How Does Travel Therapy Work? Common Traveler Questions Answered
Have you found yourself with aspirations of becoming a travel therapist, but are a little overwhelmed by all the information being thrown your way? Well, you have come to the right place. We want to help you break down the basics of travel therapy, so you can see the amazing benefits it can offer and get excited to look for your first assignment. We’ve answered some of your common questions to give you a high-level look at the important aspects of traveling:
How long is a typical travel contract?
Usually, full-time travel contracts are set at 13 weeks, across settings.
How does the interview process work?
Once you begin working with a travel company, you will be connected with a recruiter, who will help you determine which positions fit your skillset, setting, and location interests. From there, your recruiter will submit your information to the facilities you are applying to in order to begin the process.
At AMN Healthcare, you will have the unique opportunity to utilize AMN’s Virtual Interview process to seek out jobs. Combining cutting-edge technology with a vast network of AMN clinical managers, virtual interviewing can help reduce your time-to-offer, so you are set to start your new assignment as soon as possible. The Virtual Interview process consists of a written portion and an audio portion, with skill-based and situational prompts to showcase your skill for potential openings.
Once you have completed the Virtual Interview, the AMN Clinical Team will review your answers and find position matches for your discipline and skill set. To learn more about this process, explore the additional resources on this page or ask your recruiter how to get started.
What will my pay structure look like?
As a travel therapist, another unique part of your employment will be your pay structure. When you travel far enough away from home to work at a school or facility that you accrue expenses for lodging and other living necessities, your pay will break down into multiple portions. Kind of get it but want an example? Let us break it down further.
Example: You are traveling to another state to work full-time in an acute care facility. You’re renting an apartment for the duration of your contract. Your compensation will break down like this:
Taxable Hourly Rate
Your hourly rate is the amount you will earn on your assignment, specifically during your allotted shifts. It is essentially your employment pay that is taxed normally by the IRS, with each state possessing a minimum taxable hourly rate for contractors.
Per Diem & Stipends
Remember those travel expenses you’re accruing? That’s the cue for your lodging and meals and incidentals stipends! These are the agreed-upon non-taxable stipends you will receive during your assignment to help you with your expenses. Your meals and incidentals per diem rate will be the daily amount you will be paid for use on food and other daily expenses you may have during the course of your assignment. Your lodging stipend will be a per diem amount paid to you based on calculated housing expenses.
Note: This example is based on a AMN Healthcare contract, so make sure to speak with your recruiter about pay structure specifics.
What benefits will I have as a traveler?
Outside of your pay structure, you’ll have access to some awesome traveler benefits to help sweeten the deal even more. The specific benefits you receive will differ between travel companies, so we will use AMN Healthcare as an example.
Clinical Manager Mentorship
When you begin your career at AMN Healthcare, you will be assigned a clinical manager to guide you through your entire travel journey. They will be your primary resource for career advice and can help answer any of your allied travel questions along the way.
Day 1 Insurance Coverage
As a traveler with AMN Healthcare, the main benefit you’ll receive is full insurance coverage from your first day as a contractor—including health, life, disability, and vision. You can opt-out of coverage if you don’t need it, but it is built into your benefits package.
Additional AMN Healthcare Benefits
Additional benefits that AMN Healthcare travelers have access to include free Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to help you develop your craft while you work, 401k matching to save for your future, and 24/7 customer support to assist with any contract or career-related issues on the fly.
Will my travel company provide housing?
At AMN Healthcare, the choice is yours! If you prefer to secure your own housing for an assignment, you will receive a aforementioned, non-taxable housing stipend to help you with any housing expenses you have. If you want to utilize the AMN Healthcare housing department, a housing specialist can find housing for you, based on your needs—many options being fully furnished. The housing department can also pay your housing bills each month on your behalf, leaving you one less thing to worry about while on assignment.
Where can I find additional resources?
Hopefully, this guide to the facets of travel therapy provides some of the important information you need to get started on your career!