary of the weekly wages for sports massage by hours worked:


EUR 20 per massage

€ 25,- per massage

EUR 30 per massage

10 hours

£200 all inclusive

£ 250 full site

£300 all inclusive

15 hours

£300 all inclusive

£375 bag

£ 450 full site

20 hours

£400 all inclusive

£500 PK

£ 600 full site

25 timers

£500 PK

£ 625 full site

£ 750 full site

However, there are many variables that affect a sports masseur's earning potential and salary, so it's important to consider these along with the above calculations. Freelancing is certainly not as linear and precise as the table above.

Sports Massage Employee Salary

First, it's important to consider whether you want to work as an employee or self-employed. If you have a job, the salary is usually fixed, but there may be bonuses and commissions based on additional sales and overtime. While being employed has many benefits, especially when it comes to safety and security, it usually pays less than being self-employed because your employer also has to lay off workers. But you may have regular hours, you have a regular income, and you have other legal benefits like company pensions, vacation pay, and sick leave.

Sports Massage Salary Package | BF (1)


Most salaried sports massage therapists earn between £22,000 and £40,000 a year. This of course has a wide range, and there are many factors that can affect what you charge for sports massage, including the employer and its business model, location, level of experience and expertise, and the qualifications of the therapist. People with advanced sports massage credentials will, of course, demand higher compensation than those with only basic credentials.

Sports Massage Self Employed Salary

You can certainly earn more as an independent therapist, especially if you compare employee hourly rates to independent therapist hourly rates. However, it's important to keep in mind that you'll need to consider other costs associated with providing massage services, including your equipment, overhead, and taxes (often paid retroactively through a self-assessment).

Being self-employed certainly gives you more freedom to run your business the way you like, but you need to organize and manage yourself and your time effectively. You should also keep in mind that unlike when you are employed, if you are not treating clients, you generally will not make money unless you have a therapist working for you. Every week you will surely spend time and energy on advertising, promotions, inventory, doing towel washing, accounting, finding new customers and making sure your business complies with all laws. You should also consider seasonal changes and times when there may be low seasons to ensure you have a personal survival budget. It does involve a lot.

Sports Massage Salary Package | BF (2)

Most self-employed massage therapists earn between £35.00 and £50.00 an hour, although the actual profit they make actually depends on a number of factors including overhead such as rent, rates, equipment, travel and of course Tax.

Experience and qualifications matter

The qualifications obtained, as well as the experience and level of expertise of the therapist will certainly affect sports massage salaries, whether they are employed or self-employed. At this point, it is important to distinguish between the roles of sports massage and sports therapy and the associated expectations and responsibilities.

Sports massage is generally about manipulating soft tissues (skin, muscles, fascia, tendons, and ligaments) to relieve pain and release excess tension. It can be used in preparation for sports and sporting events, during events, after events and as part of a general musculoskeletal maintenance program.

Exercise therapy, on the other hand, is considered more of a holistic approach, with a greater emphasis on injury prevention and rehabilitation strategies. While exercise therapy may include some sports massage, it often includes other treatments such as cryotherapy, heat, and taping, among others.

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Athletic therapists are generally trained at the level and can be compared to physical therapists who are more specialized in sports. There is no legislation regarding exercise therapy titles, so it is not considered a "protected title" like other therapeutic titles (such as the Chartered Institute of Physiotherapists and the General Board of Osteopathy).

The starting qualification isLevel 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy.This qualification is considered the minimum standard required to practice as a sports massage therapist and is therefore essential for anyone wishing to pursue a career in this field. Once the introductory level course is completed, it is possible to progress toCertificate 4 in Sports Massage Therapy, a more advanced sports massage qualification. The topics covered by these qualifications are somewhat similar, but as you might expect, the Level 4 courses are much deeper and cover a wider range of applications.

Sports Massage Salary Package | BF (3)

The following pages on our website outline ourSports Massage ClassesMore detail.

People with more seniority tend to be paid more, not only because of their higher seniority, but also because they have a wider and wider range of skills to serve clients. As a result, they are able to meet the needs of more complex and challenging clients.

The importance of location

As with real estate, geography and location play a key role in economic factors such as wages. If you are located in a more affluent area, or if you decide to travel to these areas and promote your services, you may be charged more than areas that are more socially or economically disadvantaged. You may also find that clients in these areas spend more time with your massage services.

