Masseuse helps airport travelers relax




Jennie Dyer

Massage therapist

Destination Relaxation, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

Salary --$23,000 a year

Age --49

Years on the job --3 1/2

How she started --Formerly a pastry chef, Dyer decided to make a transition to something with more flexibility. She went to the Community College of Baltimore County, Essex to research different careers. After coming up with a list, she decided being a massage therapist fit her personality best. She attended the Baltimore School of Massage part-time while she ran her own residential-cleaning business. She continued cleaning homes during her first year as a massage therapist.

Certification --In Maryland, a massage therapist must be certified or registered. Dyer is a certified massage therapist, which means at the time of her certification she had completed 500 hours at the Baltimore School of Massage and 60 college credit hours. She is certified through the Maryland Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Typical day --Dyer works four, seven-hour shifts at the Destination Relaxation's airport location, including Friday and Saturday nights. She usually works with one other massage therapist. A typical shift would include about 10 massages averaging 10 to 20 minutes. It costs $1.50 a minute for a massage. For her services, Dyer keeps 45 percent of what she takes in, plus tips. She also sees her own clients at her house and charges $60 an hour.

The massage --A 20-minute massage would include working on the scalp, neck, shoulders, upper back, arms, hands and lower back. Foot massages are also offered, but are rare.

The good --"I like being able to go to my workplace, wait for people to come up, ply my trade and make a living."

The bad --"The uncertainty. We work on commission and tips and that's what we get. We work month to month."

Philosophy on the job --"Massage is the body's road map to relaxation. Once the way is learned it becomes easier to go there the next time."

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