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Sports Massage Therapist Salary In The UK

Before jumping into a new career, it’s important to cover every area of this role. This certainly includes finding out everything about the average sports massage therapist salary and the factors that will affect how much you earn.

Below, we discuss exactly that, covering:

If you're excited to start your career as a sports massage therapist, check out our Level 3 Sports Massage Course or download our entire course prospectus to see exactly what we offer.

What Is The Average Salary For A Sports Massage Therapist In The UK?

According to Payscale, the average hourly wage for a sports massage therapist is £19.29 an hour:

Average sports massage salary wage

Glassdoor states the average salary is £42,443 a year (based on 16 salaries):

Sports massage therapist average salary

Although rough estimations of salaries are a good point of reference, these are based on the declared salaries of industry professionals but don’t take into account: 

  • Experience - You can charge more or ask for a higher wage if you have extensive experience
  • Location - Wages are higher or lower depending on where you work
  • Qualifications - More qualifications means you have more services and experience to offer clients
  • Hours - How many hours the professional works
  • Employment type - Freelance or self-employed therapists typically earn more than those who are employed

 

Become A Sports Massage Therapist with OriGym

Begin earning your ideal salary by enrolling on our Level 3 Sports Massage Therapy Course today!

Type Of Work Will Determine Sports Nutritionist Salary (UK)

Before you become a sports massage therapist, you should be aware salaries differ depending on how an individual is employed. Types of employment sports massage therapists can take include:

  • Freelance work
  • Opening their own clinic
  • Full time employment
  • Part time employment

These routes can be combined, for example by working contracted hours at a sports massage clinic but also earn running a freelance mobile business on the side.

Using Survey Monkey, OriGym conducted a survey of over 300 sports massage therapy graduates to see what route people chose for a year after qualifying:

Sports massage therapist salary chart

This chart highlights that most therapists work on a freelance basis.

Let's discuss the pros and cons of each employment type, and how that affects the salary of a sports massage therapist.

#1 - Working Freelance Hours As A Sports Massage Therapist

Working Freelance Hours As A Sports Massage Therapist

As a freelance sports massage therapist, you’ll be able to decide how many hours you put in and how often, especially if working as a mobile SMT. When going freelance, you will get out the effort you put in. This makes it difficult to definitively provide an average freelance SMT salary, as it’s totally subjective.

This means the amount of work you put in will directly impact your sports massage therapy salary (UK), so take into account how much more or less than the aforementioned average salary (£42K) you expect to make given your availability.

Benefits:

  • Take holidays as often as you like.
  • You choose the hours you want to work.
  • Unlimited earning potential.
  • Get to choose your own sports massage therapy hourly wage.

Cons:

  • It’s up to you to source your own clients.
  • You're responsible for all marketing and administration.
  • It takes time to build up your client base.

#2 - Self Employed Sports Massage Therapist 

Self employed sports massage therapist

Being a self-employed sports massage therapist is appealing to many as it provides plenty of freedom, flexibility, and the ability to potentially increase your sports massage therapist salary however much you choose.

Similar to the example above, you can either choose to be a mobile sports massage therapist or rent a space to have clients visit you. Of course, the latter will incur costs which you will need to take into account as you build clients.

This doesn’t need to be a room already dedicated to massage therapy as you can bring your own equipment and set it up there. However, an ideal room would be like the one below posted on Gumtree:

Sports massage therapist gumtree

As you can see, this is where a lot of your early sports massage therapist income will be going. This is why it may be a good idea to begin as a freelance or mobile SMT as you build your clientbase and save up income to use on equipment and rental space.

For example, Lucy J Massage offers a mobile massage therapist service with a range of different massages of varying times from 30 minutes to 90 minutes:

Lucy J Massage - Sports Massage Therapist

Depending on the times and type of massage, these prices also range from £30 to £80. This highlights how when starting out as a self-employed massage therapist, you should expand the type of service you offer to increase your sports massage therapist salary.

Benefits:

  • Option to increase or decrease hours when you want.
  • Allows you to build your own sports massage therapy business.
  • More control over your income as you alone decide how many clients to take on. 

Cons:

  • Unstable income, especially when just starting out.
  • May have to work anti-social hours to fill gaps in schedules.
  • If you’re sick or take holidays, you won’t be earning any income. 

 

Become A Sports Massage Therapist with OriGym

Begin earning your ideal salary by enrolling on our Level 3 Sports Massage Therapy Course today!

#3 - Employed Hours As A Sports Massage Therapist

Employed Hours As A Sports Massage Therapist

According to Prospects, the average full time employed position offers 37 hours a week. Depending on the clinic you work at, the structure of those hours may fluctuate from standard 9 to 5 work. You may find you’ll work early hours or late ones depending on when clients are available.

