How much do Massage Therapists Earn in the UK?

March 20, 2024

Massage Therapy can provide a varied career supporting customers with a more holistic approach to mental and physical health and wellbeing. With the wellbeing sector in the UK still maintaining a steady growth rate, demand for massage services is consistent and wages higher than average.

The average salary for a massage therapist in the UK is £18.00 per hour. However, this figure can vary depending on a variety of factors. This could be where you work as massage therapists in the UK, the level of experience you have and how specialist the services are that you offer.

Hourly Range:

Massage therapists earn between £8.07 and £48.69 per hour, depending on their expertise and the type of massage they offer.

Annual Earnings:

Based on a 20-hour working week, this translates to an annual salary range of £8,392.80 to £50,637.602.

What massage services are most in demand?

Whether you’re looking to get into massage therapy or thinking of specialising it’s worth doing some research into the most popular services customers want to book. This will help to increase your earning potential by targeting a wider pool of potential customers. You may also want to read our tips on How to become a massage therapist.

Here are some of the most popular massages to offer in the UK:

1. Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is a popular and widely practiced form of therapeutic massage that focuses on promoting relaxation and overall well-being. The method is commonly sought after for stress relief and relaxation and has become a foundational technique in Western massage therapy.

The primary purpose of Swedish massage is to relax tight muscles, promote blood circulation, reduce stress and tension, and boost immunity through improved lymphatic drainage. It is commonly chosen for its gentle and soothing nature, making it suitable for individuals seeking stress relief, relaxation, or those new to massage therapy.

2. Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage is a therapeutic approach that specifically targets the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues. It proves to be highly effective for addressing chronic pain, muscle tension, and facilitating injury recovery.

It plays a crucial role in breaking up scar tissue formed post-injury and alleviating tension in muscles and tissues. The promotion of healing is facilitated through potential increased blood flow and reduced inflammation.

3. Sports Massage

A sports massage is a specialist form of massage that targets muscles and joints used in a specific sport. It employs various techniques to reduce muscle pain, enhance recovery, and improve flexibility. Geared toward athletes and active individuals, the technique can aid in muscle recovery, flexibility, and injury prevention.

4. Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy that uses smooth, flat, heated stones placed on specific parts of your body. These stones are typically made of basalt, a type of volcanic rock that retains heat. The heated stones are placed on specific points to relax muscles, enhance circulation and relieve tension.

5. Prenatal Massage:

Catering to pregnant women, prenatal massage helps alleviate discomfort associated with pregnancy, such as back pain and swelling. Therapists focus on providing a safe and soothing experience for expectant mothers.

Prenatal massage is generally considered safe during a healthy pregnancy, but consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended, especially if there are any complications or high-risk factors. Massage therapists need a good understanding of different stages of pregnancy and encourage expectant mothers to share their concerns.  

6. Thai Massage:

Thai massage, also known as Thai yoga massage, is a traditional form of bodywork that originated in Thailand over 2,500 years ago. Drawing from traditional Thai healing techniques, Thai massage incorporates stretching, compression, and acupressure. It is sought after for its holistic approach to wellness.

Instead of lying on a massage table, you lie on a mat on the floor during a Thai massage. Stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques to manipulate your body, aiming to stimulate organs and improve flexibility. Unlike other forms of massage, you remain fully clothed during a Thai massage, wearing comfortable attire that allows movement.

How to increase Earnings as a Massage Therapist?


Consider becoming an expert in a specific type of massage (e.g., sports massage or prenatal massage). These services are often more widely in demand and can attract a niche clientele willing to pay a premium. Alternatively, you can provide a broader range of massage, increasing repeat business with a greater choice for customers.

Build a Client Base

It goes without saying that you’ll want to offer exceptional service to your clients. Massage therapists often find word-of-mouth referrals a particularly good way to increase their customer base.

You could consider loyalty programs or discounts for repeat customers to further encourage this. Networking at local events and other wellbeing professionals can also help to expand your reach to further customers.

Training & Qualifications

Staying updated with industry trends and techniques is important in any sector. You could enhance your professional development by attending workshops, conferences, and advanced training courses.

Broadening your qualifications will add credibility to your services and allow you to charge a higher rate based on a higher level of experience.

Marketing and Branding

Create an online presence through a professional website and social media, showcasing your expertise including client testimonials.

Distribute flyers, business cards, and brochures to local businesses, gyms, and health centers. Offer promotions for first-time clients.

Partner with other local businesses, such as spas, gyms, or wellness centers, to cross-promote services and expand your reach.

Exceptional Customer Service

Seek feedback from clients and use it to improve your services. A satisfied customer is more likely to become a repeat customer, which will in turn lead to more consistent income.

Maintaining a clean and professional environment. Professionalism fosters trust and can contribute to a positive client experience.

Reduce costs & Expenses

If you’re self-employed or a small business owner, however much you earn, if you’re not on top of expenses costs can quickly creep up and affect what you earn. Manage your time effectively to maximise time spent with clients rather than getting wrapped in admin tasks.

Where you work could have a big impact; mobile massage or home-based massage therapists will have lower costs of workspace compared to hiring a room in a gym for example.

Whatever you’re buying for your business it’s sensible to shop around for the best deals. Buying items in bulk, you know you’ll need in the longer term and setting a realistic budget to stick to.

How to increase Earnings as a Massage Therapist?

According in here are some of the highest paying cities where massage therapists tend to earn more:

Nottingham: £22.40 per hour

London: £22.14 per hour

Manchester: £20.04 per hour

Reading: £18.04 per hour

Basingstoke: £17.96 per hour

Leeds: £17.69 per hour

Birmingham: £17.29 per hour

Bristol: £16.54 per hour

Edinburgh: £16.39 per hour

What massage therapists make the most money?

Medical or Clinical Massage Therapists:

These therapists work closely with healthcare professionals, such as chiropractors, physical therapists, or physicians. They often focus on treating specific medical conditions or injuries, which may lead to higher earning potential due to the specialist nature of their work.

Sports Massage Therapists:

Professionals specialising in sports massage often work with athletes to prevent injuries, promote recovery, and enhance performance. You may find opportunities in elite sports teams, fitness centers, or rehabilitation facilities, potentially leading to higher earnings.

Self-Employed or Private Practitioners:

Massage therapists who establish their private practices or work as freelancers may have the potential to earn more, as they can set their own rates and retain a larger portion of the fees. However, they also need to consider business expenses and the challenges of self-employment.

Specialist Services:

Therapists who specialise in certain niche or high-demand services, such as deep tissue massage, or prenatal massage, may attract clients willing to pay premium rates, especially if this is combined with experience and a strong reputation.

High-End Spas and Resorts:

Massage therapists working in luxury spas, resorts, or high-end wellness facilities may earn higher incomes, especially if they cater to affluent clientele who are willing to pay more for a premium experience.

Get Massage Therapist Insurance with Protectivity

Ensuring you have the specialist insurance you need as a massage therapist is essential to help protect you from costly financial losses.

Protectivity’s massage therapy insurance offers a range of cover options with over 200 therapies covered in the policy. Other benefits include public liability that will cover you up to £5 million if a client sues you for injury or property damage. Our professional indemnity will protect you in the case of legal costs being brought against you from advice you give out to clients. We also offer up to £3,000 of equipment cover, which protects the items you use to operate your business.

Find out more and get an online quote. If you need any support, our team are available to answer any questions.