There are many reasons that most physical and occupational therapists would choose to find a permanent position and settle down. But, for therapists that aren’t sure where they want to settle down or don’t have family responsibilities, I have seven fantastic reasons why they should become a travel therapist.
7 Reasons to Become a Travel Therapist
1. More Money, More Time
No, don’t you worry. You read that correctly. Should you choose to become a travel therapist, you will likely find yourself with more money and time on your hands. No, travel therapists are not sorcerers with the power to bend time, but they do receive higher compensation and more time off.
Don’t forget about that student debt that you have. If you become a travel therapist, that extra compensation can go towards decreasing your debt load. And plus, making more money and having more time means vacation! Imagine working a couple of assignments in a row, then taking a month off to do whatever you wanted!
Sounds like a win to me.
2. Um, Travel?
Did I mention that this is a travel therapist position? There are many people working permanent positions in many industries that don’t have that opportunity. No, traveling isn’t for everyone, but inside some of us is a yearning to see the world around us.
There are online travel therapist companies that will help you connect with recruiters that can place you all over the United States. These sites make it easy to look for travel therapist jobs. You could work a physical therapy job New York City for 13 weeks, then go to a California beach town for another 13 weeks. Always wanted to shred some Colorado powder? Take a travel therapist position there and hit the slopes on your off days!
The possibilities are endless. Virtually every community across the nation is in need of your physical or occupational therapy skills. Put up a map, throw a dart, and be off on your next travel adventure.
3. Perks, Perks, and Perks
I want to make it clear that the benefits of a travel therapist will vary by recruiter organization and even assignment. That being said, in addition to being compensated handsomely, travel therapists also get additional perks.
Some travel therapy agencies will offer free housing or a housing stipend in addition to a car stipend. Many agencies are willing to pay the expense for you to get a license in a new state and even pay your travel expenses.
Depending on what you and your recruiter negotiate, you may even get an extra paid week off after your 13-week assignment. If you become a travel therapist, when speaking with your travel therapy recruiter, ask about per diems to cover food and incidentals. Many companies will offer them.
4. New Grad Student Market
Even if you have only just recently finished school, most travel therapist companies only require you to have a year of experience. With a staffing shortage across the entire healthcare industry, some healthcare organizations are looking to fill positions with fresh graduates and train them.
If you’re a new or recent therapy school graduate, you may not know where you want to settle down. If you have only lived in your same hometown your whole life, this is your chance to go out and see the nation – and get paid well to do it.
5. Opportunity is Knocking
The future for PTs and OTs is bright if they are open to different work environments. You could work in a large hospital in a thriving metropolis or a small clinic in a rural community. You may end up doing work for inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, home health and more.
Even if you are an experienced therapist, if you become a travel therapist, think of all the different opportunities you would have. Is there a particular specialty you have always thought about getting into? Try it for 13 weeks. Try different organization sizes and care settings so when you want to find a permanent position, you know what you really want.
6. It’s About Who You Know
Some say that life is all about who you know, and if you become a travel therapist, you’re going to get to know a lot of people. Think of all the different healthcare organizations you would get to work for and the settings you could work in. You would more than likely end up forming relationships with many of those staff members.
You don’t have to search hard on the internet to find stories of travel therapists that have been offered permanent positions from nearly every organization they have taken an assignment with. If you become a travel therapist and then decide later on to take a permanent position, you could end up with your choice of organizations. And if you love traveling, there will always be a need for temporary therapists to help out with staffing shortages and curb practitioner burnout.
7. Building Your Resume
When you are ready to take a permanent position, all of your experiences as a travel therapist bode well for a packed resume. You will have a unique skillset that your peers that work permanent positions may not have. Your travel therapist experience will demonstrate your adaptability and flexibility.
If you have worked in a variety of settings or in specific specialties, this may give you the edge over another candidate that has a more general work experience. If you have worked in a variety of communities, you will know how to find solutions to the issues that will stump your colleagues.
What Are You Waiting For? Become a Travel Therapist!
Time waits for no one, and neither do the amazing experiences and epic adventures that are waiting for you when you become a travel therapist. Do I really need to give you more reasons to start or make a career change full of travel and opportunities?
What do you have to lose? All you have to do is apply to become a travel therapist and you could be off on your next adventure!