Advantages Of Traveling Healthcare




There are many benefits to starting a traveling healthcare career. Below is a quick list of benefits. I will discuss each point further in this post:

  •  Incredible compensation: $1200- $2000/week

  •  Improved starting salary

  • Bonuses: Sign on, completion, re-newel

  • Provided housing, stipends

  • Health care: medical, vision, dental

  • Travel and relocation reimbursement

  • Life and professional liability insurance

  • 401 K and HSA

  • Short term disability, workers compensation

  • CEU reimbursement

  • Paid license and CPR dues

  • Unmatched freedom and flexibility

  • Travel the globe for free

  • Avoid burnout

  • Unbeatable experience

Now that you have seen the master list of the benefits of traveling health care, I am going to start to into further detail by discussing the first financial advantages.

  1. High Pay Rate

The first, and most obvious, perk to traveling healthcare is the pay. Due to the short contracts and competitive market, the compensation received as a traveling physical therapist can be vastly greater than a traditional permanent position. Pay rates can range due to many variables including the type of setting as well as location of the facility. But in my experience, most compensation packages range from $1200 to $2000 a week. As an annual salary that comes out to be between $67,600 to $104,000 (pre tax, based on a 52 week work schedule). As a new graduate, this is almost double a typical starting salary!!!

2.Accelerated And Elevated Salary For Future Jobs

As a traveler, you have the ability to make almost double the income of a traditional job. While you are traveling, you are making this elevated income but you are also expanding your skills. Many travelers have more variety in their skill set as a result of traveling, making them very desirable for traveling but also for traditional permanent positions. As a result, if you decide to return to a standard position, you will often receive a higher starting salary.

For example, after working one year as a physical therapist I moved to New York. On average, the offers I received for standard full time positions were $65,000. This is a fairly typical offer for a recent or inexperienced graduate. After two years of traveling therapy, I decided to return to the traditional work force so that I could be more settled with my family. On average, the offers I received during this transition were $77,000. That’s $12,000 more than 2 years prior!

Lets do some math to illustrate my point:

If I accepted original traditional offers:

Year 1: Starting salary $65,000

Year 2: $66, 625 (Assume 2.5% raise annually)

Now if I would have continued to work in this same clinic

Year 3: $68,291

Total Pre Tax Earnings Year 1+2+3: $199,916

As a traveler instead:

 Starting salary of a traveler (Avg. $1500/week x 50 weeks): $75,000

Year 1: $75,000

Year 2: $75,000 (Assume no raise)

Year 3: I received the $77,000 job offers

Total Post Tax Earnings Year 1+2+3: 227,000

★Total Earnings Difference: 27,084! But thats pre vs post tax! This could be even more when you account for taxes! 

For just 3 years! Think about the difference at 5 or even 10 years!


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That is a total pre tax earnings difference of at least $27,084. Many travelers have 30% less taxable income than traditional employees, so this earnings difference could be much more!

All these values are based on my experience. Salaries and earnings will vary on vacation allotments, experience, settings, and various other factors. But I firmly believe that these figures would hold similar for almost all travelers.

  1. Amazing Company Benefits

In addition to incredible base pay, most traveling companies offer the standard company benefits.

The specific allotments and costs for these programs vary by company to company. If you are choosing to work with a traveling company that does not provide professional liability and healthcare coverage, then I strongly encourage you to get your own plan so that you will be covered for any potential accidents that may happen with your patients.

Standard Traveling Company Benefits:

  • Medical, Dental, Vision Health Insurance

  • 401K Plans with Matching Programs

  • Healthcare Savings Accounts

  • Short term Disability

  • Workers Compensation

  • Life Insurance

  • Professional Liability

As well as: 

  • Free Continuing Education

Many companies offer various continuing education programs for free or for reimbursement.

  • Physical Therapy License And CPR Reimbursement

As stated in the previous chapter, your initial physical therapy license as well as its renewal will be reimbursed by most traveling companies. CPR renewals are often included in the reimbursement package as well.

  • Sign On, Completion, Re-newel Bonuses

Additional incentives may include sign on bonuses, contract renewal bonuses, and completion bonuses.

