work in a spa as a massage therapist

If you work in a spa, you will enjoy beautiful surroundings and a generally happy clientele. Spa guests are thrilled to have a chance to be pampered and find an oasis in their busy lives. Some visit the spa as a part of a celebration for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.

Spa workers are most often employees of the spa or a management company, and are usually paid by commission and gratuities. Most clients tip between 10 percent and 20 percent of the cost of the service, making spa employees some of the highest tipped in our industry.

In some ways, a spa is like any other environment in which you give massage; for example, your main focus is always delivering the best massage possible while addressing each guest’s individual needs and preferences. However, the spa environment also has some key differences.


Lots of New Faces

As a spa massage therapist, you may not have a chance to build a rapport with your clients, as they may come in less frequently than clients in a clinical environment. This means less focus is put on note-taking and outcome-based modalities; however, don’t get the impression that spa massage is any less important or gratifying than other types of massage therapy; a spa therapist will encounter clients with injuries and illness.

In addition to attending to clients with health issues, the goal is also to provide them the most serene and stress-reducing experience possible.


More Support

Oftentimes, a support staff is employed at a spa to handle duties such as doing laundry, taking appointments and selling retail products. The massage therapists will work as a team to handle some of the everyday chores, but having a support staff on hand helps the therapists focus mainly on what they do best: massage.


Selling Products

Retail sales are part of the spa therapist’s responsibilities as well. This can be a way to help your clients continue their experience at home. Retail sales of aromatherapy skin care products, neck pillows, lotions and similar items is also a good way to increase the therapist’s income. Gentle suggestions rather than hard sales tactics are all that are needed to encourage clients to go home with items from their spa experience.



Focus on Relaxation

A spa massage therapist becomes an expert at stress relief and relaxation. Clients in dire need of the calm and pampering the spa provides are grateful for their experience. Visiting the spa can remind people about the importance of self-care, which can cause them to make healthy changes in their lives. This is one of the greatest rewards of being a massage therapist.


About the Author

After working for years in high-end spas, massage therapist and esthetician Sandy Kazenko opened her own studio outside of Chicago, Illinois. She also teaches massage students in the areas of spa techniques and customer service, retail sales, aromatherapy, marketing and social media.