As with most professions, horse massage therapists can anticipate different earnings levels depending on individual circumstances. These circumstances can include the setting or environment in which the therapist provides the service, the level of perceived value, the level of educational credentials, whether they offer massage services solely to equine clients or offer more generalist massage services and the demographics of the location in which they operate.
Horse massage therapists can expect to earn more in settings in which the purchaser of the service already recognizes the value of horse massage. In addition, fees will tend to be higher in the case of income-producing equine patients, such as race horses.
Earning by Hourly Rate
A horse massage therapist can generally expect to earn an hourly rate somewhere between $50 and $100 for a session. Individual sessions typically last somewhere between three quarters of an hour and one hour. Some fees can go higher than $100 in instances, such as race horse massage clientele.
Impact of a Master's Degree
The median annualized earnings of horse massage therapist whose credentials included a master's degree were $66,300 in 2006, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Practitioners with less advanced degrees, such as bachelor's or associate degrees, in curricula related to the horse massage therapist profession may realize lower fees and thus reduced annual incomes in comparison with this figure.
Generalist or Specialist
Not all horse massage therapists offer massage therapy strictly to equine patients. Some practitioners can be more accurately categorized as "animal massage therapists" and offer services to other animals, such as dogs and cats and in some instances even more exotic animals, such as walruses and dolphins The session fees tend to be lower for dogs and cats, ranging from about $45 to about $75 per session. In some instances, horse massage therapists may even cross over into offering massage services to humans.
The location of the practice and other types of services offered also are factors in pay. The densities of equine population will vary. Horse massage therapists may also find that even in equine-dense regions they may encounter lesser acceptance of the value of horse massage services. Clearly, as with any profession, the greater the pool of potential customer for the service and the lower the amount of competition for that service, the higher the fee a supplier generally can expect to charge for the service.
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