Have you ever thought about working as a traveler but hesitated because you weren't sure where to start or if it would be a good fit for you? After working as a traveling therapist for a little over a year and enjoying almost every moment, I have to say that with a little research and work on the front end the travel line of work can be very rewarding! Here are my top five reasons for packing your suitcase and hitting the road.
- More time off - Are you sick of the standard two weeks of paid vacation and wishing you had more personal time to enjoy your favorite activities? If so, then the travel life may be right up your alley. The standard travel contract is 13 weeks long and when it ends, you can take off as much time as you like before beginning your next job. This means that after three short months of work, you can take a nice long vacation to travel, see family or just kick back and relax! The only downside to the travel therapy job is that usually there is no paid time off for sick days or holidays.
- Travel opportunities - When choosing an assignment, your recruiter will give you a list of potential travel therapy jobs sites matching your preferences across the country. Next, you scan the locations, do a little research and decide which site seems the most ideal. You could move to Hawaii and enjoy the sun for a few months, move to Boston and see the city or maybe check out Colorado and hike through the mountains! You may have to apply for a new license in each state depending on your discipline, but your travel company with cover the expenses and submit the paperwork, which removes a great deal of the hassle.
- Show me the money - One of the major benefits of working as a traveler is the increase in pay as compared to many permanent positions. Travel contracts usually pay at or near the per diem rate for a given location (check out: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287 for the rates in a certain area) and only a certain percentage of your income is taxed. Travel companies will pay for your travel between assignments and provide a tax-free housing and meal allowance on top of your regular hourly wage. When you add together your hourly rate and the weekly housing and food allowances you will get the per diem rate for your area, but only about half of this amount is taxed!
- Trialing different work settings - If you have spent most of your time working in a particular setting within your discipline, then the travel contract could allow you the opportunity to sample other areas. Since each assignment only lasts three months, an individual can feel less intimidated about trying something new. If you sign on and realize the setting is not the right fit, just remember you only have to tough it out for a few months and then you are off to something different. In the worst case scenario, you can call your placement specialist and they can get you out sooner if needed.
- Meeting new people - In nearly every travel therapy job assignment you will have many opportunities to meet new, interesting individuals who may end up becoming close friends. These people may be fellow travelers or permanent employees that share your same interests and are individuals you would have never known without taking your new travel contract.
Are you ready to sign on? If you think a travel assignment might be something you would like to learn more about, then the first step is to find a recruiter that fits your needs. Often the best method is to talk to a traveler you may already work with and ask them how they like their company. If they are happy, then ask if their recruiter can recommend another recruiter within the company that you could speak with. Finding the right recruiter is the most important step as this is the person who is going to listen to your preferences and is responsible for finding the best jobs for you.
Read more about author Tom Walters.
Cirrus Allied, a division of Cirrus Medical Staffing, is one of the nation's leading rehabilitation therapy staffing firms. Based in Charlotte, NC, our division specializes in placing rehabilitation therapists and assistants into travel, contract and permanent employment. For our clients, our focus is providing a one-stop solution to their staffing and HR needs. Cirrus Allied has earned the Joint Commission's gold seal of approval.Visit us at www.cirrusallied.com.