How much do you tip for a 90-minute massage?
Or, maybe you’re asking how much to tip because you have a massage scheduled and you’re not sure of the answer?
The rules on how much to tip a massage therapist are pretty simple, here’s everything you need to know!
How Much Do You Tip for a 90-Minute Massage?
The industry standard for tipping massage therapists is 20%.
This means that if your bill before the tip was $100, you would add a $20 tip, for a total of $120.
You can always tip more or less than 20%, but 20% is a good place to start.
15% is also fine, it depends on where you live and what the tipping culture and expectancy is.
So, as a rule of thumb, the answer to how much you should tip for a 90-minute isn’t based on the time of the massage, it’s simply 15%-20% of the bill.
How Long Is the Average Massage?
The average massage is 60 minutes long, but it’s also common to book massages that are 30 minutes, 90 minutes, or even 120 minutes long!
However, the most common length of time for a massage is 60 minutes.
This means that if you book a 60-minute massage and your bill is $80 before the tip, you would add a $16 tip, for a total of $96.
I know some people feel inclined to leave a slightly larger tip for a 90-minute massage, but that really comes down to personal preference.
I can attest that performing a 90-minute massage is no easy task.
It’s very physically demanding, the therapist is on their feet for an hour and a half while using their arms and hands to manipulate your tissue, it’s tough!
Massage therapy, in general, is a demanding job, hence why they’re tipped – and why the job has such a short life cycle on average.
Do Massage Therapists Rely on Tips?
Massage therapists do not typically rely on tips to bring their wage up to the state average like a lot of hospitality roles, but a tip still goes a long way!
According to BLS (the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), the national average annual wage of a massage therapist is $47,180.
Obviously, wages can vary a lot depending on the state, areas of specialty, and some other factors, so do keep that in mind.
What this data doesn’t explain is that massage therapists have a short lifespan compared to a lot of jobs.
This is because it’s so physically – and sometimes mentally – demanding, so tips go a long way to helping a massage therapist out!
Does It Make a Difference if The Massage Therapist Is Self-Employed?
Yes, it does (kinda)!
If the massage therapist is self-employed, they don’t have the same overhead costs that a business would, so they get to keep more of their earnings.
This means that a tip isn’t as necessary, but it’s still appreciated.
A good rule of thumb is to tip self-employed massage therapists the same as you would a regular massage therapist if you enjoyed it just the same, 15%-20% of the bill.
But I also understand why some clients feel like they don’t have to tip 20% if a therapist is self-employed and charging the same – or more – than they would if working at a spa.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t feel pressured to tip a certain amount.
You should tip what you feel comfortable with and what you think the massage deserved.
The good thing about massage is that nothing feels as good as a really, really good massage.
I bet you’ll feel happy to leave a good tip if you leave the massage table feeling awesome!
When Should You Not Tip a Massage Therapist?
There are a few situations where it’s not necessary – or even expected – to tip your massage therapist.
If you received a complimentary massage as part of a promotion or loyalty program, there’s no need to tip.
The same goes for if you’re receiving massages through your health insurance (such as workers’ compensation), it’s not necessary to tip in this case either.
Then there is the general tipping culture. You can base your tip on what you felt about the service you received.
If you didn’t like your massage and feel like the therapist doesn’t deserve a tip, then you don’t have to give them one.
Related – The challenges of being a massage therapist and some alternative career options.
When Is a Massage Bad?
There are a few things that can make a massage bad.
If the therapist is too rough, doesn’t listen to your preferences, or makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, then the massage is bad.
These are all valid reasons not to tip – or even to ask for a refund!
I hope this article has helped answer the question of how much to tip for a 90-minute massage.
As a general rule, you should tip 15%-20% of the bill, but you can always tip more or less depending on your personal preference and the service you received.
Header Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.