Part of the allure of a massage career is its flexibility: You can create a career that is all-or-part solo practitioner, part employed or part independent contractor.

However, massage jobs at companies throughout the U.S. vary in terms of compensation, benefits, hours required skills and perks.

Some companies offer a 401K, vacation or health benefits. Others are built on a pay-plus-compensation or pay-plus-gratuities model. Still others provide complimentary massage sessions or free continuing education to their workers.

This selection of companies that employ massage therapists (MTs)—as either “W2” employees or “1099” independent contractors—is presented alphabetically and serves as a cross-section of types of employment available in today’s market in order to give you an idea of what’s available for you to choose from.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of additional employers of massage therapists, including chiropractic clinics, sports-massage teams, hospitals and spas. You can find the type of work that works for you by conducting research and asking the right questions during the interview process. (Search for massage jobs on glassdoor.com, indeed.com, snagajob.com, careeronestop.com and other job aggregator sites.)

Corporate Oasis

City and state: Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, but a nationwide company.

Company focus: On-site chair massage; corporate massage.

Number of MTs working here: 50.

Are MTs employees or are they independent contractors? Independent contractors.

Average MT pay per hour: Varies depending on location and experience.

Average number of hours per week worked by an MT: This varies considerably. It is completely up to the therapist.

Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent massaging? MTs are paid for every hour they are at work, plus they are paid for a 15-minute setup time prior to events.

Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? Hourly rate.

Vacation time: No.

Health insurance: No.

Perks: Paid breaks; MTs are paid a minimum of two hours even if a job or time at an event is less than two hours; MTs are able to promote their table massage to chair participants on-site and afterward; massage exchanges; discount liability insurance; mentoring; opportunities to practice and share techniques and marketing skills with each other.

More about Corporate Oasis: “Our mission as a company is to educate people about the health and financial benefits of massage for both companies and their employees. Our vision is to move corporate chair participants onto the tables of the therapists. We want our therapists to grow in their practices so they have the careers of their dreams. We are a team.”

Elements Massage

City and state: 248 locations nationwide; eight corporate-owned locations throughout Colorado. (Each Elements Massage location is independently owned and operated; therefore, pay, perks and benefits vary by location. The benefits and compensation package outlined here pertains only to the eight corporate-owned studios in Colorado.)

Company focus: Franchise model; therapeutic massage.

Number of MTs working here: 127 MTs employed across eight corporate-owned studios in Colorado.

Are MTs employees or are they independent contractors? Employees.

Average MT pay per hour: A competitive rate.

Average number of hours per week worked by an MT: Full-time work starts at 25 scheduled hours per week.

Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent massaging? MTs are paid an hourly rate and a massage session rate. The two are weighted and they receive the higher of the two each pay period.

Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? MTs receive a massage session rate, and if a commission applies to that service they will get that commission in addition to the massage session rate.

Vacation time: After one year of service, MTs get one week paid vacation; after three years of service, they get two weeks paid vacation; after five years of service, they get three weeks paid vacation.

Health insurance: MTs who work more than 25 hours a week are eligible for health benefits.

Perks: A long-term career progression path; quarterly bonus and incentives; free monthly one-hour massage session; continuing education; a referral program; a health savings account; company-paid short-term disability insurance; 401K, matching; professional insurance reimbursement; ongoing training and development; body breaks; flexible work schedule.

More about Elements Massage: “Elements Massage certified therapists are focused on delivering a massage that is responsive to the individual needs of their clients. At every one of our more than 200 independently owned and operated locations nationwide, the benefits of massage therapy are paired with professional MTs, flexible scheduling, affordable prices, and outstanding service to create a truly therapeutic experience.”

Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa

City and state: 335 locations nationwide.

Company focus: Franchise model; massage therapy, facials and hair removal.

Number of MTs working here: No response.

Are MTs employees or are they independent contractors? Employees.

Average MT pay per hour: $17.

Average number of hours per week worked by an MT: Part-time or full-time.

Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent massaging? Varies by location.

Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? Varies by location.

Vacation time: Varies by location.

Health insurance: Varies by location.

Perks: Vary by location; for example, one location in New York, New York, offers free training; flexible scheduling; employee referral bonus; employee rewards program; sales contests; and insurance discounts. Some locations may offer a sign-on bonus.

Paid CE: Varies by location.

