Travel Therapy: Know the Pros and Cons

Posted On June 17, 2013

Fresh out of therapy school and you’re now ready to take on the world and start your career in travel therapy. Or are you? Stepping out of the protective walls of school and into the “real world” can be both exciting and terrifying. All the sudden every negative thing you’ve heard from your professors or read online about travel therapy gets magnified to the point that you question whether or not you should do it.

Travel therapy isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. Indeed you get to travel to new locations and meet new people but are those reasons enough to leave behind friends, family and the life that you’ve become accustomed to?

In times of doubt, it’s best to step back a little and look–really look–at your options.

Here are a couple of pros and cons to help you determine whether traveling is the right choice for you and what to expect if you do decide to take the plunge.

Con: Assignments often last only thirteen weeks. To regular employees, thirteen weeks of work is a blink of an eye. So what happens after the thirteen weeks are done? No job? The prospect of being unemployed after thirteen weeks is nerve-wracking.

Pro: There is enough of a demand for travel therapists who are good at their job that ending an assignment is almost never seen as unemployment. Travel therapists rarely have problems extending or moving to a new assignment is a short period of time. In the meanwhile, how many regular employees do you know can take a break from work every three months or so?

Con: Recent graduates rarely get their desired destination. So you want a position in Boston but your recruiter can’t seem to place you there. The fact is some locations are just more competitive than others. Seasoned therapists can pick and choose their assignments because they have the experience, thus leaving the new grads will little option but to pick some place they’re not too excited about.

Pro: Once you do have an assignment or two under your belt, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate. Travel therapy is just like any other career out there. At the start it’s very difficult to be marketable. The thing is that every worker in every industry in the world goes through an apprenticeship. You have to pay your dues. That’s just life.

Con: You have to develop new relationships with co-workers and friends at every new location. For some people meeting new people and going through the process of getting to know them again and again can get tiring after a while.

Pro: You learn more by being exposed to different settings. As a travel therapist you will learn how to adapt to various work environments and gain valuable experience while at it.  The more experience you in different settings the more options you have in terms of career direction.

These are just some of the pros and cons of travel therapy. There are more. Ultimately, you have to consider just how important is it to you to see the country while earning a great paycheck. For many, travel therapy is living the life. How about you?