If you are a physical therapist who loves to travel, combining these two passions can be a great career choice for you. As a traveling physical therapist, you will have the opportunity to work in various locations and settings while helping patients regain their mobility and independence.
Whether you are just starting your career as a physical therapist or looking for a change, becoming a traveling physical therapist may seem overwhelming at first. However, with proper guidance and preparation, it can become an exciting and rewarding experience.
In this article, we will explore the different steps involved in becoming a traveling physical therapist, including how to get started, finding job opportunities, obtaining necessary licenses and certifications, and dealing with challenges that may arise while on the road. By following these guidelines, you can fulfill your dream of combining your passion for physical therapy and travel into a successful career.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” -Saint Augustine
So let’s get started on your journey towards becoming a traveling physical therapist and unlocking the limitless potential of exploring new places while making a positive impact on people’s lives through your skills and expertise.
Discover The Benefits of Traveling Physical Therapy
Are you a physical therapist looking for adventure? Do you want to experience new places while still working in your field? Becoming a traveling physical therapist may be the perfect career choice for you. Here are some benefits and tips on how to become one:
One major benefit of becoming a traveling physical therapist is having a flexible schedule. You can choose when and where you work, allowing you to have more control over your life. This flexibility also allows you to spend more time with family and friends or pursue other interests outside of work.
In addition, as a travel physical therapist, you may have the opportunity to take extended periods off between assignments. This can give you ample time to recharge and explore new areas before diving back into work again.
Experience New Places
Becoming a traveling physical therapist means that you will get to experience different parts of the country. You will have the chance to live and work in places that you may never have visited otherwise. From big cities to small towns, each place will offer unique experiences and challenges.
Not only will you be able to explore different cities and cultures, but you will also have opportunities to play tourist. You can take advantage of weekends or days off to visit local attractions, try new food, and meet new people – all while getting paid to work in your profession!
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
If you’re considering becoming a traveling physical therapist, here are some steps to help you get started:
- Research staffing agencies that specialize in travel therapy positions.
- Check state requirements – licensing and certification can vary by state.
- Create a professional resume that highlights your experience as a physical therapist. Include any specializations or certifications you have earned.
- Prepare for interviews with recruiters or potential employers.
- Be open-minded and flexible – the more willing you are to consider different locations, the more jobs will be available to you.
If you’re looking for adventure and want to work in your profession at the same time, becoming a traveling physical therapist could be a perfect fit for you. With a flexible schedule and the opportunity to experience new places, it’s an exciting way to expand your horizons.
Educational Requirements To Become a Physical Therapist
If you’re interested in becoming a traveling physical therapist, it’s important to understand the educational requirements. Here are the key things you’ll need:
Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree
The first step toward becoming a physical therapist is obtaining a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited program. This typically takes three years and includes both classroom instruction and clinical rotations.
A DPT program covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pharmacology, neuroscience, and pathology. Students also learn about different types of physical therapy, including orthopedic, geriatric, neurological, pediatric, sports, and cardiopulmonary. Clinical experiences provide hands-on training with real patients under the supervision of licensed physical therapists.
“The success of any physical therapy treatment depends heavily on the skill and knowledge of the treating clinician.” -American Physical Therapy Association
When choosing a DPT program, look for one that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). This ensures that the program meets certain quality standards and prepares you for licensure as a physical therapist.
State Licensure Exam
Once you’ve earned your DPT degree, you must pass a state licensure exam in order to practice as a physical therapist. The exam tests your knowledge of physical therapy principles and procedures, as well as ethical and legal issues related to the profession.
The specific exam you take may vary depending on the state where you plan to work. Some states use the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), while others have their own exams or require additional coursework or training.
“Physical therapy is a challenging but rewarding career path that requires commitment, hard work, and ongoing learning.” -American Physical Therapy Association
Make sure you understand the licensure requirements in the states where you want to practice. Some states have additional requirements, such as continuing education credits or background checks. You may also need to apply for a license in each state where you plan to work, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
Clinical rotations are an essential part of a DPT program, but they’re also important for gaining practical experience as a traveling physical therapist. During clinical rotations, you’ll work with licensed physical therapists in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, and sports facilities.