More about Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa: “Guests may choose from techniques including Swedish, hot stone, Himalayan Salt, sports, deep tissue, oncology and pre-natal massage.”

Healing Hands Body Therapy

Location: Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Company focus: Clinical massage therapy.

Number of MTs working here: Six.

Are MTs employees or are they independent contractors? Employees.

Average MT pay per hour: $19 to $23.

Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent massaging? All hours on the clock are paid. 

Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? No commission. However, MTs are paid a set rate per session and do not lose money if there is a discount or special. 

Vacation time: Employees accrue vacation based upon massage hours worked. If they work more, they earn more paid time off. There is no limit on how much vacation time they can earn in a year.

Health insurance: Employer allows a $100-per-month stipend to be paid at employee’s choice for health insurance or other health-related expenses. 

Perks: The company pays 5 percent into a retirement plan; $300 a year for continuing education; chiropractic care. Our benefits package is designed to encourage full-time hours.

More about Healing Hands Body Therapy: “We value the health of the team, both physical and mental, and encourage educational growth while rewarding motivated team members. We enjoy fun team traditions such as yearly company picnics, Christmas parties, apple cider and lemonade competitions, and opportunities to travel abroad as a team.” 

Incorporate Massage

City and state: Multiple locations nationwide.

Company focus: Corporate chair massage.

Number of MTs working here: 653.

Are MTs employees or are they independent contractors? Some are employees and some are independent contractors.

Average MT pay per hour: $35 per hour; pay varies by state.

Average number of hours per week worked by an MT: This varies based on the city. Therapists are notified of all work in their area and have the flexibility to set a schedule that works for them. For example, some therapists work full-time or very close to it, while others want to perform a few massages a month for a little extra income.

Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent massaging? They are paid for every hour they are at work.

Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? MTs are paid their hourly rate, regardless of whether or not their schedule is full. While this company does not offer commission, it may offer bonuses.

Vacation time: Therapists are allowed to take as much unpaid time off as they would like. Therapists also accrue paid time off based on the number of hours they’ve worked.

Health insurance: No.

Perks: Monthly wellness reimbursement; free one-hour monthly massage for employees; flexible schedule; parking reimbursement; pay for sessions that are cancelled last minute; referral bonuses; client referral commission; opportunity for advancement; reimbursement for job-to-job mileage and massage supplies; continuing education classes.

More about Incorporate Massage: “This is a wonderful company to work for. The entire staff is so organized and knows what they are doing. They are all so amazing. It is perfect for an MT’s busy schedule to pick up jobs when they have availability.”

LaVida Massage

City and state: 51 locations nationwide.

Company focus: Franchise model; massage therapy and skin care.

Number of MTs working here: An average of 21 per location; about 1,100 total.

Are MTs employees or are they independent contractors? Employees.

Average MT pay per hour: Varies by location. MTs are paid a per-session rate, plus commission on enhancements and bonus.

Average number of hours per week worked by an MT: Varies by location, but an average of 23 hours per week. This also depends on the LMT because we allow them to schedule to what their needs are.

Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent massaging? Varies by location.

Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? MTs are paid a per-session rate, plus commission on enhancements and bonus.

Vacation time: Varies by location.

Health insurance: Varies by location.

Perks: LaVida Massage offers steady clientele, flexible scheduling and a buffer time between guests.

More about LaVida Massage: “Here at LaVida Massage we offer sensational career opportunities for qualified MTs, sales associates, estheticians, center management and even at our corporate office. We are rapidly expanding throughout the U.S. and are continually looking to find great additions on every level. At LaVida Massage, we provide an enjoyable work atmosphere, flexible scheduling and a leading team of professionals to work with.”

Massage Envy

Location: Nationwide, 1,173 locations nationwide.


Company focus: Franchise model; massage therapy, facials and assisted stretching,


Number of employees: 35,000-plus MTs and estheticians company-wide.


Average salary: Varies by location and experience level; for example, one location in Orlando, Florida, offers $15 to $17 per service hour base pay, plus tips and bonuses.


Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent

massaging? Varies by location.

Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? Varies by location.

Vacation time: Some locations offer paid time off.


Perks: These vary by location. For example, an Orlando location offers a sign-on bonus, flexible scheduling, tuition assistance, AFLAC supplemental insurance, and a national employee membership. Several locations offer 12 or more free continuing education hours.