Where you live or work also affects the potential size of your customer base. For example, if you live and work in an urban area, you may be marketing your services to a more densely populated population than if you were in a rural area. A final consideration is your living, working and travel costs in the area.

Sports Massage Salary Package | BF (4)

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Many people are drawn to larger cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham because of the high density of workers there, especially office workers, who may need a sports massage more than someone who is very active during the day. However, the costs of doing business in these areas tend to be much higher, let alone buying or renting a home, so you really need to do your calculations before taking that leap of faith.

understand the competition

If you're considering the independent sports massage route, an important consideration is understanding local competition and market saturation.

How many other sports masseuses are there in your area? How much do they charge for their services? are they busy These are all important questions to have accurate answers to as it will give you great insight into whether or not your sports massage services are in need in the area.

Sports Massage Salary Package | BF (5)

If you're lucky enough to be the only one offering a sports massage, chances are that anyone who needs it will come to you. On the other hand, if there are several therapists offering the same or similar services as yours, it will be harder to establish yourself since clients have more choices (greater market spread). You may have to rely more on intensive promotional and marketing strategies to give your brand and services a competitive edge. At least until you prove yourself a premium service.

The Income Potential of Sports Massage

At this point, you may be asking yourself a very important question: "How much money can I expect to make?" The short and honest answer is that it depends. It depends on all the factors and variables discussed above, and possibly more.

If you do a little research like we did, you're bound to find websites that advertise high sports massage salaries and their role salaries. If you dig a little deeper, you'll find that many of these jobs are actually freelance. To further illustrate the lack of accuracy and transparency in sports massage salaries, we interviewed a leading job board with 240sports massage jobsAdvertised in the UK, these jobs have an average salary of £77,686.

In subsequent searches, the number of jobs across dates actually dropped to 229, but the average salary rose to £79,762. Average wages rose by £2,076 in just one day. According to the website, most of the jobs are in London and the South, with the East and the Midlands lagging slightly. There are certainly relatively few jobs in Scandinavia, Scotland and Wales.

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To earn a salary close to the above range, you'd need to charge around £60.00 per massage and work 25 hours a week (assuming one-hour massages). This calculation does not take into account holidays or sickness, nor fees or taxes! So while this is possible, especially in the South, you have to ask yourself: is this possible?

The table below shows the highest earning potential for different price ranges based on a 20 hour work week (4 massages 5 days a week). If you're working full time, 20 hours a week is probably the most realistic, as you'll need to free up time for administration, promotions, accounting, and general prep (laundry and cleaning equipment).

hourly rate

weekly total

Total per month

annual total

DKK 30 per hour




DKK 40 per hour



£ 38.400

DKK 50 per hour




While the figures above are certainly achievable, they are a far cry from the £70-80K advertised on any major job site, that's for sure! In the spirit of transparency, sports massage certainly has real promise and potential to earn a good salary, as evidenced by the stats above.

One factor not considered is you! Your desires, ambitions, goals, drive and determination will ultimately make or break your business. If you're passionate about exercise, fitness, sports, and people, you certainly have the framework to build a massage business and maximize your earning potential.

Finally, it's important to reflect on the idea that Rome wasn't built in a day. Too many people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a week, month, and year. Set realistic and exciting goals, then hold yourself accountable for their performance every day. This is the real key to success in any job or business, whether you own it or work in it.

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What type of massage therapist makes the most money? ›

18 high-paying massage therapist jobs
  1. Rehabilitation aide. National average salary: $31,455 per year. ...
  2. Rehabilitation technician. National average salary: $31,707 per year. ...
  3. Spa assistant. National average salary: $32,180 per year. ...
  4. PT assistant. ...
  5. Waxing specialist. ...
  6. Aesthetician. ...
  7. Skin specialist. ...
  8. Physical therapy aide.
Mar 3, 2023

Should I tip for sports massage? ›

Since tips are standard protocol for massage therapists, you should assume a 20 percent tip in any massage or spa treatment situation (unless a self-employed therapist specifically tells you their rate is all-inclusive).

How much do sports massage therapists make in the US? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $119,500 and as low as $20,500, the majority of Sport Massage Therapist salaries currently range between $40,000 (25th percentile) to $79,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $104,000 annually across the United States.

What is the most demand massage? ›

Swedish Massage

Probably the most popular of the massages on our list, the Swedish massage relies on a variety of techniques—effleurage, percussion and kneading, among others—to relieve tension, improve blood circulation and give your mood a boost.

