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Old 11-07-2014, 10:50 PM
 
17 posts, read 20,732 times
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It's a big decision for me but I am considering moving to St.Pete and working there or in Tampa. I am a massage therapist who has been struggling financially and wondering if after the tourist season is over if there is still much work in the Summer? I mostly work at resort hotels and was wondering if traveling to Tampa would be too far if I can't find anything in St Pete.? I would also consider Orlando if my work would be more year round there. I was a little surprised how expensive rent is in Florida so I want to make sure the move is a good one. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,114,119 times
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I'm think long and hard before moving to TPA/STP - there will be a lot of competition for therapy work. As for alternative work, it will depend on how persistent you are and how willing you are to take menial work or if you have any other special skills. We have a lot of people who move here with no job lined up and they end up not doing so well - then complain about how this area doesn't provide work opportunities.

Last edited by Sunscape; 11-09-2014 at 04:39 AM..
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Pie Nellas
114 posts, read 118,258 times
Reputation: 185
Jeeze...when you joked with someone about his misspelling here, it was OK for you. One way sense of humor?

condo broad is evicting me

Last edited by Sunscape; 11-08-2014 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Seminole, FL
519 posts, read 810,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflySoul7 View Post
It's a big decision for me but I am considering moving to St.Pete and working there or in Tampa. I am a massage therapist who has been struggling financially and wondering if after the tourist season is over if there is still much work in the Summer? I mostly work at resort hotels and was wondering if traveling to Tampa would be too far if I can't find anything in St Pete.? I would also consider Orlando if my work would be more year round there. I was a little surprised how expensive rent is in Florida so I want to make sure the move is a good one. Any advice is appreciated.
St. Pete is a great area to live in, and there's lots of opportunity for massage therapy. The main problem lies in that everyone else has realized this too. If you want to come down here and work for someone else, you will probably not do terribly well. If you have the skillset, fortitude, and money to start your own business, you may do great in a few years.

As background: my girlfriend just graduated as an LMT from Cortiva (one of the top 2 or 3 massage schools in the country from my understanding). She was considered the best in her class, and for good reason. Everyone she gives a massage to wants to re-book her immediately and wants no one else. That said, right now she works for a spa making the the greater of $8 / hour or $17 / massage + tips. It's usually $8 / hour. So far it hasn't amounted to much. I make more in 2 days than she makes in 2 weeks. However, because of her ability, I have no doubt that she'll eventually make good money once she gets her own mobile massage business rolling and is actually making $80 / massage instead of $17.
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Old 11-09-2014, 01:47 AM
 
17 posts, read 20,732 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflySoul7 View Post
It's a big decision for me but I am considering moving to St.Pete and working there or in Tampa. I am a massage therapist who has been struggling financially and wondering if after the tourist season is over if there is still much work in the Summer? I mostly work at resort hotels and was wondering if traveling to Tampa would be too far if I can't find anything in St Pete.? I would also consider Orlando if my work would be more year round there. I was a little surprised how expensive rent is in Florida so I want to make sure the move is a good one. Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks for the responses so far. I am very experienced with many modalities and have some connections for jobs. What I wanted to know was if Tampa and St Pete are extremely seasonal where half the people leave in the Summer and not many tourist visit or does it still have a steady flow of visitors.
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:16 AM
 
1,897 posts, read 2,139,084 times
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For the most part its not that seasonal compared to other places because they are cities instead of these little resort type places. So plenty of year round residents to make a living on and considering these are some of the largest cities in the states plenty of opportunities.
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:13 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, FL
173 posts, read 336,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflySoul7 View Post
Thanks for the responses so far. I am very experienced with many modalities and have some connections for jobs. What I wanted to know was if Tampa and St Pete are extremely seasonal where half the people leave in the Summer and not many tourist visit or does it still have a steady flow of visitors.
--- Generalities based on my observations...---

Depending on the area, about 20% are snowbirds (people who live North during the Summer, and in FL during the Winter). In Zephyrhills, that's more like 45%. Another factor to consider is that some will stay inside during the hottest Summer days and will not go out of the air-conditioning unless they have to. That will cut into your business also.

Tourism would help your business, but won't win repeat customers. Also tourists tend to go for the places that advertise, and offer coupons, so you'll need to discount your services to capture that group.

Massage Envy is down here. Based on what I pay for a massage, I'd guess they don't pay much to their staff. This inexpensive alternative will be your competition when you are an independent. They may be your employer when you get here.

