Travel Therapy Salary – Is it really more?

Whether you are just starting out in your therapy career or have been working for twenty years a short-term travel contract can be a great option for you. One of the best parts of a travel therapy job is the chance it gives you to make more money than you would in a permanent position. The question though is how much is the difference. That’s why over the next 5 weeks we will be doing a 5 five part series on the pay for travel therapists versus a permanent therapy or rehab position.physical therapist realizing she is out of money

Here is the schedule of the posts:

Travel Physical Therapy (PT) Salary
Travel Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) Salary
Travel Occupational Therapy (OT) Salary
Travel Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Salary
Travel Speech Therapy (SLP) Salary

So check back to see your specialty’s post. To make it easy you can subscribe to the Rehab and Therapy Jobs.com RSS feed here.

Even Therapists Can Use a Little Therapy

Each start to a new year can be beneficial to your psyche. It can provide a cleansing sensation that wipes away all that was in the previous year and give you a new outlook and a feeling of refreshment. If only for a short period of time, the new year is a great time to assess your current goals, whether it relates to your well being, career or life in general. Now’s the time to revise or at least start thinking about the things you’d like to. Don’t just accept what is going on… And in the words of the late, great Michael Jackson. Make that change.

Each start to a new year can be beneficial to your psyche. It can provide a cleansing sensation that wipes away all that was in the previous year and give you a new outlook and a feeling of refreshment. If only for a short period of time, the new year is a great time to assess your current goals, whether it relates to your well being, career or life in general. Now’s the time to revise or at least start thinking about the things you’d like to. Don’t just accept what is going on… And in the words of the late, great Michael Jackson. Make that change.

If you feel as though your career is stuck in a rut, perhaps it’s time to move on and switch gears. Maybe you should consider a travel therapy or rehab job this year to give your career that much needed boost. It’s a great way to revitalize your skills and knowledge, all the while visiting such great locations as wherever comes to mind. However, if a traveling therapy or rehab job isn’t exactly what you need, maybe the 22 tips on improving your attitude and flourish in your career is just what you’re after. Read about it at AdvanceWeb.com, a great site for therapists looking for news, tips and other resources pertaining to their industry.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 5 – Weighing your housing options

The next thing you are going to want to think about in planning your travel therapy assignment is your housing options.

First off you need to decide if you are even going to need housing. If you have decided that you are going to work an assignment that is within an hour of your home then you can opt to receive a housing stipend instead of worrying about setting up housing. But if you are going to need housing you basically have two options.

1. Have the travel therapy company find you your housing
or
2. Take a housing stipend and find your own housing

Having the travel therapy company find you your housing has its pros and cons, but most of the better companies will provide it for you if you want it. One of the main benefits of having the travel therapy company find it for you is that it becomes one less thing you have to worry about. They also have the expertise, time, knowledge of the area and established relationships that may allow them to get discounts you may not be able to get on your own, so they may be able to find you better accommodations than you could on your own.

But on the flipside there is an element of unknown when someone else chooses where you are going to live for the next 3-6 months. Here are some key questions you should ask regarding housing if you go with the company provided housing to avoid surprises.

Who pays for?

  • Rent
  • Moving Expenses
  • Utilities (check if there is a monthly allowance and which ones are covered by the company, including cable and internet)
  • Deposit (if there is one)

Will the housing be?

  • Close to my hospital (check on your own using Google Maps)
  • An extended stay, apartment, duplex or  house
  • Located in a safe location
  • Private
  • Furnished with basics like a bed, chair, microwave, television, TV stand, washer & dryer, etc. (find out what you will need to bring if anything)
  • Equipped with things like plates, utensils, pots and pans, towels, etc. (again find out what you will need to bring)
  • Big or small (ask about the square footage so you are not surprised when you get there)
  • Central Air 

Can I bring?

  • My Spouse/Significant Other or Roommate
  • Pet

When can I?

  • Move in
  • Move out

Now if you decide instead to take a housing stipend and set up your own housing or stay with family or friends who live near your travel therapy assignment, you will receive a monthly stipend to cover your costs so if you enjoy spartan living or already have housing with a family member or friend you can really use this as an opportunity to make some extra money. If you have to set up own travel therapy housing it will require some leg work and a fairly big time commitment to set it up. But here are some tips to help you get started:

1.  If it’s too good to be true then it probably is.  Stay away from renting from individual owners.  It’s a better idea to go with a property management company that has to follow HUD rules and regulations.  Our experience with individual owners has been that some, not all, like to keep money from deposits to continue work or updates on their rentals. 

2. Make sure you ask about fees and deposits.  Normally anything named a fee, like a Pet Fee, or Administration Fee are non refundable.  Deposits are usually fully refundable if there are no damages.  Some places charge deposits but then automatically take money from that deposit for the clean at move out.  Therefore if you ask up front you will know exactly what to expect at move out. 

3. Always get pictures if possible.  If you have pictures of your unit before you move in, then you can make sure to take pictures at move out.  Therefore you are not charged for any damages that aren’t yours. 

4. Double check your lease.  Even after discussing on the phone the rent, lease term and other items the lease could come back differently.  Look over dates, rent amount, fees, day that rent is due, notice to vacate, utilities or any items included in the rent, and who is responsible for maintenance, yard care, and snow removal.   Knowing all these things up front will save you a lot of time when something goes wrong.

