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Imagine being on the top of a beautiful granite mountain, 1000 miles from home. To your left is a gushing waterfall full of cold spring water and to your right are views of a sprawling valley. You made it to the top after a day of climbing and now bask in nature’s beauty at the top.
This could be you. AND, you could be getting paid for your time away from home.
Spring has sprung and so has the itch to explore! As the world is getting vaccinated, it’s time to stretch our legs a bit more and travel (of course while following all safety restrictions). If you are a speech, occupational, or physical therapist, you might be considering travel therapy.
What is travel therapy?
Travel therapy is when you work as a therapist (speech, physical, or occupational) for temporary assignments that have immediate short-term staffing needs. You travel to a location, take temporary housing to work there, and tend to work 13-week assignments (although lengths may vary). You can work in schools, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), hospitals, home health, or any other facility that would have a need for a therapist. Primarily, most of the medical jobs tend to be in SNFs, and SLPs tend to have a lot of school opportunities.
Travel therapy gives you the freedom to work when you want to and explore our vast country. It also helps you grow as a clinician and helps you determine what you value most from your work/life balance.
Travel therapy helped me discover that I love working in acute care, and I am a lot more laid back than I thought. I also found I am passionate about hiking, writing, yoga, and photography.
What is the travel therapy job market like?
While the job market for travel jobs was low initially during the pandemic, it has been picking up quite a bit recently. As of the first day of spring 2021, MedTravelers has listed a whopping 648 SLP jobs in the country! Physical therapy has 184 jobs and occupational therapy has 109!
Where are the hot jobs?
One word: CALIFORNIA! Time and time again, when new travelers ask me where they should travel, I recommend California.
Because there are a TON of jobs there–and not just SNFs (where we know most travel assignments are), but a variety of settings. From schools to home health, California has a lot of options.
And, it is a pretty darn cool place to live and work. The state has everything, from beaches to national parks, to mountains, and world-renowned restaurants. There is a lot to see and do in California.
PLUS, there are a lot of travelers in California. It’s a great place to be if you want to connect with other nomadic travelers and grow your community.
Other hot states at the moment include Arizona, Washington, and Massachusetts (for those east coasters).
Where can I go to find a travel therapy job?
Travel therapy jobs are staffed through recruitment agencies. The agencies perform all of your credentialing, submit you to jobs, and provide your paychecks (W2 style) and benefits while on assignment. So as a traveler, you are an employee of your agency and you are subcontracted to the place where you are working the temporary assignment.
An agency that I work for and highly recommend is MedTravelers. They are a large staffing agency that has access to hundreds of contracts and has a team member to handle everything you need as a traveler. From credentialing to housing, they have you covered!
The country awaits you!
Whether you want to climb to the top of that big granite mountain, drink sweet tea in the south, or put your feet in the ocean, travel therapy can take you there.
Where do you want to take your next travel assignment? Comment to let us know!
Special thanks to MedTravelers for being a sponsor of this blog and helping find contracts in amazing locations!
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