What It Takes to Become a Travel Occupational Therapist
A career as an Occupational Therapist is a vitally important professional position. Here, you’ll learn more about what it takes to become a travel Occupational Therapist. The demand for healthcare professionals of all types is increasing, and occupational therapy is no exception. Working as a travel Occupational Therapist allows one to enjoy this rewarding career and explore new destinations while making a very good living at the same time.
If you’re the type of person who likes to help others, is independent and enjoys travel, it could be the ideal career for you.
What Is a Travel Occupational Therapist?
Occupational therapy is a very important part of healthcare. Therapists are tasked with providing treatment necessary for overcoming a physical or mental disorder that results from an injury or any health condition. This is the only profession that helps people across their lifespans to be able to do the things they need and want to do through therapeutic use of daily activities, or occupations. Practitioners are enabling their patients of all ages to live life to the fullest through promoting better health or assisting them to learn how to better live with a disability, injury or illness. They are highly-sought after by many of the top hospitals and medical facilities throughout the country.
The difference between a travel Occupational Therapist and a traditional Occupation Therapist is that the travel therapist works for a healthcare travel company via a recruiter. The recruiter helps to set the Occupational Therapist on various travel jobs in different locations, usually for 13-week periods at a time. A traveling OT works in the same types of medical settings, from hospitals and clinics to skilled nursing facilities, rehab centers, home health, community health programs and so on.
The Benefits of Being a Travel Occupational Therapist
Travel occupational therapists enjoy may extra perks. Not only do they get the opportunity to explore new places and meet new people, they earn a higher salary, have their housing paid for, get direct payroll deposit, insurance, referral bonuses and sometimes bonuses upon completing assignments too. Oftentimes, licensure and immunizations are covered as well.
How Much Does a Travel Occupational Therapist Make?
A travel Occupational Therapist salary averages $95,500 per year, which is about $15,000 more than the Occupational Therapist working directly for a facility on a full-time basis. That doesn’t include all the extras like free housing either. Of course, as with most jobs, salaries for travel Occupational Therapists can vary depending on location. In the U.S., that range is anywhere from $83,000 to $108,000, with Nevada typically offering some of the highest paying salaries for Occupational Therapist travelers and Texas not far behind. South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Maine offer some of the lower salaries, ranging from about $64,000 to $68,000 per year.
Can New Grad Occupational Therapists Become Traveling OTs?
While it’s true that companies are often looking to hire OTs with a year or more experience, it is possible to travel as a new grad. There are a lot of facilities these days that are in desperate need of OTs. As a new graduate, it may be more challenging, but you’re not unqualified, and you’re likely highly trainable. If you find the right travel company and are matched with a facility where you’ll have other therapists around to help and learn from, it won’t be much different than starting a traditional, permanent job. The first year is going to be the most challenging regardless of whether it’s a temporary travel job or a permanent position.
If you love to travel, are excited about the challenge, the pay and moving forward with your career, making the decision to become a traveling occupational therapist may be a no-brainer.
How do Occupational Therapists Find Travel Jobs?
As mentioned above, as with other healthcare travel jobs, an Occupational Therapist travel job is typically found through a travel staffing company, working directly with a recruiter. To get started, it’s best to research multiple agencies in order to determine which offer the travel assignments you’re most interested in and are qualified for. You may want to search for forums so that you can chat with other Occupational Therapists and get some personal recommendations as there are hundreds of companies out there to consider.
Job boards are another option for finding OT travel jobs. Usually all you need to do is search on a location and keyword to turn up a list. Just keep in mind that as these positions are highly desirable – by the time you apply, they’re often filled.
The easiest and fastest approach for finding the right OT travel job and getting matched with companies that can meet your needs and interests is to use our free service for Occupational Therapists. By submitting a brief online form, we’ll match your preferences with the industry leading travel staffing companies. This will allow you to compare what’s available with the top travel staffing companies all at once. 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!