Last Updated on March 7, 2023
Just as with travel nursing, travel physical therapists (PTs) are more in demand than ever since the pandemic. And for therapists looking for the chance to begin a better career path, working travel PT jobs could be just what the doctor ordered.
Why travel? It may seem like it’s not for everyone, but the benefits it offers are pretty impressive. As some Instagram-savvy traveling PTs have shown us, it can truly be glamorous and exciting! Whether you prefer to spend your time shopping in the city, or hiking in a spectacular national park — or both! — travel PT jobs offer a new way to do some cool things that you may not otherwise have the chance to do.
But traveling doesn’t always have to be an adventure. Because the pay is usually higher than standard assignments, it also appeals to PTs who are looking for some extra cash in their paychecks. And not every assignment needs to be across the country — some PTs use traveling as a way to spend time with friends or family who live in a nearby town or state.
6 Great Reasons to Work Travel PT Jobs
Here’s a closer look at some big reasons why working travel PT jobs can be a great idea for the right individual.
#1: Try Out a New Place to Live
At a time when many Americans are looking for greener pastures — or just more affordable places to live — travel PT jobs are a nice way to sample a new area before settling down for good. If you’ve always wanted to live in California, Texas, Florida, Michigan or another state, a temporary travel assignment gives you a chance to check it out on a trial basis.
Even better, most travel PT jobs (like those available from CareerStaff) include a housing stipend, so your experience testing out a new place to live comes free of charge. And if you can’t find an assignment in your dream location, remember to check the next town over. You’ll still be able to scout your preferred home, and you just might find a new place to fall in love with, too.
#2: Get to Work on Your Bucket List
For many therapists, the best part of working a travel PT assignment is getting paid to visit some dream destinations. True, not every assignment can be in Hawaii or even California. But many travel PT jobs are still opportunities to go to lots of places that most other people only dream about visiting. Even better, it’s a chance to spend some time there and get to know it.
Ever wanted to live near Disneyland? How about in the mountains near Aspen, or by the Grand Canyon? Imagine how much fun you could pack into a few months in cities like New York, Chicago, New Orleans or Miami. You don’t have to be a diehard traveler to see the appeal of getting to visit some of the country’s best destinations, all while earning money.
#3: Upgrade Your Salary
Speaking of making money — travel PT jobs generally offer a chance to earn more of it than other assignments. Demand is high right now for a number of reasons, like the need to hire more therapists to treat a growing number of seniors and an increase in elective surgeries (and recovery) after the pandemic.
In the travel PT job listings at CareerStaff.com, for instance, total pay including stipends for housing and means is almost $3,000 per week. That’s assuming that other basic requirements are met, including a valid PT license, the successful completion of National Certification Examination and one year of verifiable, supervised professional experience in the last three years. You can get more details about all of our open travel PT jobs here.
#4: Accelerate Your Skill Development
Traveling as a physical therapist also offers unique and valuable experience. Working in a variety of different facilities, and learning new technologies and EHR systems, are all a boost to any therapist’s CV. And ambitious PTs who aspire for greatness can literally take their pick of opportunities in various different facilities for the chance to quickly build out the skillsets to help you land future jobs.
True, accepting new challenges often means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. And that can be tough. But it can also be an essential part of developing a CV that shows perseverance and a desire to grow as a professional. It doesn’t just show clinical expertise, but also soft skills like adaptability and resourcefulness, which are often just as important.
#5: Take Some Time to Cope and Focus
Because they’re (usually) temporary, travel PT jobs give you the chance to focus on clinical care without getting caught up in the day-to-day politics and drama of one specific facility. This can be incredibly refreshing for those who feel like they’re stuck in a toxic workplace, and want a chance to break away.
Today, many therapists struggle with burnout, compassion fatigue, or other job-related anxieties. And if you’re one of them, travel PT jobs are the perfect way to re-enter the workforce after taking a much-needed break, sabbatical or vacation.
> Feeling stressed? Check out our guide to dealing with compassion fatigue
#6: Get Great Benefits (When You Work with CareerStaff!)
And when you work with CareerStaff, you can overcome one of the biggest criticisms of the traveler lifestyle — the fact that travel jobs don’t usually come with benefits. While you’re on assignment with CareerStaff, you’ll get full access to our comprehensive package, which includes medical, dental and vision insurance, along with options for 401(k), continuing education, mentoring programs and more.
And maybe even better, working with CareerStaff puts you in touch with recruiters who really understand traveling. These are highly skilled professionals who know how to place people in the best positions for them. They take the time to understand what you want to do, and where your skillset best fits — and they do it so well that our travelers consistently rave about them!
“I’d have to say that my absolute favorite part about working with CareerStaff is my recruiter,” said Steven, a CareerStaff Clinician of the Month for October 2021. “[She’s] absolutely amazing and is always there whenever I need her, and lots of times even when I don’t. She is the best.”