3 Reasons to Consider a Travel Therapy Job
Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™, and founder of PTProgress.com. He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your physical and financial health.
Thinking about travel therapy as your next career move? While there are many benefits to having a travel therapy job, these three popular reasons to become a travel therapist may be all the convincing you need to start packing your bags.
Sharpen Your Therapy Skills
If you enjoy quick thinking and love a new challenge, then a travel therapy job might make for an exciting career move. When you take on a new assignment as a travel therapist, you dive headfirst into an unfamiliar clinical setting full of new coworkers, different patient caseloads, and other unique challenges that require your A-game. You may end up collaborating with other specialists—such as Nurses, PTs, OTs, and SLPs—in fresh ways that provide invaluable experience for your next assignment. Over the course of a single year, you could work with dozens of elite professionals in your field, ultimately drawing on those encounters to sharpen your skills as a therapist.
Besides offering a new work experience, your travel therapy assignment may also provide opportunities in formal continuing education that you wouldn’t get elsewhere. All told, if you’re motivated to become a better clinician, there’s no faster way to grow your career than to become a travel therapist.
Explore New Settings
Aside from the obvious benefit of exploring a different part of the country, as a travel therapist you can also explore a different professional setting. One of the reasons I was drawn to Physical Therapy as a career was that therapists have the opportunity to pursue a variety of settings. However, most therapists tend to stick with the job they landed right out of school in a specific setting, never venturing out to try a different setting within their own profession! But when you work as a travel therapist, you have both the freedom and the means to completely change things up. For instance, you could choose to work in an outpatient setting for 13 weeks, then switch to a home health assignment or even an inpatient or acute rehab assignment.
For recent grads, travel therapy is a great career to consider, especially if you enjoyed performing multiple clinical rotations in school and aren’t 100% set on the type of setting you want to pursue. Not only does travel therapy help you stay sharp in different specialty areas in the profession, but it also gives you firsthand work experience that could open the door for new opportunities in your career down the road. Of course, if you prefer to stick with one specialty area but still want to explore the country through different travel assignments, that’s totally fine too!
Reach Your Financial and Career Goals Faster
Financial stress can weigh heavily on therapists, especially when student loan payments and cost of living expenses seemingly consume every paycheck. The pay bump you’d receive as a travel therapist could help you offload the financial burden of student loans and reach your career and financial goals sooner than you ever expected.
Truthfully, to dig yourself out from under the giant pile of student debt, you need a bigger shovel! With a bit of discipline and flexibility, a higher wage can shorten the amount of time it takes for you to pay off your loans and breathe the debt-free air. By simply being willing to travel and work at a new location, you could attain a 25–50% higher pay as a travel therapist. A financially savvy therapist who chooses to travel for a couple of years may be surprised at how quickly they can pay off their student loans!
The Bottom Line: Consider Travel Therapy
Whether you want a change of pace, desire new challenges, or aspire to meet your financial goals sooner, a job in travel therapy can provide the push you need to get there.