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Create Your Vision for your Ideal Job in Massage
Write a personal/professional Mission Statement to guide your job search
Informational Interviewing – Decide on where you want to work or at least what type of place and find the place that best suits your needs as well as has similar values to yours.
Massage Therapist Salaries – what should you expect? What do you need to make?
Interview the massage employer as they interview you.
Massage Employers - What do they want?
Massage Franchises – the Impact on the Massage Profession
Independent Contractors (IC’s) or employee?
Independent Contractors - getting to a definition
Massage Therapy Jobs are in demand. More jobs in massage are available than ever before with the creation of the many massage franchises, spas, resorts and massage clinics that provide every type of massage from relaxation massage, clinical massage for every stage of life – from birth to death.
You can work in a variety of places offering a wide range of pay and benefits starting from around $12 an hour up to $45 and more per hour depending on the job and your skills. Many opportunities are available:
- Massage franchises – Massage Envy, Elements, Hand and Stone and many others offer massage at a reduced rate through a membership program. These franchises usually are very busy places to work and will get you lots of hands on experience. Be prepared for back to back massage and full schedules but low pay. Your income will depend on tips which vary depending on your area and the clientele. It is a good place to get experience in massage and pay the bills while you save and work to set up your own office or find a higher paying job at a massage office/spa/clinic or other positions that pay more.
- Massage places that are not run under a franchise model also offer low to mid-range massage services and pay higher than franchises and offer more benefits and can also lead to team lead or supervisor or manager positions. Rubs in Tuscon AZ, In Spa in Seattle/LA are examples.
- Working for a spa or resort that caters to mid to high end clients with higher priced services will pay more but will also expect a higher quality of work and professionalism. Gene Juarez spas, Canyon Ranch Spas and other high end salons/spas.
- Chiropractors are also hiring massage therapists. You will need to be skilled in clinical massage and know how to work with injuries and diseases. Jobs with chiropractors have their challenges because many chiropractors will try to take advantage of massage therapists just to make money. There are decent chiropractors who also understand the value of massage and the work massage therapists do and will pay you accordingly.
- Other medical clinics/spas will hire massage therapists for clinical massage and will specialize in injury work and may also have relaxation or other spa services available. Expect to be paid $30+ an hour plus benefits and be treated fairly. Examples are Lake Washington Massage and Monroe Therapeutic Massage in the Seattle area.
Are you an employee or an Independent Contractor ( IC) ? That is one of the biggest challenges for massage therapists to figure out. Many employers will try to take advantage of massage therapists mainly because they can and they also do not understand how it all really works. It is important to know your rights as an employee or IC. Independent contractors are people who are hired to do the massage at a place but IC’s are self employed and set their own hours for starters. An employer can not make an IC come in whenever they want. The IC should be able to choose what hours they work and when they come in or leave with respect to the clients needs. An IC will usually show up even when there are not any clients and will work to build their own client base along with getting most of their clients from the employer. An IC will pay their own taxes.
A massage therapist hired as an employee will be paid a flat hourly wage and will have taxes taken out by the employer. They will have set hours and employee benefits. Sometimes they will be an employee on commission and be paid a percentage of the fee earned for the services. Employees will have specific hours that they have to show up for while an IC should be able to pick what days/hours they work. One of the big problems with being a massage employee is that sometimes an employer will want to pay you less when you don’t have a massage client. This is pretty standard but it just seems unfair and I am not sure why massage therapists put up with it. As an employee, it is not your problem that you don’t have a client. It is the employers and you should be paid accordingly.
When determining your status as an employee or a independent contractor, it is important to negotiate to create an employment contract that is right for you. While you may have to take a job that gives you less than you want, strive to keep looking and create your ideal job.
How to get your ideal massage job. Getting a job anywhere these days requires much more than having a resume and cover letter. It is no different in the massage profession. Massage therapists are flooding the market and making the competition fierce when it comes to getting a job in massage. There are also many more places hiring massage therapists giving you more possibilities. The best thing to do really is to do your research on the job market and the various clinics, spas, franchises in your area and go into each place as a client. Get a few massages. Find out how they work and if the front desk people do their job in making the appointments with the appropriate massage therapists. Look around the place and ask questions to the massage therapist. Ask them if they like working there and ask about the arrangements. Tell them you are a MT looking for work and are just doing some research into which place to work. Ask them how long they have worked there and how long they play to work there. Get the real scoop and make connections with the massage therapists and others who work there. When you collect enough information on all of the places, then you can decide if you want to work for them!!!!
When it comes time to get the job, focus on one or two companies until you get the job or create the job you want. Use your connections to get an interview. Send your resume if they request it. Use things like linkedin.com to create an online profile or create a full website about yourself. The idea is to tell employer what you will do for them, rather than they way most people go about getting a job looking for what an employer can do for them. Tell/show the potential employers what makes you different from all the rest. Write about massage and what it does on your website or profile. Site research or other professional journals and talk about massage and how it works. Show everyone that you are an expert at what you do. Here are some other things to talk about:
- Tell them employer what you will do for their business.
- Tell them your philosophy about work and about doing massage.
- Talk about how you will get new clients to come in and how you will get the clients that do come in to come back weekly or every other week or every month.
- Explain to them how you will use the client interview process to learn what clients need so you can provide that for them.
- Show what you would tell potential clients or clients and how you would create a treatment plan for people (yes even if it is relaxation massage).
The Massage Job Interview. The interview is also where you can find out more about your potential employer. Ask questions about them too and show you are interested in the job.
Yes you will most likely have to do a massage. Don’t take it personally. You just have to show what you know. Treat them like a regular client and ask them questions before the massage and work with them during the massage as you would with a regular client. Let the client lead as to how much they want to talk but learn to bring them back to their body and the massage experience.
Make the most out of your job. Many massage therapists may feel that when they take a job in massage, that they just want to come in, work on people and leave. While that is fine, if you really want to excel in your career, a job in massage will be as hard as starting your own business. You can get more involved in a job and work with the supervisors and managers to get new clients in the door and get them coming back. In fact, your massage and how you talk to people will be a big part of getting clients to come back in. Repeat business is the lifeline of a massage business. When people come back, it reduces the amount of marketing and advertising that needs to be done to get the appointment times filled.
Be an outstanding employee. Don’t be one of the entitled ones thinking that a job should be all about you. Dress the part of a professional. Don’t be put off if employers don’t like your tatoos or piercings. It isn’t anything personal. It is just that they have to build a business. Be on time and be early in fact and stay late when you can to help clean up. Laundry is just part of doing business and expect that you will have to do some.