Advice Career Development

The Ultimate Guide to Landing Your Dream Occupational Therapy Travel Job

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Are you an OT or OTA looking for more variety and adventure in your career? There are travel occupational therapy jobs across the nation. Here are the best practices for landing your dream travel OT job: 

Know Where You Want to Work

For OT travelers, this often means determining the setting where you want to work. If you have a specific location or specialty in mind, your recruiter can help you secure your dream job. When you start your search, having plans in mind is essential because only some assignments will be a fit. Having the right mindset and working as a team with your recruiter will help you navigate any bumps. Travel OTs can work in any setting across the country — from big cities to national parks. The freedom to select a contract that best suits your needs and explore new places is one of the biggest perks of this career.

Plus, OT travel contracts include allowances and perks like free or low-cost housing, mileage reimbursement, non-taxable living stipend, referral bonus, and medical, dental, and vision insurance! Check out the occupational therapy travel jobs marketplace for current opportunities. Or, reach out to a travel therapist recruiter and let them know the type of contract you’re looking for.

Know Your Recruiter

Whether you’re already searching for a travel physical therapy, speech pathology, or occupational therapy job or considering the possibility of pursuing one, finding the right recruiter can make all the difference in your journey. If you know any travelers, ask them for recommendations on who to work with and what questions to ask a recruiter. For example, how long have they been working in the industry? What’s their communication style like? Do they respond quickly and in your time zone?

Finally, ask your recruiter what facilities they have contracts with. It doesn’t only do you a little good to find a great recruiter who works primarily with facilities if that’s where your career dreams lie. Also, ask your recruiter about their billing rates and what other perks are included in the package (like housing stipends and medical, dental, vision, and life insurance). The more informed you are about these aspects of travel healthcare jobs, the better position you’ll be in to secure the job that’s right for you! 

Know What You Want

Having an idea of what you want out of your travel career is one of the most important things to figure out before starting your search. It will help you set realistic expectations and ensure your time in the travel therapy world is a successful and enjoyable experience. Whether it’s the money to knock down your student loans, gaining clinical experience in a variety of settings, visiting beautiful national parks, or skiing every winter, it is essential that you know what motivates you to be a travel therapist. It will allow you to make the most of this unique opportunity and feel happy, fulfilled, and excited about your career choice! Knowing what you want also helps you prepare for your interview. You need to be transparent with your recruiter if you are looking for a particular setting or location and know there will be conflicts. Then, you can have plans A, B, and C to ensure your time in the travel therapy world is best!

Know Your Limitations

A few of the most significant benefits to being a travel occupational therapy (OT) therapist are your salary, mileage reimbursement, non-taxable living stipend, referral bonus, and 401(k). But like anything in life, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. One downside is that a travel position can feel limiting, especially if you have your heart set on specializing in a specific area or working at a particular facility. Facilities frequently use travel agencies to quickly and effectively fill staffing gaps; this indicates that they are searching for alternatives to specialized therapists. However, even if a facility isn’t looking for a specialist, it will still hire you! Many travel agencies will take new grads on assignments, and plenty of facilities need extra support. Just be sure to find a recruiter you can trust who will do their due diligence on the facilities you’re interviewing with. They should also have a good track record of placing OTs in their ideal assignments.

Know Your Contract

Being a travel occupational therapy professional takes a lot of flexibility, resourcefulness, and responsibility. However, it’s a great career choice for those willing to leap of faith and do what they love! If you want to become a travel OT, it’s worth finding a trusted recruiter who will have your back. They’ll help you secure the proper contract for your skills, interests, and personality. And they’ll ensure you’re prepared for your first assignment so the experience is as smooth as possible.

One of the hardest things for new travel therapists to understand is how their pay packages work. The hospital, school, and home health agency determine facility billing rates. These rates are submitted to the staffing agency and used as part of your overall compensation package. Many new grads assume they need a few years of experience to get into travel therapy, but that’s not always the case! With the proper guidance and preparation, a new grad can start their travel OT adventure straight out of school.

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