The 19 Best Cities For Massage Therapists to Move to in 2018

The hustle and bustle of everyday life can leave many of us feeling stressed and overworked. But thanks to an increased focus on self-care, we are finding ways to deal with that stress. From taking care of our bodies through exercise, nutrition, and sleep to mindfulness apps, mental health is rightfully flexing its importance in all areas of our lives. It’s no surprise then that the benefits of massage therapy are also beginning to gain widespread popularity across the country, and the data is backing this phenomenon up.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 26 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the 7 percent average for all occupations. In addition, as more states adopt licensing requirements and standards for massage therapists, the practice of massage is likely to be respected and accepted by more people as a way to treat stress, pain, and improve overall wellness.

As for those on the side of practicing massage therapy, there are definitely some cities that are more advantageous than others. In order to help massage therapists pinpoint those cities full of opportunities to begin or grow their careers, SpareFoot teamed up with global employment website Monster to find the best cities for massage therapists in 2018.

Finding the Best Cities for Massage Therapists

When it comes to finding a job as a massage therapist, some cities have better opportunities than others. Monster provided us with data from both the past 6 months (Jan. 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018) and past year (June 30, 2017 to June 30, 2018) detailing the top 20 cities for massage therapists according to jobs posted on Monster.

Because 6 months is a small sample size, we averaged the rankings for the past 6 months and 12 months respectively, omitting the cities which did not appear on both lists: Los Angeles, CA and Naperville, IL.

The second component of our formula is real adjusted salary. Real adjusted salary is determined by looking at the ratio of each city’s local mean base salary (via the Bureau of Labor Statistics) to its official cost of living figures from the federal government. To determine our final list, we combined both components, giving double weight to job availability (because it doesn’t matter if salaries and cost of living are favorable in an area if you can’t find a job there), to determine an overall ranking.

Here is our list of the best cities for massage therapists right now:

1. Austin, TX

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $56,090 (Ranked 3rd)
  • Equal to national average cost of living (Ranked 10th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $56,090 (Ranked 4th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 4.5

2. Orlando, FL

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $51,684 (Ranked 4th)
  • -2.0% below national average cost of living (Ranked 9th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $50,650 (Ranked 5th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 5.0

3. San Antonio, TX (tie)

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $63,210 (Ranked 1st)
  • -5.6% below national average cost of living (Ranked 2nd)
  • Mean Base Salary: $59,670 (Ranked 2nd)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 14.5

3. Scottsdale, AZ (tie)

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $47,075 (Ranked 7th)
  • -2.9% below national average cost of living (Ranked 6th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $45,710 (Ranked 10th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 2.5

4. Phoenix, AZ

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $47,075 (Ranked 7th)
  • -2.9% below national average cost of living (Ranked 6th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $45,710 (Ranked 10th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 6.5

5. Seattle, WA

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $58,009 (Ranked 2nd)
  • +10.5% above national average cost of living (Ranked 16th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $64,100 (Ranked 1st)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 18.0

6. Dallas, TX

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $48,782 (Ranked 5th)
  • +0.2% above national average cost of living (Ranked 11th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $48,880 (Ranked 6th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 13.5

7. Chicago, IL

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $44,104 (Ranked 12th)
  • +3.8% above national average cost of living (Ranked 13th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $45,780 (Ranked 8th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 2.5

8. New York, NY

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $48,500 (Ranked 6th)
  • +22.0% above national average cost of living (Ranked 18th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $59,170 (Ranked 3rd)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 15.5

9. Charlotte, NC

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $46,920 (Ranked 9th)
  • -6.5% below national average cost of living (Ranked 1st)
  • Mean Base Salary: $43,870 (Ranked 13th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 14.0

10. Raleigh, NC

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $46,236 (Ranked 10th)
  • -4.1% below national average cost of living (Ranked 4th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $44,340 (Ranked 12th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 13.0

11. Jacksonville, FL

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $39,040 (Ranked 13th)
  • -4.2% below national average cost of living (Ranked 3rd)
  • Mean Base Salary: $37,400 (Ranked 15th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 7.5

12. Miami, FL

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $44,238 (Ranked 11th)
  • +7.6% above national average cost of living (Ranked 15th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $47,600 (Ranked 7th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 14.0

13. Las Vegas, NV

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $31,963 (Ranked 17th)
  • -2.2% below national average cost of living (Ranked 8th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $31,260 (Ranked 19th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 1.5

14. Denver, CO

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  • Real Adjusted Salary: $38,302 (Ranked 14th)
  • +6.0% above national average cost of living (Ranked 14th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $40,600 (Ranked 14th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 12.5

16. Atlanta, GA (tie)

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $37,715 (Ranked 15th)
  • -3.7% below national average cost of living (Ranked 5th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $36,320 (Ranked 16th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 13.5

16. San Francisco, CA (tie)

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $36,688 (Ranked 16th)
  • +24.7% above national average cost of living (Ranked 19th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $45,750 (Ranked 9th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 11.5

18. San Diego, CA

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $31,058 (Ranked 19th)
  • +16.3% above national average cost of living (Ranked 17th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $36,120 (Ranked 18th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 6.0

19. Houston, TX

  • Real Adjusted Salary: $31,870 (Ranked 18th)
  • +1.6% above national average cost of living (Ranked 12th)
  • Mean Base Salary: $32,380 (Ranked 18th)
  • Average Job Availability Rank: 14.0

Methodology: SpareFoot’s ‘19 Best Cities For Massage Therapists to Move to in 2018’ identifies U.S. cities with the highest real adjusted salary for massage therapists, indicating where a local massage therapist’s base salary stretches furthest when compared to local cost of living. Cost of living includes groceries, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, and more. Real adjusted salary is determined by the ratio of mean annual base salary to cost of living for each city. For simplicity of reporting, ‘cities’ refers to U.S. metros as defined by the U.S. Office of Management Budget, and cost of living refers to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’s Regional Price Parities Index (The Regional Price Parity is an index that sets the national average cost of goods and services at 100, with a particular region’s RPP showing how the cost of living in that region compares to that average.) Job availability determined by a Monster analysis of data, found using the TalentNeuron tool from insights and technology company CEB.

 

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