Written by Whitney Eakin, PT, DPT, ATC
Are you thinking about starting travel therapy in 2019? You’re not alone!
The start of a new year is a popular time to be thinking about pursuing travel therapy. New grads who wrapped up in December or those looking forward to graduation in May are considering travel therapy. Experienced clinicians looking for a change in career path are considering it too. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while, but now’s the time to finally jump in!
New year… new you… new job… new travels!
If you’re considering starting a travel therapy career in 2019, here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Contact a few travel therapy companies & recruiters.
- You need to talk with a few to find out who you like best and who you want to work with. You should do some research online and ask around, but it’s most important that you talk with the recruiters yourself and find out who fits best with you! Ask about the company benefits, in what areas they have jobs, and what a typical pay package looks like!
- You’ll want to work with 2-3 usually at the same time to give you the best options for jobs. Remember, “working with” or “talking to” several companies does not lock you into being an employee of that company. You’re only committed to them when you take a contract with them!
- If you would like our recommendations for travel therapy companies and recruiters we know and trust, send us a message!
2. Start researching states where you want to work.
- It’s important to look at the job market and see where you are likely to find the best job for you. Some states tend to have more jobs than others, and some states will have more jobs in a particular setting than others.
- You need to find out about the licensing process for each state and get started on licensing for where you want to go!
3. Do your homework on pay packages and tax laws.
- You want to be an informed traveler and make sure you’re not being taken advantage of when it comes to pay. You also need to understand your own personal tax situation, as your recruiter may not be the best person to give you advice on this.
- To learn more about how pay works as a travel therapist, check out this comprehensive guide to pay as a traveler.
- We also recommend you read up on tax laws pertaining to working as a travel healthcare professional at TravelTax.com.
4. Start thinking about the logistics!
- There’s a lot that goes into being a travel therapist. Where will you live while on assignment? Do you understand what a tax home is and have yours all set? What will you bring with you? When is your anticipated start date, and how much time will that give you to get from A to B? Are you traveling alone, or with pets, or with a significant other?
- This is an exciting, stressful, fun, and crazy time! There’s a huge learning curve when you first get started, but once you get the hang of it and embrace the lifestyle it’s an amazing journey!
Do you have questions about getting started on your travel therapy journey? If you would like to learn more, check out our Ultimate Guide to Getting Started as a Travel Therapist.
If you have any questions about travel therapy or need advice on getting started, please feel free to reach out to us! We are happy to help!
Wishing you the best of luck in your travel therapy adventures in 2019!
~Travel Therapy Mentors Whitney, Jared, and Travis