What is a fair commission for your services when working in a city day spa?

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Chachi in Washington, District of Columbia

121 months ago

Hi there,

I recently got a job offer as a massage therapist working in a small spa in Washington, DC. I am state licensed as well as the NCBTMB.

I've been offered a 40% commission for my services. The spa charges $100 for 1 hour massage, and $140 for 90 minutes. In essence I would make $40 for 1 hour massage and $56 for 90 minutes plus any gratuity. However if I don't have any clients I don't get paid anything at all. Moreover I am not entitled to any benefits.

Is this a fair deal considering I live and work in a big city? I was expecting a 50/50 cut and would have been happy with that. I would appreciate any thoughts on this matter. I'm simply not sure whether I'm getting screwed over or offered a fair deal.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

~C

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Dawn from Orange County actually in Los Angeles, California

121 months ago

TAKE IT! 40% is great! $40 bucks an hour is awefully good for a trade school education. and $56 bucks um yea good too PLUS TIP!
Remember that is your take home! As in you don't have to pay the rent, receptionist, utilities etc.

50/50 would mean you are a partner which means you then get to split all the overhead with the co. How much would be left of your 50% after you paid, rent, utilities, permits and fees, linens, oils, recepionist, office supplies, and the list goes on and on. LESS THAT 30%.

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Kimmy in Chicago, Illinois

121 months ago

40% is a good commission at those prices, most major spas here pay 25%-35% I only get 40% of $75 here in chicago, and the 40% is only because of my experience in the field other wise it's less. the other massage therapist at my location only gets 30%

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Chachi in Washington, District of Columbia

121 months ago

Thank you both for your comments. You made my decision easier and as of today I accepted the offer. It feels right and I do believe I will be happy there.

Thanks again!

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Andrea in Puyallup, Washington

79 months ago

Getting a 40% commission is awesome. I would be happy with what you have...the only thing I would wonder about is if any of the over head is yours? Sheets, oils, are you paying rent for the room? If all of these expenses are taken on by the spa...then you are getting a great deal.

The only way a 50/50 split or more in your favor would be needed is if you are taking on expenses as named above.

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Monica in Providence, Rhode Island

74 months ago

In RI commission is usually 50/50, which includes all overhead, supples etc. if you are expected to pay for your own supplies, you take home between 55-70 %.

most new therapists cannot walk into a situation like this though...
if you are brand new, you can expect to get 50% commission but have to pay for your own supplies.

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Simone in Toronto, Ontario

62 months ago

To tell you the truth you should be getting paid a 60%/40% split(60% percent for you, and 40% for them) you are degrading yourself as a massage therapist. You do all of the work and all they do is supply to linens, oil, table and room (as it should be). If its a busy spa, they can afford the split. Too many massage therapists are just taking whatever they can get, when in all actuality your a entitled to more.

If it was up to me, I would just find my own clientele and grab my own sheets,lotions and table charge people $100 for a 1 hr massage. Remember if you are licensed and registered, you are worth more than the average MT

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Aaron in Grayslake, Illinois

59 months ago

Simone in Toronto, Ontario said: To tell you the truth you should be getting paid a 60%/40% split(60% percent for you, and 40% for them) you are degrading yourself as a massage therapist. You do all of the work and all they do is supply to linens, oil, table and room (as it should be). If its a busy spa, they can afford the split. Too many massage therapists are just taking whatever they can get, when in all actuality your a entitled to more.

If it was up to me, I would just find my own clientele and grab my own sheets,lotions and table charge people $100 for a 1 hr massage. Remember if you are licensed and registered, you are worth more than the average MT

This might be the case where you are located however definitely not in Chicagoland. The rent, income, and property tax rates here do not allow for such a split. As an LMT who has worked at numerous places and has owner multiple businesses in my lifetime, I can say that most massage spa owners makes less than their full time massage therapists. Some might make more, but if you subtract the 40 or more hours of wages a working owner would have to pay someone else to do his/her job, the owner makes very little from their investment.

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Aaron in Grayslake, Illinois

59 months ago

Chachi in Washington, District of Columbia said: Hi there,

I recently got a job offer as a massage therapist working in a small spa in Washington, DC. I am state licensed as well as the NCBTMB.

I've been offered a 40% commission for my services. The spa charges $100 for 1 hour massage, and $140 for 90 minutes. In essence I would make $40 for 1 hour massage and $56 for 90 minutes plus any gratuity. However if I don't have any clients I don't get paid anything at all. Moreover I am not entitled to any benefits.

Is this a fair deal considering I live and work in a big city ? I was expecting a 50/50 cut and would have been happy with that. I would appreciate any thoughts on this matter. I'm simply not sure whether I'm getting screwed over or offered a fair deal.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

~C

That is a great deal. no body will ever make that again because of the flood of massage therapists entering the market

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Tim in Missouri

21 months ago

Simone in Toronto, Ontario said: To tell you the truth you should be getting paid a 60%/40% split(60% percent for you, and 40% for them) you are degrading yourself as a massage therapist. You do all of the work and all they do is supply to linens, oil, table and room (as it should be). If its a busy spa, they can afford the split. Too many massage therapists are just taking whatever they can get, when in all actuality your a entitled to more.

If it was up to me, I would just find my own clientele and grab my own sheets,lotions and table charge people $100 for a 1 hr massage. Remember if you are licensed and registered, you are worth more than the average MT

I totally agree. The owner taking more than 50% is ridiculous. I've been in practice 18 years and it never used to be this way. (I don't recall anyway). You are not being fairly compensated for your work. You do all the work for $40 and the owner gets $60?!?

If you see 40 people a month the owner clears $2400?!! For giving you linens? BS

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Salon & Spa owner in Kennebunkport, Maine

8 months ago

Well said Tim!!! I couldn't agree more!

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Floh in Winnipeg, Manitoba

16 days ago

Simone in Toronto, Ontario said: To tell you the truth you should be getting paid a 60%/40% split(60% percent for you, and 40% for them) you are degrading yourself as a massage therapist. You do all of the work and all they do is supply to linens, oil, table and room (as it should be). If its a busy spa, they can afford the split. Too many massage therapists are just taking whatever they can get, when in all actuality your a entitled to more.

If it was up to me, I would just find my own clientele and grab my own sheets,lotions and table charge people $100 for a 1 hr massage. Remember if you are licensed and registered, you are worth more than the average MT

I have two cents as a business Owner to add here. First the business owner does a lot more than just supply linens, oils and tables. They will pay your lease, electric and heat, they will pay for business expenses related to the bank. They will also, pay for break ins and losses (or pay a high insurance deductible if they dare to make a claim). They will pay for security systems, cleaning of facilities, dealing with customers who's accounts are not balanced (insurance billing) , dealing with massage therapists account and commissions, also dealing with massage therapists being late ---hence grumpy customers--(happens more often than you'd think. They drive around to shop for your supplies or spend online to shop for your supplies. Then there is receptionists that need to be paid, phone bill needs to be paid, debit/credit transaction company needs to be paid. Internet, booking software, accounting software, payroll taxes, Employment Insurance, Canada pension,needs to be paid and kept track of. Oh yes and then once all that is done come the taxes, now you are in a higher tax bracket so somehow the business has to pay for that yet. I will tell you from experience that I would not buy a business again if I could do it over, it is not fun and vacation like you make it sound.

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