Working employed hours is much more stable than being freelance or self employed and provides more of a guaranteed income each week. Gaining a sports massage therapy qualification means you can apply for jobs such as this one below: 

Full time sports massage therapist ad

As you can see, this job has set working days from Monday to Friday with some weekend availability. This means you’ll have the freedom to take on extra clients around your scheduled working days if you wish to further increase your sports massage therapist salary. 

Gaining experience in roles such as this allows you to offer your services to professionals and increase your SMT salary. According to Prospectus, a massage therapist for sports team salary either privately or with a professional team means you can earn up to £35,000.

Benefits:

  • More of a stable sports massage therapist salary.
  • Holiday and sick pay entitlements.
  • Clients are generally sourced for you.
  • Work with other like-minded therapists.
  • Don’t have to focus on setting up advertisement, marketing, or administration.

Cons:

  • Capped earning potential.
  • Working set hours.

- - - - 

Aside from finding out about the a sports massage therapist salary (UK), here’s a few more articles to help you see why this career is for you:

Where They're Employed Influences How Much A Sports Massage Therapist Earns

Where They’re Employed Influences How Much A Sports Massage Therapist Earns

Many different types of employers hire sports massage therapists on freelance, contracted, and employed salaries. So you can see what sports massage therapist role is best for you, we’ll break these different areas of employment down.

We further surveyed employed or contracted sports massage graduates on the company they currently work for:

Sports massage therapist salary employment

As you can see, 65% of sports massage graduates ended up working for a clinic, compared to only a combined 2% working for an insurance or event company.

The reason for this difference in percentages is down to a couple of factors. The first is that there are thousands of clinics across the UK compared to insurance and event companies, making these jobs more visible.

Secondly, many people are likely unaware that both event and insurance companies even hire sports massage therapists. Many clinics also offer more hours to be covered at convenient times, providing more stability for sports massage therapists.

Sports massage therapist salary location

Let’s breakdown sports massage therapist earnings and salaries you will typically find at different institutions:

#1 - Find Employment In Gyms To Increase Sports Massage Therapist Salary

Certain gyms hire sports massage therapists on both freelance and full time basis. This role is often found in larger, more prestigious health club chains looking to offer their members more value with their membership than traditional gyms do. As a gym is more stable employment, the average salary would be anywhere between £21,0000 to £42,000. Gyms frequently have space or room hire available where you could set up a freelance business with rent pricing typically being around £400 - £600 per month.

#2 - Insurance & Private Medical Care Companies

Insurance companies hire both personal trainers and sports massage therapists which they deploy as part of their insurance programme to help with client’s rehabilitation. Insurance companies tend to hire on a contracted basis for a set period of hours in between and come with a sports massage pay of £25 to £35 per hour.

#3 - Employment With Events Companies Can Provide A Higher Sports Massage Therapist Salary (UK)

Have you ever done a Total Warrior or Tough Mudder? This often involves warming up with a personal trainer, completing the race, and may involve being offered post-race sports massages at certain locations. These are usually contracted positions but can pay a sports massage rate of £30 - £40 per hour.

#4 - Increase Sports Massage Therapist Salary By Working In Sports Clubs

Both amateur and professional sports clubs, cricket, rugby all need high quality sports massage therapists for post-match aid and for players with injuries and undergoing rehabilitation. Professionals tend to pay sports massage therapist salary (UK) on a full-time employment basis, and depending on the club, can pay up to £40,000 per annum.

#5 - Injury Rehabilitation & Sports Therapy Clinics Will Hire SMTs

One of the most common employers on full time, part time, and contracted hours are clinics specialising in rehabilitation or sports therapy. Most clinics are independent institutions as opposed to national chains and hire therapists on full time, part time, and a freelance basis.

#6 - Spas & Wellness Centres Employment Can Raise Sports Massage Therapist Wages

Spas are now broadening their services from beauty, relaxation, and Swedish massages into offering sports massage which has created demand for qualified therapists across the UK.

Location Can Impact Your Salary As A Sports Massage Therapist

Sports massage therapist location UK

A large factor affecting sports massage therapist salary in the UK is location. However, this doesn’t mean it necessarily pays better to be an SMT in a particular city.

A sports massage therapist career salary will be higher in major cities such as London. However, this is because of the high cost of living there compared to other cities.

As you can see below, this sports massage therapist job in London is between £27 - £35 per hour, far above the average mentioned earlier:

Sports massage therapist salary london

However, if we compare this to a job as a massage therapist in Manchester, this is between £9.50 - £12 an hour. This is lower than the average mentioned above but highlights the difference working in London and in other areas around the UK:

Manchester average salary of a sports massage therapist

While salaries may be higher in London, there’s also much more expense and other issues sports massage therapists are expected to deal with. Working in a busy major city like London means available space can be more difficult to come by if you’re a freelancer.

