We often receive questions from students and experienced clinicians who are beginning to look into travel therapy. Below is a list of common questions that you may have been wondering yourself if you’re considering travel therapy. Take a look and learn a little more about what to expect as a travel therapist!
When and how do I start the process for travel?
A good time frame to start the process is about six months before your graduation date, or when you’re actually looking to start a position. This allows you to get a game plan going of what you’ll be looking for in the job hunt. You can always reach out to the Student Outreach team whenever you would like. We are here to answer your questions and be a resource while you’re in school and trying to get your career figured out. We typically introduce you to a recruiter about three months before your desired start date. This way you have enough time to get to know your recruiter and allow them to get to know you so that they can learn what is most important to you when looking for jobs.
Are there benefits while traveling?
Most companies will have medical benefits, 401k, PTO, travel reimbursements, license reimbursements, and CEU reimbursements. Make sure to ask about the individual plans, how you acquire them, and decide which works best for you and your lifestyle. Agencies want to help make travel a long-term career for you, so benefits will be structured similar to a permanent position.
How long are travel contracts?
Travel contracts are typically 13 weeks long. Sometimes facilities may need candidates for shorter or longer than 13 weeks, but 99% of contracts will be about three months. Extensions are something to consider while on assignment, too. If you and the facility are really enjoying each other, they may ask you to stay on longer. This always looks good on a resume when looking for contracts after that.
Can you find mentorship while traveling?
If mentorship is important to you then make sure to ask about it when looking at companies. Here at Aureus, we have two ways of focusing on making sure you feel comfortable on assignment. First, we can focus on ‘new graduate friendly’ facilities. This means there that is another therapist on site so you are not the only therapist at the facility. Secondly, we have previous Aureus travelers that have offered to be paired with our new graduates going on assignment. They are available 24/7 to answer your questions via text, call, or email. We normally pair our new graduates and our mentors before the assignment starts so they both can figure out times to connect throughout the assignment.
Will I have the same recruiter?
Typically a traveler will stay with the same recruiter. There is no need to be worried about being bounced around! They will be your recruiter throughout your travel career. This way you can build a trusting relationship while they continuously help plan your career!
What is the pay structure like?
This is another important topic to make sure you are clarifying when looking at travel positions between companies. Travel companies divide pay into three sections that are paid out weekly. There is a taxed hourly rate, a tax free meals stipend, and a tax free housing stipend. If you are having a hard time finding housing in an area you are placed, check with the agency to see if they are able to find you housing. By going this route you would only receive the taxed hourly portion and the tax free meals stipend.
If you have any additional questions on this information, or new questions that weren’t covered, feel free to reach out! Our goal is to make sure you are comfortable and have a full understanding of travel therapy!