Seven Myths about Travel Therapy Contracts

Monday, August 25, 2014

Have you ever considered working as a contract travel therapist but are scared by the idea of not having work, not having insurance, or feeling like you're constantly looking for your next job? Don't let these 7 common myths stop you from pursuing a rewarding career as a traveling healthcare professional. While contract work is not the right fit for everyone, many therapists find that it provides them with a variety of experiences and benefits that they would otherwise not have received. Read on to find out the truth behind contract work in the field of therapy.

MYTH #1: The pay is not much higher than permanent work.

The Truth: Pay rates earned by contractors are always higher than those of permanent employees. If your skill set is in high demand, you could DOUBLE or even TRIPLE your current take-home pay when you become a contract therapist.
Average pay for a contract therapist represented by National Staffing Solutions is $100k to $120k per year. Our highest paid contract therapist is $180k. We can find local contracts within driving distance from your house making at least $100k per year and working only 40 hours per week.

MYTH #2: Your skills will become outdated, making it hard to find work.
The Truth: Greater experience and exposure leads to greater opportunities.
A common concern among new contract therapists is that after a year or two your skills may fall behind and you won't have the opportunity to undertake necessary training.
In reality, as a contractor, you'll be working at facilities that will challenge you and, in turn, improve your skill set. Your exposure to different institutions, systems, and methodologies will give you a much broader depth of experience than someone working a permanent job where the routine stays the same year after year.
Contracting allows you to control your professional development. If there is a facility or research center that you want to work at, we will do our best to get you a contract there. You'll grow in the areas you want to take your career. In contrast, permanent employees can be mandated to take courses that may not be necessary for their personal career paths.
If there are certifications that will benefit your career, you have the option to apply for those programs. Our paid CEU program allows you to learn and grow, which is actually something that National Staffing Solutions pays for as a travel company.

MYTH #3: You are given all the boring work and/or most difficult clients.
The Truth: Facility staff typically go above and beyond to ensure a positive experience for contract workers.
We've found that the current shortage of therapy professionals is so vast, facilities are grateful to have you onboard and they usually go out of their way to exceed your expectations. You're treated like a welcomed guest. Some facilities may hope to get you to stay on in a permanent role, so they treat you well. Permanent staff tends to be assigned mundane work more readily than contract staff because they are obliged to do it and are less likely to leave.
If you are on a contract assignment and are asked to do something that is outside the bounds of your original contractual agreement, you are not obligated to do it. You operate under the protection of a contractual agreement that limits your job responsibilities to whatever was outlined at the onset of your assignment.
As a contract employee, you also have the benefit of a corporate liaison. Whereas a permanent employee often has no recourse beyond going to his/her direct supervisor to express a concern, a contract employee has the full support of a staffing agency. We have a direct line of communication with corporate "higher ups" and have the ability to get grievances resolved in a timely and effective manner.

MYTH #4: You do not get the benefit of sick pay, paid holidays, and/or health insurance.
The Truth: You get full benefits (and more).
You get every benefit that would be available in a permanent position. You also have the flexibility to choose only the benefits you want, so that you can minimize deductions and maximize your income. Benefit packages can include 401K plans, paid time off, sick leave, long-term/short-term disability, continuing education reimbursement, medical, dental, and vision insurance, and more.

MYTH #5: You're personally liable for errors and there's no Workers' Compensation.
The Truth: You're insured.
All National Staffing Solutions contract employees are covered by our Liability and Workers' Compensation Insurance. This limits your cost of working and decreases the burden felt by permanent employees because you will always have the full support of our legal staff and corporate team behind you.

MYTH #6: You will not have consistent work. There may be large gaps between contract assignments. There's little to choose from.
The Truth: Consistent work, no gaps between assignments and plenty of opportunities.
In the past five years, an extreme shortage of qualified personnel has created increased demand for your services. We are able to keep our contract therapists working year-round without gaps between positions.
As a contract therapist, you will likely have a choice of assignments because there is such a high demand for your skill set. Plus, when your contract assignment approaches its end date, if you choose not to renew with that account, our recruiters and account managers will seek your next assignment. We work under your direction. You have complete control over where and when you pursue your next assignment.

MYTH #7: It's only short-term work. You're always looking for the next job.
The Truth: Contracts can last two or more years. Professionals undertake the job search for you.
Facilities no longer use contract therapists only to fill short-term, temporary needs. Often, you can stay in the same facility for two or more years if that is your preference. Rather than spending your free time looking for your next job, you can enjoy life.
Most permanent employees, when they are ready to make a change or are forced to seek a new position due to company reorganization, must undertake time-consuming job hunting, résumé writing, and interviewing on their own. In contrast, you have our entire team working on your behalf to find and secure your next position.
Higher pay. Extra benefits. Greater career options.
Perhaps the single biggest myth about travel therapy work is that you have no job security. The reality is that flexibility actually gives you the highest security. As a traveling therapist, there are enormous employment opportunities for you to choose from. Using a staffing company and having them on your team, you have an active partner working on your behalf to ensure your career moves in the direction that you want. You're not dependent on one job and you can choose when and where you want to work.
Becoming a traveling healthcare professional could be your smartest career move ever. Simply decide where you want to go and we can get you there.
Have questions about travel contracts or how they work? Feel free to email me at Join the conversation by leaving a comment below or engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest!

National Staffing Solutions Contributor


Response to: Seven Myths about Travel Therapy Contracts
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Emily Chavez says:

I am a COTA interested in traveling and would appreciate any additional information that you may be able to provide

Response to: Seven Myths about Travel Therapy Contracts
Monday, June 20, 2016
Nichole Campanale says:

I will be seeking SLP travel positions in Sept-Oct 2016. I am licensed currently in the state of AK, with CCCs.

Response to: Seven Myths about Travel Therapy Contracts
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Kelly Tomaselli says:

I'm a PTA with 16 years of diverse experience. I have spent 10 of those years as a professional traveler, contracting in various areas and facilities. I'm looking to Resume travel/contracting after three years at a permanent job. I hope to find a staffing agency that will recognize my skill set and work ethic!! I am updated to work in California, Oregon or NY state. Currently I live in Oregon and am looking for a start date of August 1st!! Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Best Regards Kelly Tomaselli (239) 292-9716

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