If you find available space to rent as a freelance sports massage therapist, you will have to factor in these extra costs. For example, this massage and beauty room available to rent in London is £500 per month:

London Sports Massage Therapist Rooms

While this does come with facilities you can use, as a sports massage therapist it’s unlikely you’ll require most of them as this room is for more general massages. However, this is still the kind of room you’ll be considering if working as a freelance sports massage therapist.

Additional Qualifications Means A Sports Massage Therapist Can Earn More

An important way to increase your sports massage therapy salary is to consider expanding your services by gaining additional qualifications. This means as a sports massage therapist you’ll be able to command a premium as you’ll be able to charge more or combine services.

Take A Level 4 Course To Increase Your Sports Massage Therapist Salary

One of the best ways to increase your salary is to take a Level 4 Course in Sports Massage Therapy

This course builds on the skills and knowledge from your Level 3 qualification, giving you a deeper understanding of sports massage.

You will learn more advanced sports massage techniques to be able to treat clients with a wider range of injuries and rehabilitation needs. 

You can therefore justify charging more for your treatments, since you are offering a higher level of service to your clients. 

As well as charging more for the clients you already have, a Level 4 qualification will also help you attract new clients!

People are more likely to choose a more highly qualified therapist over someone with just a Level 3 qualification, as it shows that they are a more capable and skilled therapist.

Offer Fitness Coaching To Increase Sports Massage Therapy Salary (UK)

Offer Fitness Coaching To Increase Sports Massage Therapy Salary (UK)

Fitness and sports coaching in every discipline requires massage therapists, whether that’s football, hockey, rugby, or horse riding. As every athlete will encounter muscular strains and tissue damage, there is a ready market to expand your business and increase your sports massage salary.

By combining your fitness coaching with SMT, this is a great way to increase your sports massage therapist salary. You can coach people and refer them to your sports massage services after to help with recovery. 

For example, this is what Oli from McBride Fitness has done successfully:

McBride Fitness Sports Massage Therapist Salary

He combined his interests of fitness and the human body to help clients with both hitting their fitness goals and dealing with the recovery of meeting them.

You may also decide to follow the example of Katie Ditchman who founded Perform Sports Therapy and has helped both clients and been a massage therapist for sports teams:

Perform sports therapy - smt salary

This is a great way to earn a greater sports massage salary (UK) as it opens many opportunities for you to be recommended to different sports teams. Katie would have built her impressive list from networking, beginning with treating clients and preparing individuals for events or competitions.

 

Become A Sports Massage Therapist with OriGym

Begin earning your ideal salary by enrolling on our Level 3 Sports Massage Therapy Course today!

Combine Services With Personal Training As A Sports Massage Therapist

Combine Services With Personal Training As A Sports Massage Therapist

The most common career path to combine with sports massage therapy is by becoming a personal trainer. This is likely due to the similarities in how you earn income, such as sourcing clients and how both services complement each other.

This is also because the same clients who purchase personal training sessions will also likely want to follow up with sports massage therapy.

For example, Rebecca Jo is a qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer who offers a mobile sports massage service: 

Rebecca Jo Sports Massage Therapist Salary

Those who purchase her personal training packages are entitled to a sports massage at a reduced rate. This is to enhance recovery and reduce injury, highlighting how she can refer clients between her services:

Rebecca Jo Average sports massage therapist salary

Clients are more likely to use your service if you offer both as it means they don’t need to seek someone else. They will also feel more comfortable receiving a sports massage from you as they have built a relationship with you already and understand you know how to properly help them.

Become A Sports Massage Tutor To Earn More Income

Become A Sports Massage Tutor To Earn More Income

Once you’ve completed your course to become a sports massage therapist, you could consider passing on your knowledge by teaching the next generation of sports masseurs. Most available work is on a freelance basis, such as in the job advertisement below:

freelance sports massage therapist salary

As you can see, this sports massage career salary is £150 which is standard for a role such as this, teaching and assessing at Universities, Colleges, and Training Providers.

This is something that could be done around your sports massage therapist work as it’s on a freelance basis and would most likely be during the day.

Offer Physiotherapy To Increase Sports Massage Therapist Salary

Offer Physiotherapy To Increase Sports Massage Therapist Salary

Although physiotherapy requires a degree, many physios are qualified in sports massage or offer it as part of their services. As these two are both forms of injury rehabilitation, these services can be combined to increase your sports massage therapist salary.

Before You Go!

Now you’re up to date on the average sports massage therapist salary, enquire about our Level 3 Sports Massage Course or download our course prospectus to find out more.

Written by James Brady

Fitness Writer & Enthusiast

James graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. His desire to find a place where he could combine his passion for writing and love of fitness is what brought him to OriGym. He believes his passion for daily exercise, especially running, is imperative in keeping him motivated and productive. As a result, he has a particular interest in the psychology of health and fitness and the relationship between physical and mental health. Outside of work, James enjoys reading, swimming, writing short stories, watching classic movies and has a keen interest in journalism and filmmaking.

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