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The 4 states with the most massage therapists per capita

If you want to give yourself the best chance at making a living as a massage therapist, find a place that is in high demand. After all, more clients means more business.

But at the same time, the high demand for therapists also means that there is a flood of therapists to take advantage of that business. The result? Places with a high demand for massage services also typically have the most people working in the field.

However, if you only search for states with the most massage therapists, you’ll end up with only the largest and most populous states: California, Florida, and New York. That’s why to compare apples to apples, you need to look at the states with the most therapists per capita. These are the states where there are a large number of people employed in the industry relative to the number of people in the state.

The data below comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which tracks the number of people employed in the profession across the country.


Surprised? The largest state in the nation may not be the most populous, but it takes the cake when it comes to massage therapists per person. While the state only has about 750,000 residents, it employs 770 massage therapists, which is about one therapist for every 1,000 residents.

However, despite having the highest concentration of massage therapists, Alaska also offers the highest salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary is $85,110. That’s more than $20,000 more than the second-ranking state in salary.


If you’re thinking of a state known for relaxation, Hawaii probably comes to mind. Hawaii is a hot bed of massage therapy. The state ranks 40th in population, but second in massage therapists per person. With only 1.4 million inhabitants, the state has 1,390 massage therapists. That comes out to a massage therapist for just over every 1,000 people.

Median salaries are also healthy. You can expect an average salary of more than $53,000 per year. Not bad to be able to practice massages in paradise.


Another tourist mecca, there seems to be a lot of demand for massages when people get off the slopes. Colorado is home to 4,950 massage therapists, serving a population of 5.5 million. That’s about one therapist for every 1,100 people. However, that number is a bit misleading.

Since so many tourists come to Colorado to enjoy the mountains and scenery, it’s likely that many of the massages are given to tourists from out of state.


Rounding out the top four, and the quartet of western states, is Washington. The state’s economy is booming and it is also home to some of the world’s most famous companies, including Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon. Meanwhile, the population continues to increase, with approximately 7.2 million inhabitants.

However, the number of massage therapists is keeping pace. Today, 4,030 therapists work in the state, which means there is approximately one therapist for every 1,800 residents. And despite that huge “supply” amount, Washington state massage therapists still earn a solid average salary of $55,920, one of the highest in the nation.

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