What is a Typical Travel Physical Therapy Salary? (2022)

Travel PT Salary Explained

When it comes to travel physical therapy pay (travel PT pay), there is a lot of misinformation and deception out there. There are dozens of different ways that money can be moved around and presented differently in a travel PT pay package to try to make the compensation look better. Understanding a typical permanent physical therapist’s salary and benefits package can be difficult enough, but travel PT pay packages take that to a new level. The big reason for this is that travel physical therapy pay can’t be expressed in a a yearly salary amount due to the nature of the jobs being temporary, short term positions. One traveler may choose to work back to back contracts for the whole year, while others, like us, may choose to just work one or two contracts each year. This will obviously make a massive impact on the amount each travel physical therapists earns each year. Since discussing compensation in terms of travel physical therapist salary doesn’t work, our best solution is to discuss pay in terms of weekly pay.

Now to complicate matters even more, most travel PTs receive tax free stipends for housing, meals, and incidentals (assuming they maintain a tax home) in addition to their hourly taxable pay. That means that even discussing pay in terms of weekly gross or net amounts can be confusing, since part of the money we receive each week is taxed and part of it is not. The best solution for all of this is to discuss all travel PT pay in terms of a weekly “take home pay” amount. This is essentially the net pay amount that the traveler will receive in their bank account each week. To determine this amount, we take the regular hourly taxable amount, multiply by 40 hours (the typical work week), subtract out the estimated taxes on that amount, and then add the stipend (sometimes called per diem) amounts. Since the majority of travel physical therapists and travel therapy recruiters talk about pay in these terms when discussing various travel PT jobs, it’s vital to understand how this all works when first starting out. To see in much more depth how this is calculated and how to find what your tax rate may be on the taxable portion of your travel PT pay, check out this article breaking it all down.

What is Normal for a Travel Physical Therapy Salary?

Now that we understand how travel physical therapy pay works, let’s discuss what you can actually expect to make in those weekly take home pay terms. If you ask a few travel therapists and recruiters what average pay should be for a travel contract, you can almost guarantee you’ll get conflicting answers. The reason for this is that is depends on a number of different factors. These factors include:

  • The location of the travel PT job
  • The setting in which the travel therapist will be working
  • The company and recruiter that the traveler chooses to work through
  • The urgency with which the facility needs to fill the position
  • The reimbursements included in the pay package that are separate from the weekly pay amount

Depending on these factors, over the past several years we’ve seen travel physical therapist pay offers range from $1,300-$2,500/week after taxes! That is a truly massive range, which leads to a lot of confusion for new travelers! You may talk to a current travel PT that tells you that you should never accept a job making less than $2,000/week take home, while another tells you they usually make around $1,500/week take home. To understand why this is, let’s discuss each of the factors mentioned above in more detail and explain exactly how they affect travel PT salary.

(Video) What YOU Need to Know About Your Travel Physical Therapy Salary

Travel PT Job Location

In general, the location of the potential travel PT job usually has the biggest impact on the pay that is offered. Travel jobs in higher cost of living areas tend to pay higher than jobs in lower cost of living areas. Also jobs on the west coast tend to pay higher than jobs on the east coast or in the midwest. In addition, rural jobs (read: less desirable locations) usually pay higher than jobs in cities where more physical therapists want to go. What this all means is that you’re much more likely to see a very high paying travel PT job in California in a high cost of living area or a very rural area than you are in a city on the east coast or in the midwest. As I mentioned earlier, every travel PT jobs is unique, so this isn’t always true but in the majority of cases it holds true.

Travel PT Job Setting

Just like in the permanent physical therapy world where physical therapy salary is significantly affected by setting, so is the case with travel PT jobs. Interestingly enough, the settings that would typically pay well for a permanent PT aren’t always the ones that pay travel physical therapists well. Whereas for permanent therapists, skilled nursing facilities (SNF) often offer comparatively high pay, for travel therapists SNFs are usually the lowest paying setting. This can leave new travel PTs frustrated when they’re offered low pay for a SNF job that may not even be much higher than it would be for a permanent therapist taking a job in that facility. For travel physical therapists, typically home health pays the highest followed by outpatient and acute care, with SNFs and schools bringing up the rear.

Travel PT Company and Recruiter

There are well over 200 travel therapy companies in existence, so it should be no surprise that some of them pay better than others. In addition, over the years we’ve learned that some recruiters will pay more or less than others even at the same company for a given travel job. This means that when picking a company and recruiter you need to choose wisely! Generally (although not always) smaller companies with lower overhead are able to pay higher than bigger companies that have more buildings to maintain and employees to pay. The flip side though is that the bigger companies almost always have more jobs and better benefits. This makes the choice between big companies and small companies difficult. After all, high pay is wonderful but not if it means getting placed in a job that is a bad fit for you due to the company not having as many options.

***For help finding companies and recruiters that will fit you well, fill out this short questionnaire and we’ll help you out!

(Video) Ep. 53 How much does a traveling physical therapist make? Permanent Salary vs Travel Pay

Urgency of the Need of the Travel Job Facility

Every travel job is unique, which means that each job will differ with regards to why a travel PT is needed and how urgently they need the physical therapist. For example, a small outpatient facility that just had their only physical therapist leave will need someone to fill in much more urgently than a large company that just lost one out of their twelve PTs on staff. In the first situation, the facility will likely be willing to pay more to get a PT in there as quickly as possible (our specialty as travelers) so that they can get new evaluations in, whereas the second facility might be fine spreading the caseload out among the other therapists for a few weeks. Some jobs pay higher in a given location and setting just because the need is more urgent.

