5 Tips to Start Travel Therapy
- By Annie Mork
- Published on August 10
I like to say I fell into travel therapy in 2020. I had transitioned from speech therapy to working for a tech company in a couple different roles, but then the pandemic hit and I was working remotely, alone and was very unhappy with what I was doing. A recruiter reached out to me and she said travel therapists in California were making $2200/week take home and my jaw dropped. Now, it took me about 4 months to finally agree to take a job in San Francisco, but it was one of the best choices I ever made.
I have taken a total of 3 travel therapy positions (all school positions) and here are my tips to those looking to start travel therapy:
Explore different companies.
I believe the last time I Googled this I saw there are 100+ travel therapy companies out there. Now, don’t let that intimidate you just know that each company is going to have its own perks. Those perks range from the amount of support you receive while on an assignment, the type of pay they can provide, healthcare benefits, and housing/moving/licensing assistance. It all depends on what you’re looking for. I would choose where you want to go first and then start looking to see who is advertising for jobs in those areas and go from there.
Research pay rates.
I have found that different companies for same/similar jobs will have varied pay rates. I would research cost of living information for the city you are moving to and then determine your hours against that pay rate to see if it is the right amount. Know that the pay rate for San Francisco is going to be different than small town South Dakota–it all comes down to cost of living.
Find co-living or furnished housing.
This was something I somehow figured out on my own, but it worked out really well! Since I typically went to bigger cities (i.e. San Fran, Phoenix, Dallas), the housing options were pretty good. I was able to find co-living + furnished housing for a reasonable amount and that meant I didn’t have to bring as much furniture with me or in the case of San Francisco I had built in friends to hang out with in the middle of a pandemic. Know that “furnished housing” can mean a variety of things so just make sure you know exactly what you are getting before you sign a lease.
Wherever you want to go there are probably jobs.
Now of course there is a caveat with this–it may not be your dream job, but there are travel jobs literally everywhere. So, pick where you want to go and see what’s available in that area!
Read your contract.
I follow a few travel therapy Facebook pages and have seen a fair share of travel therapists get surprised by something later on in their contract. You should read it fully and if you don’t understand something ask someone to explain it. My husband is a business major and helped me decipher many contracts so make friends with business people I guess! It can save you a headache or two if you know what you are signing and the expectations.
Side note: travel therapy companies aren’t trying to screw you over–it is your job to read the contract and know what the expectations are!
Go do it! I wish I had started doing travel therapy sooner–like right out of grad school. Often times they will help with loan repayment and you will build your skillset very quickly. If you have any questions, I would love to chat with you at firstname.lastname@example.org.