5. There are a lot of rental websites out there.  A couple favorites are Apartments.com, Apartment Guide.com, Rent.com, ForRent.com, and MyNewPlace.com.  In smaller towns Google Map the town and then search for apartments.  In smaller towns you may also have to reference the paper and chamber of commerce.  Once finding an apartment you can look up furniture companies online at Yahoo Yellow Pages.  Enter furniture rental and these are one of your best resources as far as quality and location of the apartments you are looking in to.  They live there and deliver furniture to these places so don’t hesitate to ask their opinion.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 2 – Know where you want to go.

The second thing you need to do in the process of starting your travel rehab and therapy career is determine where you want to work. Just as figuring out why you want to travel will play an important role in a lot of the future decisions you will make as a traveling therapist (regarding your career), so will where you want to go.

The second thing you need to do in the process of starting your travel rehab and therapy career is determine where you want to work. Just as figuring out why you want to travel will play an important role in a lot of the future decisions you will make as a traveling therapist (regarding your career), so will where you want to go.

Here are some basic questions you can ask yourself to help determine where you want to go:

  • Are you interested in travel for travel’s sake?
  • Are you looking to get back close to family or friends?
  • Are there certain facilities you want to work in?
  • Do you have a favorite sports team you want to work near so you can see all the home games?
  • Do you have a hobby that can only be done in a certain part of the country? Like lighthouse tours? Or mountain climbing?

Here are some good websites to help you out too:

The choices are limitless, there are open rehab and therapy jobs all across the country so take some time to evaluate where you are in regards to this step and keep an eye out for the next installment of “Your Travel Therapy Career Step-by-Step”, where we will look at how long you want to be a travel therapist.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 1 – Know what you are looking for.

Before you start out in your travel therapy career you need to evaluate exactly why you want to travel and what you hope to get out of it.

  • Do you want to make more money?
  • Are you trying to gain more experience to start your own practice someday?
  • Do you want to broaden the kind of patients you work with?
  • Are you looking for a change of pace?
  • Do you want to improve your current skills? Be exposed to new ones?
  • Are you interested in meeting new people?
  • Intrigued by new places?
  • Just need an adventure before you settle down?
  • Need an adventure now that the kids are in college?

Whatever your reasons are for choosing a travel rehab career it is important to know them going because they will guide many of the decisions you will have to make about the assignments you take and other key decisions as you move further in the travel rehab job process.

Avoid the Noid!

You know who they are, you’ve been annoyed with them at every job you’ve ever had. The boss who doesn’t know up from down, the guy who always gives you a punch in the arm as his way of saying hello, Mr. B O, the gossip queen, the clock watcher, the manipulator and the one who always seems to bring something for lunch that stinks up the whole joint. Yes we’ve all seen some derivative of these and if you’re honest with yourself, you may admit that at one point in time you may have been one of those people. There are certain signs like constant whining or sucking up that will lead you to believe that this person will be irritating to no end. Sure we all experience the occasional bad day and it can bring down those around you as well, but when these behaviors are more common than not, you have a problem. So what can you do to prevent this having a negative affect on your next travel therapy or rehab job?

Entering a new position is already a feat in itself, but now you add all the different and new personalities, some you know you’ll get along with while others you know will be a task to get deal with. When starting a new job you want to be on your best behavior and you have a lot to prove, not only to yourself but your peers and you definitely don’t want to ruffle any feathers being the “outsider.” So what can you do?

I’d guess most people would do everything in their power to avoid those who irritate them. Sounds good in theroy but the reality is you’ll see this person day in and day out and eventually might be paired up with them in dealing with certain patients or situations. When the time comes to working alongside say a negative Nancy, give yourself a few minutes prior to the rendezvous and take a few deep breaths. When you are ready for “battle” come in being cheery, under control and use a pleasant tone of voice. Do the work that is expected of you and then step away as if nothing bothered you. If you let the negativity get to you it will only make matters worse.

In some cases you may be perceived as the annoying one and for no good reason. Maybe it’s the way you dress or carry yourself, but the reason is never clear. Here’s what you can do… Ask to meet this person one-on-one and have a heart to heart. No one else around, just the two of you. Give them the benefit of the doubt, swallow your pride and inquire about how you can at least have a working relationship if nothing else. If the problems continue, maybe seek out a superior or if you dont’ think it’s worth it. Move on. Your self-esteem is far more valuable than the job, there will always be more work. That too is a great big benefit of travel therapy and rehab jobs. Just move on to the next.

Hopefully you’ll never have to resort to any of these actions while on your traveling assignment, but if you do, you now have a plan on how to react and deal with these situations. To learn more about ways in which you can deal with the annoying co-worker, visit these sites I’ve listed below. There is a wealth of information you can use not only in the workplace but through life in general.

Dealing with Difficult Coworkers: From Sales and Marketing to Finance and Planning

Dealing with the Jerk at Work

Here are a few other sites that poke fun at the annoying types. I wouldn’t recommend using any of these techniques but they are worth a laugh!

My Bad Boss

Annoying Coworker