What is Traveling Therapy



A “traveling therapist” is a professional who works at a facility that is a given distance from the therapist’s “permanent” home. The therapist is actually employed by a traveling company who has been contracted to work with a specific facility.  This travel agency then pays you a stipend for lodging, meals, as well as an hourly salary. A contract for a traveling position typically lasts 13 weeks.

Traveling therapy is a career path that can enable you to travel across the country while providing high quality care to others. It is a profession that is becoming more prevalent in light of a rapidly aging and growing population that requires medical care.

Traveling positions include almost all medical professions and settings.

Most Common Positions Include:

  • Doctors

  • Nurses

  • Physical Therapists

  • Occupational Therapists

  • Speech Therapists


Most Common Settings Include:

  • Outpatient

  • Acute Rehabilitation (Hospital)

  • Sub-Acute Rehabilitation (Skilled Nursing)

  • Acute Care

  • Pediatrics


Length Of Contract:

These positions are usually short term, ranging from 4 -13 weeks. However, the most common length of contract is 13 weeks. However, travelers are often able to choose various lengths of assignments and work as many or as few assignments as desired.



Where These Positions Come From:

Traveling contracts arise most commonly due to sudden and/or short-term needs. Examples of such occasions are the need for travelers when permanent workers go on pregnancy leave or sick leave. Other examples may include peak seasons and times of a sudden influx of patients. In addition, the rapidly rising patient population in big cities and the lack of enough staff in certain “less popular” cities (think small towns or places in hard to reach locations) could also warrant facilities reaching out to traveling companies.



Locations Of Positions:

In my experience, nearly every medium sized city will have facilities hiring travelers. For example, I am from the medium sized town of Bakersfield, California – which has several reoccurring openings for travelers. Even search in rural Midwest and you can find traveling companies hiring workers for various positions! I cannot guarantee all locations will have travelers, but if the location you desire doesn’t have any openings – it is likely that the other towns near by will. Once you have chosen a travel company, they will search for openings within your desired living radius and will even contact companies for upcoming needs.

Traveling therapy careers are often very mobile. Travelers, as long as they have the proper licenses, can travel to any state in the nation and find employment. There are over 30 companies offering traveling healthcare positions, and there are likely more small companies arising each day. Many of these companies offer positions in almost every state!


As a result of the brevity of traveling positions, you are paid more as a traveler than in traditional settings. Salaries vary greatly and I cannot guarantee what you will make as a traveler so I strongly suggest you consult your chosen traveling company. But, in my experience, I estimate that you can expect to be compensated between $1500-$2000 a week! I’ve even known facilities offering $3,000 sign on bonuses due to the rapid need to fill the position.

Traveling Salaries Vary By:

  • Type of Setting

  • Location and Cost of Living

  • Facility’s Demand/Need


Who Can Travel:

         Although this post highlights the physical therapy profession, almost all healthcare professionals can become “travelers”. Research various companies and discuss your specific profession to get more information.


Travel Therapy Advantages:

The major benefit of travel therapy is that you get to live and work where you want. You get to work in what settings you want and experience a variety of settings to grow your career and to really help you choose what setting you ultimately want your career to be.  In addition, you get to have the flexibility to work as little or as much as you want and get paid extremely high!

Travel therapy is also an amazing way to pay off your student loan debt in years faster than traditional settings. To learn how to repay your student loan debt or any debt with travel therapy click here. 

To learn more about what is travel therapy watch my video below!


[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmbZ8LHZ5oU[/embedyt]

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