The wellness economy in the U.S. is a multibillion industry and growing fast – so it’s no surprise that there is an explosion of people seeking work in the wellness business too. For example, the number of newly registered yoga teachers in the U.S. rose by an average of 18 percent a year from 2008 to 2014, according to Yoga Alliance. Training is one thing – but finding a job is another and not all cities have enough aspiring yogis and yoginis to meet demand. The same is also true for other wellness professionals.
Every year hundreds of thousands of consumers come to Thumbtack looking for wellness practitioners across an array of categories so we have an unprecedented amount of data on the supply and demand for thousands of different services across hundreds of different markets in the United States. This data gives us insights into what service markets are underserved and which are oversaturated.
In a recent study of our five biggest wellness categories – personal training, life coaching, massage therapy, yoga instruction, and nutritionist – we looked at which cities offer the largest opportunities for professionals in these categories to come in and make a living.
What we found was surprising. While you might expect Western states or big metro areas like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to be the best markets for wellness professionals to earn a living, the competition in those areas is much stiffer as well.
Here’s what we discovered are the top cities for yoga teachers, personal trainers, life coaches, massage therapists and nutritionists and the average income per job in those areas.
Top Cities for Yoga Instructors
Yoga is no longer just for gurus and free spirits – more than 20 million Americans now hit the mat annually which makes it roughly as popular as golf. For yoga trainers looking for lots of customers and more manageable levels of competition, Rust Belt states like Michigan and Ohio dominate the list of top locations, along with two cities in Central Florida. The average price instructors across the country can expect to make is $47 per session, though that ranges in these under-supplied cities from a low of $25 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to a high of $58 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Top Cities for Personal Trainers
Far from Muscle Beach in Los Angeles, the American South is falling drastically short on personal trainers. We looked at requests for all manner of physical training including weight training, aerobic training, and boot camps. With the exception of Des Moines, all of the cities where personal trainers are most in demand are in the South, from North Carolina to Texas. On average, personal trainers in the U.S. can expect to make $41 per session, with trainers in these cities making between $30 (in Columbia, South Carolina) and $80 (in Baton Rouge, Louisiana).
Top Cities for Life Coaches
Large coastal metro areas dominate this ranking of where life coaches are most in short supply. For this list, we looked at categories such as life coaching, time management coaching and career coaching. And while lots of people are searching for these services in the Northeast Corridor, supply isn’t keeping up with the demand. The average price life coaches can expect to make in these cities ranges from a low of $150 per session in student-heavy Boston, Massachusetts to a high of $207 in the Washington, D.C. area, with an overall average of $178 across the U.S.
Top Cities for Massage Therapists
Are massage therapists avoiding the heartland? It sure looks that way from our marketplace data. While massage is in demand across the Midwest and the South, masseuses aren’t showing up to bid on these jobs as much as you’d expect. Mid-sized cities in particular are struggling to serve up enough massage therapists to meet the demand. The average price massage therapists can expect to make in the U.S. is $69 per session, with the average price in these 10 cities ranging rom a low of $61 per session in Columbus, Ohio to a high of $83 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Top Cities for Nutritionists
Louisiana isn’t known as being a mecca of healthy food, but lord knows they are trying. The state is home to two of our top cities where demand for nutritionists and health and wellness coaches isn’t being met by the supply. Perhaps all that cajun food has Louisianans trying to make a change. The average price nutritionists can expect to make in these cities ranges from a low of $55 per session in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to a high of $255 in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a national average of $120.
You can see where all this wellness demand exceeds supply and where the jobs cluster in the map below.