Also, the drive between St. Pete and Tampa or Tampa and Orlando is longer than you think. The joke in my house is that everything is an hour away...Roads are crowded, Auto insurance is high, Accidents are common. My roommate is currently working in Polk Co, and going to school in Pinellas. He's spending a fortune in gas, and lots of time on the road... There are good reasons he's doing this... but I couldn't live in my car like he does. It can be done. But how long can it be done? (He's only doing this for a semester.)

Many people visit Florida on vacation and want to move here. I've been here 8 years, and have seen many people move back home. You may not appreciate the support system you have at home... contacts with friends, family and co-workers. It's hard to make it without that safety net.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:48 AM
 
15,124 posts, read 31,016,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clairegoad View Post
--- Generalities based on my observations...---

Depending on the area, about 20% are snowbirds (people who live North during the Summer, and in FL during the Winter). In Zephyrhills, that's more like 45%. Another factor to consider is that some will stay inside during the hottest Summer days and will not go out of the air-conditioning unless they have to. That will cut into your business also.

Tourism would help your business, but won't win repeat customers. Also tourists tend to go for the places that advertise, and offer coupons, so you'll need to discount your services to capture that group.

Massage Envy is down here. Based on what I pay for a massage, I'd guess they don't pay much to their staff. This inexpensive alternative will be your competition when you are an independent. They may be your employer when you get here.

Also, the drive between St. Pete and Tampa or Tampa and Orlando is longer than you think. The joke in my house is that everything is an hour away...Roads are crowded, Auto insurance is high, Accidents are common. My roommate is currently working in Polk Co, and going to school in Pinellas. He's spending a fortune in gas, and lots of time on the road... There are good reasons he's doing this... but I couldn't live in my car like he does. It can be done. But how long can it be done? (He's only doing this for a semester.)

Many people visit Florida on vacation and want to move here. I've been here 8 years, and have seen many people move back home. You may not appreciate the support system you have at home... contacts with friends, family and co-workers. It's hard to make it without that safety net.
Lots of good info here ^^^.

OP, the fact is, the nice areas of Florida are glutted with massage therapists. That is not to say some of them don't do well, but the majority are struggling. If you end up working for Massage Envy or even a chiropractor you won't make much at all; however you could build up a clientele and then open your own place or go mobile. But you would have to be prepared to do something else to supplement for awhile.

You might also consider Sarasota (where I live). Yes, it is "seasonal" here, however, this town is big on alternative therapies and might be easier to build up a clientele if you are good and can fill a niche market. I personally know some therapists who started off with a chiro or massage envy and then moved on to their own practices. Anyway, you definitely need to take a long hard look at this because you WILL struggle for awhile. You did not say where you live or why you want to come here, but that should be factored in as well.

Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Seminole, FL
519 posts, read 810,795 times
Reputation: 402
If you're struggling in Mesa, I expect that you're going to struggle here as well. From my limited understanding of the industry, you're going to struggle anywhere in this country if your primary source of income is working as a massage therapist for someone else, especially a big company. You will do OK, but you won't have a lot of padding. The direct pay isn't that great and you rely a lot on tips. I think that you can roughly expect pay in the neighborhood of $15 / hour + tips around here. Of course, tips, and maybe even your pay will directly correspond to the # of people you give massages to. This area has a lot of competition, so I wouldn't expect to be busy the whole day every day.

The beach and resort area may be different, but the general community here is not nearly as seasonal as I expected it to be, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Personally, I'd expect you to be better off here than in Orlando, but it's just a hunch. Orlando is very tourist heavy, which means fewer repeat customers, which will make it more difficult to start your own business. Orlando may well be better for the resort side of things for obvious reasons, but I doubt you'd be able to progress from that, and you likely will face substantially more competition for the jobs.

I rather disagree with clairegoad about the driving around here. I think it depends on where you come from as your point of reference. To me, there's virtually no traffic in the area. The only thing that I would try to avoid is crossing one of the bridges between St. Pete and Tampa (or Sarasota) during rush hour. That's pretty bad, and does mean that it's difficult to live in St. Pete and work in Tampa, or vice versa, but the rest isn't too bad at all IMO. I'm not sure what Mesa is like specifically, but the traffic here is way better than in Phoenix. So if you're used to that then you won't have a problem with it here.

Do NOT think that you can live here and work in Orlando (or vice versa). It's 1.5 - 2 hours away without any traffic. As a massage therapist, you'll lose most of your money just paying gas.

BTW, you live in one of the cheapest housing metros in the country. You will probably be shocked by rental prices in most major cities, especially on the coasts. Just be prepared.
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