Mobile apps originate in simple games like Snake that was available on Nokia phones. (Have you ever played with it?) Today there are around 2-2.5 million apps listed online. A certain percentage of them have started to revolutionize and consequently change how people work. You may have heard about Uber and Lyft for drivers, or Postmates and Deliveroo for delivery drivers. The status quo has been challenged in terms of massage therapist jobs as well. A few mobile applications have been developed specifically for certified and licensed massage therapists who are looking for extra work in their respective cities. By simply downloading and installing the app, creating a profile, getting your profile approved and participating in a short onboarding session, you can gain access to clients you would not meet and/or could not get in touch with otherwise – not at least without a huge amount of money spent on self-promotion. Marketing costs a lot of money… On the platforms, your (high) ratings and not more money invested marketing will improve your reputation.
What are mobile massage therapist jobs like?
When we talk about mobile massage therapist jobs, first and foremost, we think about professionals who provide their services in various places, for example in homes, offices, spa resorts, hotels, etc. They move around from one address to another. They may do it full-time, part-time, or on the side, as either business owners or being employed by someone.
In the case of the former group, therapists have probably built everything from scratch (having spent lots of money on marketing perhaps), and made all the choices on their own. In the case of the latter group, therapists experience less freedom as their employers decide how much, how often and where they should work, also setting their hourly wages or monthly salaries. Some people say that the members of the latter group do not earn such a high salary. Of course, salaries vary in cities, states, and countries. On average, masseurs or masseuses earn ca $36,000 a year in the USA and £25,000 in the UK.
However, certified and licensed massage therapists are provided with the opportunity to increase their income by finding additional clients via mobile apps. Some of the key players in disrupting the massage therapy industry are Urban Massage, Soothe, Zeel, and Freely. Whereas you have to be fully certified and licensed with the former three, Freely only recommends practitioners to get certified and licensed; they share this piece of information with their users. (We assume they are more likely to hire someone who is trained, certified and licensed.)
What are the benefits of working with apps?
First of all, you can sign up for the platforms easily and fast. Second of all, apps help massage therapists to build a clientele without them dipping into their own pockets to promote their services. With a profile on the app, you’ll be notified of clients looking for a therapist in your area. While on-demand appointments may pop up on your screen, some clients will certainly book an appointment well in advance. Working with an app means you’re in charge: you work flexible hours and enjoy geographic flexibility. You will only travel to neighbourhoods that are located near your home, or where you feel comfortable. Some apps, such as Zeel, set their own categories, namely someone or a couple can book a Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, sports, or sleep massage.
What are the challenges of working with apps?
Mobile massage therapist jobs require more effort from practitioners. Massage therapists usually carry their own massage tables and sets of oil, towels, linens, etc., which may seem quite a challenge if you travel by public transport. It’s definitely not impossible, especially if you buy a trolley or another kind of vehicle that helps you. But what about the other passengers, right? It will certainly take some time for you to learn how to ignore all the noise and rushing people around you who may see you as a hurdle.
You should also get prepared for unusual work environments. You might be used to treating people in a quiet room but you may end up at the airport offering a chair massage. Are you allergic to animal hair? Consider what happens if your client lives with cats and/or dogs. You’ll be visiting people’s homes, so you never know what awaits you there. Additionally, you can be sure that you will encounter all kinds of people. Therefore, you should work on your interpersonal communication skills, as those will enable you to handle every situation in a professional and respectful way – even if you feel very much annoyed by your clients.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that you may go days without booking, or only with a few. Some massage therapists who have gained experience with apps believe that this happens because the people working at these platforms are the first ones getting the notifications and they may pick them for themselves or someone they know. We can neither confirm nor deny this.
How much do mobile massage therapist jobs pay?
According to our study, massage therapist jobs are the highest-paid gig jobs on AppJobs. However, as mentioned above, massage therapists’ salaries vary according to where they live. When it comes to earnings, you will also see differences between apps. For example, a therapist working with Zeel may earn $80, but with Soothe, only $55-60. As someone based in the UK, you may earn up to £60 per booking with Freely, and £600-£1000 a week with Urban Massage. While Zeel incorporates an 18% tip in their prices, other platforms leave the decision for the clients. These platforms tend to keep a certain percentage of the booking price, which is around 20-35%. In the case of Freely, they keep 20%, including VAT.
Bear in mind: Your profit is the sum you keep after you pay your taxes and subtract the costs of fuel, public transport or the maintenance of your vehicle, and other necessary equipment and supplies. Your electricity bill may increase if you need to wash towels, linens, and uniforms regularly (maybe on a daily basis). On some days, you may feel that the hours spent travelling are not compensated enough.
Massage therapists worked with various apps suggest, based on their experience, that you should not work solely with these platforms but have various streams of income. For example, a part-time job at a hotel or spa. They also draw attention to the competition between therapists using apps, especially the ones that promise higher pay.
The highest-earning gig jobs listed on AppJobs.
What to know about employment conditions?
If you work with an app, you will be classified as an independent contractor. With Urban Massage, you have to be registered as self-employed and need a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service). In all cases, you have to provide your own insurance. Zeel and Urban Massage assist therapists who don’t have any insurance yet.
What else do companies assist you with?
Since you’ll work as an independent contractor, you need to file your own taxes. Zeel and Soothe will send you the form 1099-MISC. With Urban Massage and Freely, you should check the website HM Revenue & Customs, which is a governmental agency in the UK.
Work as a massage therapist in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Seattle, Nashville, Houston, St. Paul, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Chicago, London, Bristol, Edinburgh, and other cities in the USA and the UK.
Connect with other massage therapists from your city and talk to them about mobile massage therapist jobs. Ask them specific questions: on the best types of massage oil and lotion, for example. For more information on mobile massage therapist jobs, with regard to working as an independent contractor or purchasing insurance, please visit our our blog. Some of our recent posts are listed below. We highly recommend reading them if you want to find another side hustle to make your work life more diverse and your wallet heavier.
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