Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Therapeutic massage helps animals in many of the same ways it does humans: decreasing muscle tension, increasing range of motion, stimulating circulation, boosting the immune system and promoting healing all while reducing stress. Animal massage therapists often establish their own practices and also can be found working in animal hospitals and clinics, grooming salons, pet day cares and equestrian centers.
Salary and Training
According to Forbes, animal massage therapist salaries are on par with human massage therapists, who had an average income of $40,400 per year in May of 2013. The median annual income of massage therapists in 2013 was $35,920, with the lowest paid 10 percent earning $18,280 and the highest paid 10 percent earning $71,020. An entry level massage therapist can expect to make $17,270 in her first year. It is important to note, however, that many massage therapists work by appointment and often work only part time, with only one-third working full time in 2012.
Training is required, and typically involves 50 to 200 hours of study at a cost of $1,000 to $2,000 or more. The regulations for animal massage therapists vary by state, however. Some require animal massage certification, some require massage therapists to practice under veterinary supervision and others require you to be a licensed veterinarian to practice massage therapy. It is important to check your state’s specific regulations before beginning a training program. You can expect your income to increase with your education and experience level.
2016 Salary Information for Massage Therapists
Massage therapists earned a median annual salary of $39,860 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, massage therapists earned a 25th percentile salary of $27,220, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $57,110, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 160,300 people were employed in the U.S. as massage therapists.
- Forbes: How to Earn Money From America's Passion for Pets
- Northwest School of Animal Massage: Frequently Asked Questions
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Massage Therapists
- Veterinary Practice News: Get Trained and Start Small, Rehab Practitioners Advise
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: 31-9011 Massage Therapists
- Healthcare Salaries: Massage Therapist Salary
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Massage Therapists
- Career Trend: Massage Therapists
Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.