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How Much Do You Tip a Massage Therapist?

Shemiah Williams, eHow contributor Jun 5, 2013

How Much Do You Tip a Massage Therapist?

By Shemiah Williams, eHow Contributor

 Massages are a wonderful way to treat your body.

Whether it's truly a treat or a preventive step for your muscles, massages are a wonderful way to treat your body. With an increase in popularity, spas and salons have gone above and beyond to offer a variety of massages and body treatments as well as providing an unforgettable experience in a calm, relaxing environment. Because a massage therapist is providing a service in a spa setting, as a courtesy, you should tip them in addition to the cost of your service. Does this Spark an idea?


  1. Standard Rate for Hospitality
  • One option for determining how to tip a message therapist is to use the standard hospitality rate of 10 to 15 percent. Some people use this figure across the board at restaurants, bars, spas and salons. With a price range of $50 to $100 for a massage, this would equate to a tip of $5 to $10 at 10 percent and $7.50 to $15 at 15 percent. You can tip more or less depending on how pleased you were with the service. Remember, at a spa, you're paying the spa for the service you receive from the massage therapist or an aesthetician. While he or she receives a portion of your payment, the therapist is not being paid directly. Your tip helps to cover the overhead that is deducted by the business from his or her payment. If you are unsure of what to tip, ask what the average tip for his or her services are.

Develop Your Own Rating Scale

  • With all of the instances in which tipping is appropriate, it is often difficult to discern who gets how much and when. Take some of the guesswork out of it by developing your own rating scale to use in any potential tipping situation. Assign flat dollar amounts to each level of service. For example, a rating of excellent could equal a $15 tip, good could be $10 and fair could be $5. If you're a religious tipper, you could establish $5 as your minimum no matter what; however, you shouldn't feel compelled to tip for inferior service.

Keep It a Little Simpler

  • At the end of the day, you will need to balance your checkbook or bank account so do it with a nice round number. Plan to build an additional budgeting amount to cover tips. For example, if your visit to the spa includes an $85 massage and a $45 manicure and pedicure totaling $130, round up to $150 and split the additional $20 between the massage therapist and the nail technician. It is up to you how you distribute it, $10 each or $12 and $8 to reflect the involvement and price of their services. Remember to inquire because sometimes spas require that tips or gratuities are paid in cash. Do what you feel is an appropriate reflection of the services you received.

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Read more: How Much Do You Tip a Massage Therapist? | eHow

Share your thoughts, leave a comment!

Comments (6)

Mike on Nov 16, 2014
Leave a $20 tip thats fair for someone thats phyically working on you for 50 mins or more Too high? You try giving
Someone a massage and see how exhausting it can be

Emma Pierson on Dec 23, 2015
I disagree with your post. Across the board it is 20% not a standard of 15%. This is the first thing that pops up when someone searches "How Much to Tip Massage Therapist". Please put it at the real standard as many people may use this and tip incorrectly.

15% may have been the norm, but is no longer the norm in 2015/16

Please refer to other sources,d.bGQ

"percentage of your total bill as follows: 10% usually means you aren't totally happy, 15% usually means all was acceptable, 20% for excellent, over 20% for outstanding. 15-20 percent is considered standard in most communities. "

Alex on Jan 13, 2016
<i>Too high? You try giving
Someone a massage and see how exhausting it can be</i>

This is a meaningless argument. If you think you make too little in a particular job/field, switch jobs/fields. I'm not interested in hearing you complaing about how hard you work, implying that somehow you're special and that others who work hard for the money they earn are lucky that you do your job, thus should just hand over a lot of the money they earned by working hard at their job.

You're not special. You're not working harder than everyone else. Stop pretending you are special and are an especially hard worker.

Stephanie on Jan 18, 2016
I agree. I can't believe this even pops up first on Google. $20 is very fair

Vee. on Feb 01, 2016
For an hour massage $20 and up is what's considered fair, but any amount is taken as kind gesture of appreciation :).

Of course it depends on the work you receive. If you go to the mall and get your massage there (the not very private ones) you probably shouldn't tip more than its cost. But I don't recommend mall massages to anyone who is in pain and/or really needs bodywork.

No disrespect to people who work in restaurants or bars, work is good... But the work they do does NOT equal the work a Massage Therapist gives for their client. Massage therapy is indeed exhausting, but it is a calling. It is work of healers. It is physically, energetically and at many times, emotionally taxing. It is an exchange of trust and love between client and therapist. Anyone who doesn't understand why an MT deserves a tip is not a therapist themselves, has never actually given someone bodywork, and most likely have never received a proper massage.

My experience with tips have been $15 the least and $60 the most for an hour massage, I've been in practice for a little under 2 years.

George on May 01, 2016
Where we live, most massage therapists are for the most part independent operators. They rent shared spaces, or a room for a certain number of hours a week while others rent the same space for the remaining hours of the week. As independents, should you tip the same as one would to a therapist that is a salaried employee of a spa?

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