This may come as a surprise to many who are unfamiliar with the rise in popularity of massage, but the massage therapy industry is a strong one, which produces anywhere from 6 to 11 billion dollars annually and employs anywhere from 265,000 to 300,000 people in the United States alone, according to 2009 figures from the AMTA.
While this may seem like small potatoes to some (elementary and secondary schools in America employ nearly 8 million at a price tag of over $300 billion!) there are still a lot of big numbers that point to massage as a strong economic field that is growing rapidly.
First, there is the actual number of massage therapists, which is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2006 to 2016. Second there’s the fact that in 1998 only 13 percent of the population received massage; in 2007 24 percent did. And while that number has fluctuated over the past ten years, it is generally moving in an upward direction to the point where, between the years 2003 and 2008, an average of 21 percent of Americans received some form of paid massage therapy.
Looking for some other numbers that shows the strength of the massage therapy field? If we return to the field of education again, elementary and secondary teachers received an average salary of $41,000 while massage therapists earned an average $31,500. That seems like a negative, however, that amount is based on a massage therapist who works 15 hours a week, at the average rate of $41.50 per hour. And, according to the AMTA, massage therapists work an average of 19 hours a week, meaning their average salary peaks out at $39,900 for a half-week’s work.
The $31,500 salary mentioned above also topped the average salary of full-time healthcare support workers by $3,000 and medical assistants by $8,000.
Some other numbers of interest from the AMTA report:
– The average massage therapist has 633 hours of training.
– The number of hospitals that use massage therapy for patient stress and pain management has increased by 30 percent from 2004 to 2006.
– 60 percent of Americans would like to see massage therapy covered by their healthcare insurance.
– 96 percent of massage therapists think massage therapy should be integrated into healthcare.