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Self-Employed Massage Therapist

April 23, 2015

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Classes Taught in English Only.

A career in massage therapy is attractive for many reasons because it offers so many options. You can choose which modalities you’ll work in, what kind of business (spa, resort, medical practice, etc.), and area of the country where you want to work. You must even consider whether you want to be a self-employed massage therapist or work for someone else..

Two male massage therapist students giving a woman a massage


There are advantages to working for a business; not the least of which is a steady clientele and a steady paycheck. If you are just starting out, it’s an opportunity to gain experience in the massage industry while not worrying about the business side of it.

In many cases, after you complete massage training you can go to work for a business as an independent contractor. This is a unique relationship in that you are not technically an employee of the spa, but they set your appointments. You use their facility, equipment and supplies. You’re responsible for paying your own taxes.

The Pros and Cons of being Self-employed

As with any profession, there are advantages and disadvantages to being self-employed. There are several issues to consider.

Flexibility – Working for yourself allows you to set your own schedule. However, you have to schedule at the convenience of your clients, which can mean working odd or long hours. You may also experience times when work is not steady, which means you’re making less money.

Pay – You establish what you charge for services and keep all of the proceeds. When you work for someone else, the customer is charged an hourly rate or a fee, but the massage therapist is paid a portion of that fee. The salon or spa keeps the remainder to pay overhead, managers and administrative staff. You also have to determine and pay your own taxes, which tend to be higher for self-employed individuals.

Responsibility – You have no managers or bosses to answer to. You can determine who you will work with, when you’ll work and where. This also means that you’re responsible for areas where you may not have any experience, including accounting and marketing.

Helpful Qualities to be Self-employed

No matter which industry, people who work for themselves exhibit similar characteristics.

  • Passion
  • Discipline
  • Good decision-making skills
  • Networking and ability to build relationships
  • Confidence
  • Persistence
  • Resourcefulness
  • Motivation
  • Good organization and time management skills
  • Entrepreneurial spirit

Are you ready to get massage therapy training?

First Institute offer hands-on massage education to help you on the path to a rewarding and exciting career. For more information about our accredited massage therapy program, contact us today.

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