What It Takes to Become a Travel Physical Therapist

What It Takes To Become A Travel Physical Therapist

Working as a travel Physical Therapist allows one to enjoy a lifestyle that few get to experience, living a vagabond existence, exploring all sorts of new and interesting destinations while learning a lot and making some good money at the same time. In fact, you’ll find the pay offers some of the best in the field.

If you’re an independent type of person who loves to travel, is flexible and enjoys helping others, being a travel physical therapist may be the ideal career for you. Sound intriguing? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Travel Physical Therapist?

You probably already know what a physical therapist is, but we’ll go over it briefly – PTs, are licensed healthcare professionals who help patients restore or improve mobility, and/or decrease the pain that’s associated with it. The therapy can often be successfully employed without expensive surgery and may also lessen the need for long-term prescription use.

Instead of working directly for a facility or physician’s office, a travel PT works with a recruiter at a healthcare travel company who helps set them up on assignments in various locations, typically for 13 weeks at a time. This can include all types of patients as well as PT environments, from hospitals, residential and rehab facilities to a doctor’s office or even home health.

The Benefits of Being a Travel Physical Therapist

There are many benefits that come with being a travel physical therapist, from the opportunity to advance your career to experiencing new places and meeting new people. As a travel PT, you’ll also earn a higher salary and get free private housing, free travel, insurance, direct payroll deposit, and in many cases, your immunizations and licensure will be covered too.

How Much Does a Travel Physical Therapist Make?

Just like most jobs, salaries for travel physical therapists vary significantly according to the location. It can vary by as much as nearly 50% from one state to the next. For example, in South Dakota, annual salaries start at about $52,023, while the annual salary in California start at about $75,013. In general, popular U.S. vacation destinations pay quite well. Enjoy the palm-lined beaches of Hawaii and make around $109,980 a year, or the wilderness of Alaska, and you can make $130,744 per year.

What is the salary range for entry-level physical therapists?

Entry-level physical therapists, or those with the lowest 10% salary, earned around $63,530 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How does the salary of a travel physical therapist compare to that of a permanent position in the same location?

Typically, a traveling physical therapist salary will consist of higher pay than permanent positions in the same location, though this varies widely by traveling physical therapist jobs.

What is the salary range for physical therapists, including both the lowest 10% and the highest 10% earners?

The salary range for physical therapists varies, with the lowest 10% earning around $63,530 and the highest 10% earning more than $126,780.

What is the median salary for a physical therapist in 2020?

The median salary for a physical therapist in 2020 was $91,680 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What are the average salaries and hourly wages for physical therapists in California, Alaska, New Jersey, and Connecticut?

The average salary for physical therapists in California is $104,500 per year and the hourly wage is $50.24. In Alaska, the average salary is $100,330 per year and the hourly wage is $48.23. In New Jersey, the average salary is $100,740 per year and the hourly wage is $47.12. In Connecticut, the average salary is $100,580 per year and the hourly wage is $48.36.

Which states have the highest paying travel physical therapist salaries?

The states with the highest paying travel physical therapist salaries are Nevada, California, Alaska, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

What is the hourly wage for physical therapists in Nevada?

The hourly wage for physical therapists in Nevada is $52.20.

What is the average pay for physical therapists in Nevada?

The average pay for physical therapists in Nevada is $108,580 per year.

Want to learn more about PT travel jobs? Start here.

How Do Pay Packages Work for A Physical Therapy Travel Job?

Pay packages for travel physical therapy jobs consist of several key components. First, instead of a traditional salary, most travel allied health staffing companies offer hourly wages. This allows flexibility and the opportunity for overtime pay. In addition to wages, physical therapy professionals receive compensation for housing while on assignment. This can be provided by the staffing agency or, alternatively, a housing stipend may be offered.

Daily living expenses are also taken into consideration with meals and incidentals, commonly referred to as per diems. These per diems provide a daily budget to cover meals and other incidental expenses, and the amount can vary depending on the cost of living in different cities or states. Furthermore, travel expenses are included in the pay package. This can be either a reimbursement rate per mile or a flat rate for travel to and from the assignment location. By covering travel costs, travel physical therapists are relieved of the financial burden of commuting or relocating for work.

Overall, pay packages for PT travel jobs are designed to address the unique needs of professionals on the move. They encompass hourly wages, housing provisions or stipends, per diems for daily living expenses, and coverage for travel expenses. This comprehensive approach ensures that travel physical therapists are fairly compensated and supported throughout their assignments.

Can New Grad Physical Therapists Become Traveling PTs?

Despite what you might have heard, you CAN travel as a new grad. In fact, there are many travel opportunities for physical therapist new grads – though there are pros and cons of accepting such as position.

As a new grad PT in a traditional job, you’ll have a mentor for a long period of time, but when you work as a PT traveler, you’ll get less time with your mentor (or mentors), so you may need to seek guidance elsewhere. Still, if you love to travel, aren’t concerned about building long term rapport with a mentor, and you want to earn the best possible salary, then becoming a traveling physical therapist may be the perfect career choice for you.

Where Are Travel PT Jobs Available?

Travel physical therapist positions are highly sought after and can be found throughout the entire country. These assignments are available in a diverse range of healthcare settings, ensuring that therapists have ample opportunities to explore different regions while building a solid career in physical therapy.

Whether you prefer the bustling atmosphere of a hospital, the personalized care of a private practice, or the fast-paced nature of acute care, there are travel physical therapy jobs available in all of these settings. Additionally, you can find assignments in outpatient clinics, skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, home health services, hospices, surgical centers, and even school and education centers.

This wide range of options allows physical therapists to choose the type of facility or setting that aligns with their interests and professional goals. It also presents the chance to work with a diverse patient population, as each setting offers unique challenges and opportunities for growth.

So, whether you dream of practicing physical therapy in a large metropolitan area, a rural community, or somewhere in between, rest assured that there are travel physical therapy opportunities available nationwide.

How Do Physical Therapists Find Travel Jobs?

Just like most healthcare travel jobs, PT travel jobs can be found through travel staffing companies. One way to find the best travel job is to research travel staffing agencies individually to determine whether they have travel assignments that meet your needs and interests. Of course, the downside is that this can be incredibly time consuming as there are hundreds of travel staffing companies out there.

Another option for landing the right PT travel job is to search job boards. A keyword and location search is usually all it takes to return results that match your preferences. The downside to searching job boards is that you’ll most often find that the job you are interested in is already filled. PT travel jobs tend to get filled quickly, which results in outdated job information on the Internet.

The simplest approach to finding a PT travel job and getting matched with companies that can meet your needs and interests is to use our free service for Physical Therapists. By submitting a brief online form, we’ll match your preferences with the industry leading travel staffing companies. You’ll no longer worry about jobs being outdated as you’ll gain access to unadvertised travel jobs and you’ll save time on researching companies. Start here!

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