  • Vacation Bonuses, Perk Programs:

Various companies offer programs that award you points for each contract completed or for hours worked that may go towards vacations, cruises, I-pads and other prizes.

  • Relocation Reimbursement

Many companies will reimburse you for the costs you incur to relocate to your next traveling assignment. These can be either rental car, mileage/gas, or flight reimbursement. Note, that they will not pay for your travel back to your “tax or permanent home” (to be discussed later).

  1. Paid Housing

One of the best perks of traveling healthcare is the provided housing (often furnished) at each location. Many companies have corporate housing or contracts with apartments that include amenities and a short commute so that you can stay during your traveling contract without the worry of house hunting or an annual lease.

If you prefer to find housing yourself, then you can receive a tax-free housing stipend if you are 50 miles or more away from your permanent home (aka “tax home”).   You can still take this stipend no matter where you choose to live (family, friends, ect) but you must have proof that you have to pay rent at these locations due to IRS rules. We will discuss the IRS tax rules for these stipends in upcoming posts!






Advantages Of Traveling Healthcare – Part 2 LIFESTYLE BENEFITS

Having an amazing salary is often the most enticing factor with traveling healthcare. However, there are several overlooked reasons why traveling would be a great way to become financially independent as well quickly grow your career and expand your horizons.

 Here are list of the lifestyle benefits travel therapists can have:

-Travel the nation for free

-Increased flexibility and freedom

-Amazing experience and ability to try before you buy

-Ability to network and meet mentors and friends

-Grow your confidence 



  1. Travel the Nation For Free

As a traveling physical therapist, you can travel across the country essentially for free. Your traveling company will pay for your relocation as well as your housing! This may or may not come out of total pay package, so you should take to your recruiter before agreeing to any travel reimbursement.

Most states and cities have a need for travelers. The only limiting factor is having the required state physical therapy license. Luckily many licenses take between 2-10 weeks for apply and receive. In addition, many companies have special units just to help their employees get their state licenses.


  1. Meet Lots Of New People

Traveling across the nation is an amazing way to meet new people. You essentially get paid to see places that in a traditional setting you would only dream of! During my 2 years as a traveling physical therapist, I met amazing traveling and permanent nursing, doctors, physical and occupational therapists- great people and great friends! I met one married couple of registered nurses aiming to travel to every state as traveling healthcare workers. So far, they traveled to North Dakota, Alaska, California and Texas!


     3.Flexibility And Increased Freedom 

In the medical field, it is hard to get days off or go on incredible vacations. But with traveling healthcare, you can have increased flexibility. You can take breaks in between contracts to vacation, spend time with family, or simply rest and relax. With traveling therapy, you can also take days off within the contract. You can work as many or as little contracts as you want. One my fellow travelers, worked as a traveler in the winter in New York and then would come home to California in the spring and summer. You make your own schedule. In addition, once you have made connections, many facilities will welcome you back with open arms and coordinate start dates and vacation times so that they get you instead of other facilities!

  1. Accelerated Experience (& Try Before You Buy)

In addition to the ability to travel across the country and earn outstanding pay, as a traveler, you also gain experience. Most jobs would limit your knowledge to just one clinic setting. However, with traveling healthcare, you can work in all those settings over the course of a year or longer. For example, you could work in acute care for 13 weeks, then a sub-acute then in pediatrics. Working a variety of settings significantly increases your skill and knowledge as a therapist, but it also makes for a remarkable resume.









I have provided the summary of ALL BENEFITS (PART 1 and 2) below:



Incredible compensation: $1200- $2000/week

Improved starting salary

Bonuses: Sign on, completion, re-newel

Provided housing, stipends

Health care: medical, vision, dental

Travel and relocation reimbursement

Life and professional liability insurance

401 K and HSA

Short term disability, workers compensation

CEU reimbursement

Paid license and CPR dues


Unmatched freedom and flexibility

Travel the globe for free

Avoid Burnout

Unbeatable experience


Click here for the best articles on traveling healthcare and start your path to debt freedom! 


**Disclaimer: All salaries here are used for example and should not be taken as a guarantee of compensation.

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