Clinical rotations provide valuable opportunities to observe different types of therapy, learn from experienced clinicians, and develop communication and interpersonal skills. You’ll also get hands-on experience working with patients of all ages and conditions, which is crucial for building confidence as a new therapist.
“Traveling physical therapists must be flexible, adaptable, and able to communicate effectively with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals.” -The Healthcare Traveler
When choosing a DPT program, look for one that offers a range of clinical rotation options and partners with reputable healthcare organizations in different locations. This will help you build a diverse set of experiences and connections that can benefit you later on when seeking travel assignments.
As a physical therapist, it’s important to stay up-to-date on changes in technology, research findings, and best practices in order to provide the best possible care to your patients. That’s why continuing education is a vital component of the profession. Many states require physical therapists to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education courses or workshops each year in order to maintain their license.
Continuing education courses cover a wide range of topics, from the latest therapy techniques to business and management skills. Some therapists choose to specialize in areas such as pediatrics, sports medicine, or neurology, which may require additional education and certifications.
“As healthcare continues to evolve, it’s critical for physical therapists to remain lifelong learners who are constantly seeking new knowledge and skills.” -Physical Therapy Journal
If you’re interested in becoming a traveling physical therapist, consider taking continuing education courses in areas that are likely to be in high demand in different regions. This can help you stay competitive and increase your chances of landing travel assignments.
Becoming a traveling physical therapist requires extensive education and training, including a DPT degree, state licensure, clinical rotations, and ongoing continuing education. It also requires flexibility, adaptability, and a willingness to learn and grow throughout your career. With these qualifications and qualities, you can enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling career helping patients improve their mobility, strength, and quality of life all across the country!
Get Licensed to Practice Physical Therapy
Becoming a traveling physical therapist is an excellent way for professionals in this field to combine their love of travel with their passion for helping others. However, before embarking on a career as a traveling PT, it’s crucial to understand the licensing requirements involved.
Check State Requirements
The first step towards becoming a licensed physical therapist is researching your state’s specific requirements. Each state establishes its own criteria that applicants must meet before being granted licensure. Some states require additional certifications or education, while others may only ask for basic qualifications such as having a valid PT degree and completing continuing education hours.
To find out what you need for your state, visit the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website. Here, you can find a list of licensing requirements for each state, information about certification programs, and helpful tips for navigating the licensing process.
Apply for Licensure
Once you have determined your state’s requirements, it’s time to apply for licensure. Most states will require that you provide proof of your educational background, including transcripts from any schools attended, as well as documentation of work experience, if required by your state. Additionally, aspiring PTs should expect to pay a fee when submitting their application. In some cases, fingerprints may be required for background checks.
When submitting your application, make sure to carefully review all guidelines and double-check that you have included all necessary documents and fees. Any missing requirements could delay the processing of your application, so take care to submit everything correctly and on time.
Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam
The final step towards obtaining a license is passing the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). This comprehensive exam covers topics ranging from patient care to practice management, and is offered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Most states require that applicants pass this exam with a minimum score before being granted licensure.
It’s important for aspiring PTs to prepare thoroughly for this exam to maximize their chances of passing it on the first attempt. Review course materials from your physical therapy program and consider taking an NPTE prep course, such as those offered by Therapy Ed or Scorebuilders. Additionally, allow yourself plenty of time to study and absorb all the content covered in the exam.
Maintain Licensure through Continuing Education
Becoming licensed to practice physical therapy opens up a world of opportunities, including the chance to work as a traveling PT. However, maintaining your license requires some ongoing effort, including completing continuing education hours (CEUs) throughout your career.
The amount of CEUs you’ll need each year varies depending on state requirements, but generally ranges from 20-40 hours annually. These hours can be completed via courses, workshops, conferences, or other approved learning activities. Make sure to keep record of all CEUs earned and submit them as required by your state board.
