How Much Do I Tip My Massage Therapist?

Tips are never expected, but always appreciated.  If you feel that you have received exceptional service and would like to show your appreciation to the therapist, the average tip ranges between 15-25%.  From a therapist’s perspective, it is always nice to receive the compliment of a “thank you for good service” gratuity. If paying with a credit card or check, the tip can be added to the total.  If your therapist is scheduled to provide an outcall massage, and is expected to schlep a table and associated equipment, a gratuity is more inclined to be expected and greatly appreciated. Any tip given with a genuine smile and a ‘thank you’ is better than nothing at all.

Have mercy!

Have you had a hard day traveling, or at work? Do you feel a little grumpy? Were you sharp or impatient with someone?

Well, guess what! People in service industries don’t always have great days either. Show them a little mercy and assume the best about them. Maybe your massage therapist is off the mark because a family member is sick in the hospital.

Instead of skipping the tip, give your therapist a break.  We are all human.

Coupons and gift certificates

If you received a coupon or gift certificate, how much should you tip? Tipping is always based upon the normal price of the service. If you get a coupon for 25% off, then tip on the original price. The amount of work done by the therapist is not less because you paid less. If you have a coupon for a free massage, then tip based upon the regular price of the session.

If you have a gift certificate for a massage, inquire if the gratuity is included. If it is not, ask for the estimated value of the gift certificate, and then tip in cash based upon that amount.

But the service is already so expensive!!

With proper tipping etiquette, the percentages of your tips do not change because of the cost of the service. Let’s take a hair salon, for example. Of course, you can always tip on the lower end of 10-20%. But if you are going to go to a more expensive salon, then it is assumed that you can afford $120 plus tip. If it is really a big crunch for you, then I would recommend going less often or finding a salon that is more within your budget.

Tipping the Owner

Do you tip the owner of a company when he or she provides your service. The answer is yes.

Christmas Holiday Tipping Etiquette

Christmas is a great time of year to remember those people who serve you regularly. Since it only occurs once a year, holiday tipping can be a source of holiday stress, but it need not be so. I recommend a gift or a tasteful Christmas card with a tip inside. Delivery should occur in the month of December prior to Christmas day. Tip those who serve you all year long and with whom you have a personal relationship.

  • Massage therapist – $15 or more. Read more about tipping massage therapists at


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