Your money can go farther when you travel

cost of living impact on travel therapy

A quick follow up to Patrick’s last post about 3 Reasons to Consider Travel Rehab and Therapy Jobs.

Another reason the money can be so good for travel therapists is the cost of living differences across the country.

Why?

Well, if your permanent residence is in a state with a relatively low cost of living like Oklahoma or Arkansas, then the money you make in high cost of living states like California  or Washington D.C. is going to be worth a lot more back home, when you go to buy a car or house for instance.

And conversely if your permanent residence is in a high cost of living state you can travel to and live in low cost of living areas and make major purchases there and scope out cool, new potential places to live, without committing to them.

This rule holds true whether you are a physical therapist, PTA, occupational therapist, COTA or SLP. Use sites like Payscale.com to see the difference for yourself.

Resources for the Traveling Therapist

I’m discovering how new the idea of being a traveling therapist really is because there really isn’t much out there on the web regarding this profession. That’s what we here at Rehab and Therapy Jobs.com are trying to fix. Any and all information we can find that will help you in your careers we will post and today I found a couple things.

19190911There is a blog site written by a current traveling therapist and it is called, “The Ramblings of a Traveling Speech Therapist.” As the author describes it, “This blog will detail my travels and provide a contact point for all those who I meet along the way.” So take a minute or two to read about her travels. She has had some great experiences and some not so great, but that’s life ain’t it? You take the good, you take the bad and there you have… Hopefully I’m not dating myself with that little lyric but I probably am. Anyways, read some of her posts – she gives great insight as to what you can and cannot expect on your traveling therapy job.

The next site I discovered that can help you with your career as a traveling therapist is MedTravelerClub.com. This site is dedicated to providing prospective and current traveling therapists a place to share information regarding staffing agencies, interviewing, locations, etc… There is also a great page of links to associations, certifications and so forth. There is also a forum to share your stories and experiences with other current and past travelers. This would be a great way to find out about a location you’re thinking about or perhaps just making friends to meet out while on assignment. So check it out!

As I said, there isn’t much out there for you travelers yet, but we’re working on it so check back and we’ll keep you informed!

3 Reasons to Consider Travel Rehab and Therapy Jobs

We’ll make this plain and simple, so here are the few, but most important reasons you should consider a travel rehab or therapy job.

1. Knowledge. As a traveling therapist or rehab specialist there is no question that your skills and knowledge will progress. Where ever your next contract takes you, whether it be a large metropolotain research and teaching center or a small rural community hospital, you will acquire new skills related to your profession… And maybe some that have no relation at all.

Taking a traveling rehab or therapy job can land you in any number of cities and facilities. Each assignment will possess something the other did not and collectively you will gain far more experience than in any permanent position. You may have learned a new stretching technique in Albuquerque, New Mexico and on your next assignment in Toledo, Ohio you could be teaching this to your newfound colleagues.

307156802. Total Control. Is your current permanent position becoming stale and repetitive? Tired of the office gossip and politics? A short-term contract therapy and rehab job may just be the escape you need. When you choose to work as a “traveler” you are afforded the option of where and when you’d like to work. Pick the city, pick the type of care facility you’d like to work at and Presto!

The options are endless when you’re a traveling therapy and rehab specialist. As stated above, you may want to take on a position in low-stress enviornment, say that of a smaller community rehab facility. Or maybe you’d like the hustle and bustle of a major healthcare network? Whatever you choose, it is your choice. Whatever kind of assignment you pick, just remember, you wouldn’t be getting this kind of experience stuck at home in your permanent job. To ensure you get to exactly where you want to be, it is imperative that you form a good working relationship with the recruiter of your chosen staffing agency.

3. Money. I don’t think I need to say any more than that… But I will. Did you know the average pay for a Physical Therapist according to Payscale.com is around $56,000 per year. That’s before taxes and with 1 year of experience or less. Now as a traveler you could make upwards to 6 digits in one year after taxes!. Your housing is paid for, you receive health/dental insurance, per diems and on and on and on… All these surely add up to more than anything a permanent position could offer you. You also have the chance at earning even more by bringing along your friends and peers with referral bonuses.

Just to warm up to the idea, try and find an assignment close to home and from there, spread your wings. There’s Hawaii, California, Florida, New York, Montana, Oregon, Georgia, Michigan, Texas….

Rehab and Therapy Jobs.com Weekly Twitter Updates for 2009-07-26

  • Hey PT and OT students! Did you know that you can get a job as a travel physical therapist or occupational therapist right out of school? #

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More books for your brain!

3409035557_d0490b0315Again over at MikeReinhold.com he’s listed the favorites of some highly respected clinicians in the field of orthopedics and sports medicine. This time around we have an Essential Reading List from George Davies, who Mike says,  “George is considered to be one of the founding pioneers of sports physical therapy and one of the most respected expert clinicians.” With a description like that, you know there’s going to be some good stuff on that list.The next contribution is an Essential Reading List from Eric Cressey. According to MikeReinhold.com, “Eric offers another perspective on our essential reading list, but you can start to see the overlap between the disciplines of physical therapy, athletic training, strength and conditioning, and fitness.”

There is a wealth of information and knowledge in those couple lists. I’m sure you may have read some of the books and I hope that maybe you also discover a few that you have not. Try and make it a goal of yours to read at least one book while you’re on your short-term rehab or therapy contract assignment. Please comment about any other reading materials you see fit to add to your own list.