According to recent U.S. Department of Labor information, employment for massage therapists is expected to grow at a faster than average rate in the next several years. Great news for people like you who are considering joining this wonderful profession!
Over the course of their careers, massage therapists may work in many settings, from private practice offices to medical facilities, athletic training centers and a wide variety of spa locations. The spa industry continues to grow throughout the world, with spas being added to salons, hotels, resorts, guest ranches, cruise ships, hospitals, wellness centers, and the offices of dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons. The most basic type of spa is the day spa, which caters to both local residents and tourists and offers the convenience of easy access and a variety of service and treatment options. Consumer surveys conducted for the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) indicate that many people seek out day spas when they want to book an appointment for a massage session.
A job in any type of spa can be a confidence-building opportunity for a new massage therapist. You will continue to hone your skills as you work on several clients each day, and you will gain experience working on many types of clients. This experience will enhance your capacity to fulfill the expectations and meet the needs of your clients. As client satisfaction increases, more clients will repeatedly return to the spa, and a significant number will request you for their massage sessions. Working in a spa allows you to begin building your clientele; if you change jobs and stay in the same geographical area, some of your clients will follow you to your new location.
The average hourly pay for a massage therapist working in a spa is $34.75, according to the AMTA survey. This amount most likely includes tips from guests and commissions paid to you from the spa for the products that you sell to your clients. (Most spas include a retail area where guests may purchase a variety of products for body care, relaxation, and overall wellbeing.)
One of the great benefits of working at a spa is the support staff; these people take care of daily operations, including scheduling, bookkeeping, facility and equipment maintenance, supply replenishment, etc. This allows you to focus solely on your clients and giving a great massage. The management and support staff decide on and provide the décor, the music, the protocols for signature treatments, the client policies regarding late arrivals and other situations, the length of each session, etc.
Questions to consider when thinking about working in a spa are:
- Is being part of a team of other employees important to you?
- Will practicing with a support system of other massage therapists be beneficial to your work and career?
- How many clients are you comfortable seeing each day?
- Do you like having a financial incentive to sell products to your clients?
- Are you happy to have your work environment controlled and taken care of by people other than yourself?
If you answered yes to a majority or all of the above questions, then working in a spa could be a great job for you!
In her article, “What Does a Spa Director Look for in Professional Massage Therapists?” Spa Heroes Founder Jeannie Jarnot states the importance of having a professional resume and a quality education. With our 750-hour program, Health Works graduates have the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to meet the expectations of their employers. As a requirement of our course in Professional Development, all of our students prepare a professional resume, as well as cover letters tailored to each of the companies that they are applying to in the final weeks of our program. Interview skills are taught and practiced, and all students are guided toward either having a job or starting a private practice before graduation.
To learn more about the massage therapy program at Health Works Institute, click here.