Massage Therapists as Independent Contractors

Massage therapists are most commonly hired as independent contractors for a massage business.  That basically means you are self employed. I have written a lot about the independent contractor status and how to figure out if you are an employee or contractor.

What most massage therapists also want to know is how to set up the contract with the business and figure out what is fair and what works.  There is no set answer or any one answer.  What works best for you, is what works best for YOU!  There are so many different things to consider that only you can really know and decide what to put in the contract.   The first thing really is yes- get a written contract and even get an attorney to help you set it up if you are unsure of anything.

You have to consider what the employer will be doing for you.

  • Will they be sending you all the clients?
  • Will they be providing all of the supplies such as a table, sheets, pillows, lotion etc?
  • Will they have someone answering the phones to make your appointments?
  • If so, who will be training them on what to say about your work and availability etc?
  • Who will be collecting the money?
  • How will you be paid?  If you are an IC, you usually create an invoice and give it to the employer and get paid each week or whatever is determined.
  • Will there be insurance billing involved?  If so, ask who will be doing the billing and how much will be charged for the massage services?  Often employers will overcharge insurance companies mainly because the insurance companies will just usually pay, although they are starting to get wise to that.  (You will need my Insurance Billing 101 for Massage therapists)
  • How much marketing will you have to do?  Will you need your own website?  Will you need your own referral system?  Will you need to get doctors or others to refer to you?
  • Will you be doing laundry and bookkeeping in between clients or when you don’t have a client?
  • How much will you be paid when you have a client and how much will you be paid when you don’t have a client?
  • What happens when a client doesn’t show up or is late?  How much will you get paid?  How much will they charge for a no show?  Will they expect you to go the full time when someone is late?

When you take all of these things into consideration, you will have more info so that you can then do the math as to how much you should be paid per session.  How much time will you be putting into working there?  How much time will the employer be putting in?

How much do you need to make to make a living and pay the bills, take nice vacations, put the kids through college and retire someday?  What will you need to make per hour so you don’t feel resentful of the employer or the client?  How many clients can you reasonably (physically, mentally and emotionally) see each week?

Let me know if there are other things that you need to consider when signing a contract with an employer for an independent contractor position.


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