“Becoming a traveler in healthcare offers many advantages: adventure, great pay rates, autonomy, access to full-time benefits without signing on full-time, and flexibility.” -MedPro Healthcare Staffing
Becoming a traveling physical therapist can be a rewarding way to combine a love of travel with helping others. However, the process of obtaining a license can seem daunting at first. By researching your specific state’s requirements, carefully submitting your application along with any necessary fees and documents, preparing thoroughly for the National Physical Therapy Examination, and completing continuing education requirements, you can set yourself up for success as a traveling physical therapist.
Gain Experience in Physical Therapy
If you aspire to become a traveling physical therapist, gaining experience in the field is crucial. Whether you have recently graduated from college or are looking for a career change, relevant experience is essential to ensure success in this profession.
Clinical rotations offer valuable hands-on experience working with patients who require physical therapy services. They provide aspiring physical therapists an opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals and learn about different types of treatment approaches. During clinical rotations, students often work under the supervision of licensed therapists and assist them in various duties related to patient care. Clinical rotations provide aspiring PT’s an opportunity to refine their skills and develop confidence during professional interactions.
“Clinical education provides an excellent opportunity for student growth and increased proficiency to begin functioning as entry-level clinicians.” – American Physical Therapy Association
You can gain clinical experience by volunteering at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, or private clinics. Many universities also offer clinical placement programs to help you secure practical training opportunities while finishing your degree program. Having prior clinical experience will make it easier for you to get hired as a travel physical therapist later on in your career.
In addition to clinical rotations, pursuing internships is another way to accumulate experience in the field. An internship helps individuals build relationships with potential employers and colleagues, which can be useful when seeking future job opportunities. Moreover, internships allow participants to witness how a hospital or clinic operates and experience the pace of a typical day in the life of a physical therapist.
“Internship experiences empower the recent graduates with knowledge and skills they seldom receive from academic environments alone.” – American Physical Therapy Association
You can search for available internship positions online or through college alumni networks. There are also a variety of short-term travel physical therapy internships available through companies that specialize in healthcare staffing. These kinds of programs provide valuable experience for those who want to become a travel PT while offering the chance to see new parts of the world.
Finally, it’s worth noting that many employers consider whether you have completed clinical rotations or an internship program when evaluating your qualifications for a full-time position. Although completing such programs is not mandatory, they can significantly increase your likelihood of securing employment as a traveling physical therapist.
Find Traveling Physical Therapy Jobs
If you have a passion for traveling and physical therapy, becoming a traveling physical therapist might be the perfect career choice for you. In this role, you’ll get to explore new places while helping patients recover from injuries or surgeries. To become a traveling physical therapist, you need to find job opportunities that match your skills and interests. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
Research Traveling Therapy Companies
The first step in finding a traveling physical therapy job is to research companies specializing in travel assignments. Some of the popular companies offering such jobs include Medtravelers, Advanced Travel Therapy, and Aureus Medical Group. It’s essential to read up on reviews of these companies before you apply to make sure they’re reputable and offer good benefits.
You can also talk to recruiters at these companies who will guide you through the application process and help you land a position. However, it would be best if you always did your own research about the company’s reputation, pay rate, and policies.
Network with Other Physical Therapists
Networking is an excellent way to find leads on potential travel positions. You can connect with other physical therapists who may know of upcoming travel job openings. Also, membership organizations like The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) offer network solutions where you can meet up with fellow association members. These meetings give you access to current industry knowledge and other valuable resources
Another option is to join professional groups related to traveling physical therapy on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn for advice from peers and recruiters. Through networking, you can learn more about the different companies out there and what specific requirements each has.
Search Online Job Boards
In addition to networking online, you can also find traveling physical therapy jobs by searching online job boards. Sites like CareerBuilder and Indeed offer a vast list of possible travel assignments to suit your preference. You can narrow down the search results based on criteria like location, salary requirements, experience level, etc.
The most important tip when applying for a job found on these sites is to submit your application as soon as possible because there may be many applications competing with yours.
Attend Career Fairs
If you are looking for an opportunity to meet recruiters face-to-face, attend career fairs that offer positions for traveling therapy jobs. Events such as The APTA Annual Conference or Physical Therapy Summit Virtual Expo allow you to talk with representatives from different companies and get more information about each company’s offers.
