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How Much Does a Massage Therapist Make?


If you’re considering enrolling in MaKami College’s licensed massage therapy program, one of the questions you are probably asking yourself is ‘how much does a Massage Therapist make?

Salaries vary widely by location and number of hours worked, with the highest paid certified Massage Therapists in Canada making over $100,000 per year. A survey by talent.com put the average annual salary in Canada for registered Massage Therapists at around CAD$69,000, or $35 per hour if converted to full-time hours.

Pay varies according to experience, employment model and location. For example, in Alberta a Massage Therapist can earn an average of $65,000, while in British Columbia that figure goes up to $102,000.

Choosing to train as a licensed Massage Therapist not only enables you to make a good living, but it also launches you into a flexible career. Massage therapy work is a qualification that can lead to part- or full-time hours, can enable you to work your way around the world in many different settings, and gives you the tools to open your own business.

Flexible Working Hours

Depending on your employer, (who may even be you if you’re a self-employed massage therapist) you often have the flexibility to choose how many hours you work per week. Massage therapy is physically demanding work, and most therapists don’t perform back-to-back massages all day, every day. In fact, according to Alis Alberta, massage therapists in Alberta on average work just 28 hours per week.

That makes it a great career choice for people who need to fit work in around children or other lifestyle obligations, or for people who simply want more time to pursue personal interests or studies. If you’re looking for flexibility and a balanced quality of life, massage therapy is a flexible option.

Massage Therapy as an Employee versus Self-Employed

As a newly qualified Massage Therapist, working for an established business (such as an employee of a hospital, clinic or spa) is often the best way into the profession. You can expect a more regular salary, you’ll work alongside more experienced therapists who can advise and support you as you start out, and you can start to build a client base and establish your reputation. 

As you gain experience and confidence, you may choose to go it alone, setting yourself up as a self-employed Massage Therapist. This gives you the autonomy to decide where and when you work, to set your own rates, and decide on the hours you work. You can choose to be a mobile therapist and travel to clients’ homes or workplaces, or you may prefer to open your own treatment space or spa style centre. Some therapists even work for an employer full-time and do mobile or home massages on the side. For massage therapists, there really are a wide variety of options to balance your career and personal life however you choose.

Non-Monetary Rewards

A career as a registered Massage Therapist offers many other benefits, beyond a flexible schedule and high hourly wage. There is immense job satisfaction in being able to alleviate stress, help injury recovery, or relieve clients’ pain. 

There are all sorts of settings you can work in, from day spas and clinics, to gyms or hospitals, and if you have a desire to travel the world while being paid for it, you can certainly do so as a Massage Therapist. Many Massage Therapists find work on cruise ships, while others find work at spas in high end resorts at exotic destinations. 

For more questions about training as a massage therapist, you’ll find many answers on our FAQ page, or contact us to speak to one of our Student Advisors today.

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