Compensation Strategies Examined Industry-Wide

Spas are struggling to attract and retain qualified employees at every level of employement. Develop a successful compensation package is crucial in an industry dependent on hiring top quality individuals.

Finding experienced Spa Directors is especially difficult. The actual salary for Spa Directors will be reflected by the responsibility, organizational structure, experience, financial responsibility and type of spa.In general, spa directors are under-paid in relation to other management positions in the hospitality industry. A study by Spa & Salon Staffing Services, commissioned by Day Spa magazine, finds that there is a direct correlation between the size of the spa and the salary of the director. The salary range in spas with less than 2,500 square feet is between $30,000 and $45,000; the average is $38,000. In spas from 2,500 square feet to 7,000 square feet, the salary range is $40,000 to $65,000, with an average of $52,000. In spas from 7,000 square feet to 12,000 square feet, the salary range is $55,000 to $65,000 the average is $55,000. In spa with more than 12,000 square feet, the range is $60,000 to $75,000, with an average of $72,000.

84% of the directors receive bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, representing 5% to 10% of the bottom line. In spas large enough to have an assistant director or service manager as well a spa director, salaries for this position were typically 50% to 75% of the director's salary.

Esthetician and Massage Therapists
Two-thirds of the spas surveyed pay estheticians and massage therapists an hourly rate plus a commission per service, The hourly rate ranges from $5.15 to $10 per hour, averaging $7.16. The service commission is then added to the hourly rate when services are provided. Service commission rates range from $12.45 to $30 per service, with an average of $23.71.

Compensation averages 50% of revenues in the spa industry. Included in this figure should be federal, state and local taxes, as well as workers' compensation insurance, health insurance, and vacation pay.

Staff training in the form of classes, visiting experts and attendance at industry shows are some of the best forms of compensation. Training costs must also be included when calculating the payroll ratio.