More about Massage Envy: (From the company website), “Massage Envy has made therapeutic massage services and skin care solutions accessible to a network of more than 1.5 million members in franchised locations across the United States. And it’s all because of a belief that massage and skin care aren’t a luxury; they’re body maintenance, pure and simple—part of your total body care routine.”

Massage Heights Body + Spa

Location: 136 locations nationwide.


Company focus: Franchise model; massage therapy, facials, spa treatments.


Number of employees: No response.

Type of workers: Employees.

Average pay per hour: No response.


Average number of hours worked by an MT: No response.

Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent massaging? Each location is independently owned and operated therefore compensation structures and benefits provided are dependent upon individual location

Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? Varies by location.

Vacation time: Varies by location.

Health insurance: Varies by location.


Perks: Vary by location; for example, a location in New Braunfels, Texas, offers discounted massages, facials and products; a 401(k) with employer matching; team retreats; discount pricing on continuing education; a smoke-free work environment and other green initiatives. However, Massage Heights locations are independently owned and operated; for example, some locations offer discounted massages, facials and products to help with the self-care routine of therapists; a 401(k) with employer matching; included or discounted pricing on continuing education; other green initiatives.

More about Massage Heights Body + Spa: (From the company website), “Massage Heights elevates the lives of the people we touch by caring for the mind, body and spirit through our relationships with our guests, our team members and our franchise partners. It is our vision to build a family dedicated to the well-being of the people we serve by investing love and positive energy into everything we do.”

Soothe

City and state: Multiple locations; more than 70 markets in five countries.

Company focus: Soothe is a platform that connects MTs with clients who are looking for an on-demand, in-home, office or hotel massage.

Number of MTs working here: 13,000-plus.

Are MTs employees or are they independent contractors? Independent contractors.

Average MT pay per hour: $55 to $60, depending on location.

Average number of hours per week worked by an MT: Due to the company’s on-demand nature, therapists are able to accept requests whenever they wish to work. Top therapists are taking four to five appointments per day and working 28 to 35 hours per week.

Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent massaging? They are paid for every hour they work.


Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? MTs get an hourly rate and clients are able to provide tips though the app or in-person after the massage is completed. Soothe also offers holiday bonuses for therapists who take multiple appointments during our peak times.

Vacation time: No.

Health insurance: Soothe has a partnership with Kind Health to offer its therapists access to health care, vision and dental plans.

Perks: Flexibility in scheduling. (MTs work when they want to.)

More about Soothe: “Soothe is proud to help you build your career by connecting you with clients and continuing to support you as your career grows by offering discounted continuing education programs, as well as regular therapist luncheons, yoga sessions, sound baths and happy hours.”

Zeel

City and state: Multiple locations nationwide.

Company focus: In-home, on-demand massage, Zeel@Work, Zeel Spa.

Number of MTs working here: 11,000.

Are MTs employees or are they independent contractors? Independent contractors.

Average MT pay per hour: MTs make 70 percent of what Zeel charges, averaging $75 to $80 for a 60-minute massage, and $50 per hour for Zeel@Work. 

Average number of hours per week worked by an MT: As independent contractors, therapists work at will. There is no schedule requirement, with therapists taking as little or as much work as they wish. 

Are MTs paid for every hour they are at work, or only for time spent massaging? Therapists accepting appointments with spa partners are guaranteed a minimum, but generally are booked so they earn around a dollar per minute worked plus gratuity.

Do MTs get an hourly rate, an hourly rate plus a commission, or commission from sessions only? Therapists know what they will earn on each appointment. There is no commission structure with Zeel; however, for in-home appointments an 18 percent tip is always included. 

Vacation time: No.

Health insurance: Zeel has a partnership with Stride Health to offer its therapists access to health care, vision and dental plans.

Perks: Discounts with various industry partners for insurance, supplies and memberships. 

More about Zeel: “Zeel brings Massage On Demand to customers in homes, hotels, workplaces and events in more than 100 major metro areas and travel destinations across the country. Customers choose time, duration, location for the massage, and desired massage technique. Zeel also offers a staffing solution for spas with Zeel Spa; a platform for hotels to provide in-room massage with Zeel Concierge; and in-office chair massage, yoga and assisted stretch with Zeel@Work.”

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