Do massages make lot of money? ›

According to Zip Recruiter, entry-level massage therapists earn an average salary of $37,000 per year.

How much do you tip for a 60 minute massage? ›

In general, the 20% rule applies to tipping your massage therapist. So, if you're wondering how much to tip for a $100 massage, you'd want to tip $20. If you're considering how much to tip for a 60-minute massage (that costs $100) – you'd still tip $20. However, generosity is generally very appreciated.

How much do you tip for a $50 massage? ›

How much should you tip for a $50 massage? The standard tipping rate for a massage is 20%. So, for a $50 massage, you can tip $10. You can increase or lower your tip depending on how satisfied you are with their services.

Is 20% a good tip for a massage? ›

And if so, how much? We spoke to two etiquette experts, who suggested leaving a 15% to 20% tip, if you're able. Twenty percent is generous for the massage therapist and easy on the brain, which may be feeling more relaxed than ever after a massage. The math is straightforward.

How can I increase my massage revenue? ›

5 Money-Making Hacks for Massage Therapists
  1. Rebook More Clients.
  2. Raise Your Prices.
  3. Increase Your Tips.
  4. Create Package Deals.
  5. Sell Products.
  6. Add Services.

Is being a massage therapist a good side hustle? ›

This rate applies to full-time and part-time therapists, which makes it a perfect side hustle. When compared to side hustles outside the health industry, such as being an Uber driver, you can earn as much as $15 – $20 more per hour.

How do I sell myself as a massage therapist? ›

Promote Yourself As a Massage Therapist: 9 Creative Ideas
  1. Build a Great Website. ...
  2. Host an Open House. ...
  3. Volunteer at Local Events. ...
  4. Google. ...
  5. Harness Social Media. ...
  6. Loyalty Rewards. ...
  7. Set Up a Groupon Campaign. ...
  8. Blogs and Reels.
Oct 19, 2021

What is the highest level of sports massage? ›

The highest standard for a sports massage therapist is the Level 5 qualification. Level 3 and Level 4 are needed to progress to Level 5.

What state pays the most for massage? ›

Research Summary. After extensive research by the Zippia data science team, we identified these details of massage therapist salary by state for the United States: Alaska has the highest massage therapist salary of $69,287. Florida has the lowest massage therapist salary of $46,229.

Do professional sports teams have massage therapists? ›

Most NFL teams contract several licensed massage therapists to work on players during the season at the team facility.

What are the 7 categories in massage? ›

There are seven types of massage: Swedish, Shiatsu, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone, Aromatherapy, Thai, and Sports. Each type of massage has its own benefits, and in this article, we will discuss each type in greater detail and how they can benefit your massage therapy business.

What type of massage is the easiest? ›

1. Kneading. Perhaps the most easily performed by amateurs, kneading involves either using your thumbs or your palms to apply pressure onto various parts of the body. The idea here is to pull the muscle away from the bone, a practice that helps reduce muscle spasms.

What is the most enjoyable massage? ›

The Most Relaxing Types of Massages
  • Swedish Massage. The most common type of massage therapy, Swedish massage will help to relax you with a combination of specific movements including: ...
  • Hot Stone Massage. Another very relaxing type of massage is the hot stone massage. ...
  • Chair Massage. ...
  • Aromatherapy Massage.

How many massages do you give in a day? ›

Most massage therapists try to cap themselves to delivering 5 massage treatments a day. This enables therapists to deliver amazing treatments without compromising on their self-care.

How much can you make owning a massage business? ›

Industry experts estimate the average day spa owner salary is $80,000 per year or more, with many owners earning more than $100,000 annually. MassageLuXe stands out from the average day spa. As an owner, you have a chance to build wealth.

Are monthly massages worth it? ›

Including massage therapy in your busy schedule at least once a month can save time as well as relief body tension and stress in your mind that will keep you going strong physically and mentally.

Is it rude not to tip a massage therapist? ›

“You should always tip something after a massage—it's rude not to,” says Beth Rose, a licensed massage therapist and business owner in Kennewick, Washington. “We are providing a service. Plus, massage is hard physical work! A good tip gives us an incentive to serve you better the next time.”