Career fairs give you an impression of which companies best align with your values and whether they’re worth your time. Direct interaction allows them to answer any questions you have regarding their offers and also offers opportunities to learn about employment benefits, medical insurance policies, compensation packages, and so on.
“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.”- Michele Jennae
Becoming a traveling physical therapist requires work, dedication, and above all else, passion. Learn everything that could influence your final decision but pick a company that will be the most rewarding in every way possible — including financially. With hard work and patience, you will eventually succeed in finding exciting and fulfilling contracts in various locations around the country—and the world!
Maximize Your Earnings as a Traveling Physical Therapist
If you’re curious about how to become a traveling physical therapist, you probably want to know how much money you could make. There are many factors that can impact your earnings. Here are some tips on how to maximize your income while working as a traveling PT:
Choose High-Paying Assignments
One of the most effective ways to increase your pay is to select assignments in areas where demand for physical therapists exceeds supply. This may include rural or remote locations, but it can also mean urban centers with high populations. Research different regions and compare their salary ranges before accepting any job offers.
You might also look into travel therapy agencies that operate in multiple states. Some offer higher reimbursements for certain types of placements, such as those related to acute care or pediatrics. Be aware that these jobs may come with longer hours or more challenging patient caseloads than other positions, so be prepared to adjust accordingly.
Negotiate Your Salary and Benefits
While agency rates may initially seem set in stone, there’s often room for negotiation on specific contract terms. If you have particular qualifications or skills that are in demand, this may lead to higher payment plans. For example, if you’ve earned a specialty certification or advanced degree in rehabilitation therapy (such as an orthopedics certificate), justify why these additional qualifications should merit higher pay.
In addition to negotiating your salary, don’t forget to discuss other benefits such as health insurance, 401(k) matching programs, rental car reimbursement, and travel stipends. These potentially non-monetary perks can add up over time, especially if you work frequently in expensive cities or travel long distances between assignments.
“Negotiation is all about seeing things from the other side’s perspective and finding common ground.” -Sheila Heen
In short, choosing a high-paying assignment and negotiating your salary are two essential ways to maximize your earnings as a traveling physical therapist. Combine these strategies with effective time management skills and a passion for helping others, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving career success.
Frequently Asked Questions
What education and experience is required to become a traveling physical therapist?
To become a traveling physical therapist, you must have a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and a state-issued license. Once you have obtained these qualifications, you can gain experience by working in a physical therapy clinic or hospital. Additionally, it is advantageous to have experience working with diverse patient populations and in different healthcare settings.
What are the benefits of becoming a traveling physical therapist?
Becoming a traveling physical therapist allows you to gain experience in different healthcare settings, work with diverse patient populations, and travel to new places. You can also enjoy a flexible schedule, competitive pay, and the opportunity to work for different employers. Furthermore, you will have the chance to develop your skills and build your professional network.
How do you find job opportunities as a traveling physical therapist?
You can find job opportunities as a traveling physical therapist through job search websites, staffing agencies, and professional associations. You can also network with other physical therapists, attend job fairs, and reach out to healthcare facilities in your desired location. It is important to research potential employers and negotiate your contract to ensure a satisfactory work arrangement.
What are some challenges of being a traveling physical therapist?
Some challenges of being a traveling physical therapist include the need to frequently relocate, adjust to new work environments, and work with unfamiliar patient populations. You may also experience travel fatigue, loneliness, and the stress of managing your own schedule and finances. It is important to have a support system, establish a work-life balance, and maintain your physical and mental health.
What skills are necessary to be successful as a traveling physical therapist?
To be successful as a traveling physical therapist, you must have excellent communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills. You must also be adaptable, flexible, and able to work independently. Additionally, you should have a strong knowledge of physical therapy techniques and be able to work with diverse patient populations. It is also beneficial to have organizational skills, time management abilities, and cultural competence.
What is the average salary for a traveling physical therapist?
The average salary for a traveling physical therapist varies depending on location, experience, and employer. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for physical therapists was $89,440 in May 2020. Traveling physical therapists may also receive additional compensation, such as housing allowances, travel expenses, and bonuses.