How much do you tip on a $200 massage? ›

General Tipping Guidelines

“If you're at a day spa, it's appropriate to tip 15-20% of the bill”, says Navrajvir Singh, owner of Lakeview and Palm Tree. So if your treatment costed $200, it's appropriate to tip $30. You can go higher and tip $40 if the therapist provided exceptional service.

Why is a 60 minute massage only 50 minutes? ›

They say this is the industry standard but who really set this standard? There is no law in any of the 50 States that say a massage must be 50 minutes. This is something they use to pack more clients into a given day on a schedule. The reason is business efficiency at the expense of the customer.

Do you tip on an expensive massage? ›

Do You Tip a Massage Therapist? Although a tip is never required, if your massage is at a spa or hotel in North America, a 20 percent tip is standard if you were pleased with the service. (The exception is all-inclusive spas that have a no-tip policy.)

Should you talk during a massage? ›

Is it okay to talk during a massage? Yes it is, as the client you can choose to converse with your therapist whenever you want. If you want to talk, feel chatty or just want to be heard it can be an important part of the letting go process.

Should you tip massage therapist in cash or card? ›

Masseuses appreciate a 20 percent tip and like it even more if given in cash. Your tip can be left on a credit card or check, but most often good ole' fashion cash is preferred. That's because if you tip on your credit card, most spas will pay that tip out with the therapist's weekly or biweekly paycheck.

What not to do during a massage? ›

What NOT to Say / Do with Your Massage Therapist
  1. Ask your massage therapist to go see a movie / come to your house / etc. ...
  2. Excessive noises. ...
  3. Comment on our looks/attractiveness. ...
  4. Poke your head out of the room to let us know you're ready. ...
  5. Start undressing while we are still in the room. ...
  6. Touch us.
Jul 3, 2020

Why are massages so expensive? ›

If a massage therapist or company that employs massage therapists is trying to make a profit, then the price is based on their overhead (mortgage or rent, insurance, supplies, costs for supplies and licensing requirements and continuing education and marketing, etc.).

Is $5 a good tip for a pedicure? ›

Other tipping considerations at a nail salon

Try not to tip less than $5. If you're only getting a nail polish color swap for $20, consider rounding up the tip to $5. If you're using a coupon, discount voucher or gift card, base your tip on the normal price for the service.

Is it hard to get massage clients? ›

Remember that attracting clients to your massage therapy practice won't always be easy. There will be some rejection and you will have to take that in stride. The first question you should always ask is, “Who needs my services?” The obvious answer to that is that almost everybody needs massage therapy.

How do I get more sports massage clients? ›

Sports Massage Marketing Ideas
  1. 1 – Connect with Gyms & Personal Trainers. ...
  2. 2 – Connect with other Bodyworkers & wellness professionals. ...
  3. 3 – Host An Event or Workshop. ...
  4. 4 – Wellness, exercise, and fitness stores. ...
  5. 5 – Leverage The Power of “Influencers” ...
  6. 6 – Reach Out Directly (on Instagram) ...
  7. 7 – Solicit Your Existing Client Base.

How do you announce a price increase to a massage client? ›

Tips for Announcing a Price Increase to Your Customers
  1. Contact them directly.
  2. Let customers know well in advance.
  3. Remind them that higher prices mean better quality.
  4. Explain the reasoning behind the price increase.
  5. Ensure the entire organization is aware of the price increase before announcing it to customers.
Jan 5, 2022

Where are massage therapist paid the most? ›

Massage Therapist Salary By State: Highest-Paid Massage Therapists by State [2023] Research Summary. After extensive research by the Zippia data science team, we identified these details of massage therapist salary by state for the United States: Alaska has the highest massage therapist salary of $69,287.

Where is the highest demand for massage therapist? ›

Here Are the Best States for Massage Therapists In 2023:
  • Montana. Montana. ...
  • West Virginia. West Virginia. ...
  • Minnesota. Minnesota. ...
  • Idaho. Idaho. ...
  • Illinois. Illinois. Total Massage Therapist Jobs: ...
  • California. California. Total Massage Therapist Jobs: ...
  • Nebraska. Nebraska. Total Massage Therapist Jobs: ...
  • Kentucky. Kentucky.
Apr 6, 2021

Who is the most successful massage therapist? ›

U.S. massage therapist Chaz Armstrong won the gold medal in chair massage and a silver medal in overall best massage at the World Championship in Massage 2021 competition in Copenhagen, Denmark.


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