Reimbursements in the Pay Package

You have to look at each pay package as one big pie. You can cut the pie into two huge pieces or eight small pieces, but in the end it’s still the same amount of pie. For any travel job, there is a total amount that the travel company is able to pay you, and it’s up to you and them how that pay is divided. New travelers not understanding this is why some travel companies will use things like tuition reimbursement, vacation days, and money for CEUs to entice travelers to work with them, but ultimately that money all comes from the same pie. In practical terms, that means that the more reimbursements and perks that you receive in your contract, the lower your weekly take home pay amount will be. Let’s look at an example of this:

  • Contract 1: $1,600/week take home pay x 13 weeks
    • $400 license reimbursement for the cost of getting this new state license
    • $350 beginning and $350 ending travel reimbursement for getting to and from the travel assignment location
    • $300 CEU reimbursement during the contract
  • Contract 2: $1,700/week take home pay x 13 weeks
    • No reimbursements offered for licensing, travel costs, or CEUs

In this example, Contract 2 pays $100/week higher than Contract 1, but when we break all of those reimbursements down into a weekly amount ($400 + $350 + $350 + $300 = $1,400 / 13 weeks = $107/week) the traveler would actually make less in total with Contract 2.

This is the difficulty with discussing only weekly pay and not looking at the whole picture. It’s completely possible (and we’ve seen it often) that the traveler that takes Contract 2 could brag about making $1,700/week after taxes, and the traveler that takes Contract 1 could feel like they are being taken advantage of by their company since they’re only making $1,600/week after taxes, when in reality the total compensation with Contract 1 is better than Contract 2! This is the danger of comparing weekly pay to other travelers sometimes. In addition, one of these contracts could have some intangible benefits that don’t necessarily show up in the weekly pay or reimbursements that the other one doesn’t!

(Video) UNDERSTANDING A TRAVEL THERAPY PAY PACKAGE & TAX FREE INCOME: Travel PT Explains Payment Breakdown

What Does This All Mean for Average Travel PT Salary?

Determining a normal travel physical therapist salary is impossible since, unlike permanent PT positions, travelers may choose to work any number of weeks per year with the time off between contracts being unpaid. This means the best way to compare pay in the travel PT world is in terms of weekly take home pay amounts. When determining what is a normal weekly take home amount, we have to take in to account a variety of factors that have a significant impact on the pay amount. The location, setting, urgency, reimbursement amounts, and the travel company that a particular travel job is through all have a big impact on weekly pay.

It’s very difficult to make an apples to apples comparison in pay between travel PT jobs and with other travelers since every travel company and contract is unique. Don’t be fooled by travel companies offering high weekly pay but no reimbursements and poor benefits because when you consider the total compensation package you may actually make more with a recruiter offering less pay weekly. Take the whole pay package and the company benefits into account each time!

If after reading all of this, you still want a general range as to what you can expect to earn as a travel physical therapist (I hear you, I searched far and wide before we started traveling 4.5 years ago), here’s a general guideline I can give you:

  • East Coast and Midwest: $1,500-$1,900/week after taxes
  • West Coast: $1,700-$2,100/week after taxes

Where you can expect to fall within that range will depend on the factors above, but the majority of jobs are going to be within these amounts. Any job offers paying less than this are probably not worth considering. You can certainly make more than this sometimes as well in certain circumstances!

(Video) Travel Physical Therapy 101: Understanding The Basics Of Travel Physical Therapy

Travel therapy can be confusing and intimidating when first starting out. We’re doing our best to help travelers become as knowledgeable as possible to avoid being taken advantage of by marketing gimmicks and smooth talking recruiters. If you would like help finding a few recruiters and companies that we like and trust then, feel free to reach out and we can help you. If you have any questions or suggestions, then contact us!

Written by Jared Casazza, PT, DPT

What is a Typical Travel Physical Therapy Salary? (1)

Jared has been a traveling physical therapist since 2015 and is co-founder of Travel Therapy Mentor. He travels with his girlfriend, fellow physical therapist, and Travel Therapy Mentor partner, Whitney.

(Video) Earn 6 figures as a new grad with travel physical therapy

FAQs

What is a Typical Travel Physical Therapy Salary? ›

The salaries of Traveling Physical Therapists in the US range from $23,318 to $624,494 , with a median salary of $113,115 . The middle 57% of Traveling Physical Therapists makes between $113,115 and $283,418, with the top 86% making $624,494.

What is the highest paying field in physical therapy? ›

Here are five types of high-paying specialties for physical therapists:
  1. Sports medicine. Physical therapists who specialize in sports medicine treat professional and amateur athletes. ...
  2. Cardiovascular. ...
  3. Geriatrics. ...
  4. Neurology. ...
  5. Pediatrics.

How much does a travel physical therapist make in California? ›

How much does a Travel Physical Therapist (PT) make in California? The average Travel Physical Therapist (PT) salary in California is $87,952 as of July 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $81,354 and $95,031.

Do physical therapists make 6 figures? ›

Not only was it an arduous effort, it was expensive too, and half of graduating PTs paid more than $150,000 for their degree (and still have the loans to prove it!). But in reality, most physical therapy jobs pay much less than six figures, starting in the $60-70k range and averaging out around $88k a year.

What type of therapist makes the most money? ›

Psychiatrist positions are by far the highest-paying jobs for psychology majors. The average salary is $217,798, according to PayScale. A psychiatrist should be licensed as a board-certified psychologist.

Is traveling PT worth it? ›

According to a story published by the APTA, traveling physical therapy positions can pay between 15% and 20% more than permanent physical therapy jobs. And, ZipRecruiter reports the average traveling physical therapist salary lands at $94,583 per year.

Can you travel the world as a physical therapist? ›

Some PTs add travel to the benefits of a physical therapy career. Some PTs add travel to the benefits of a physical therapy career. Like any trip, it's not without challenges or wrong turns, but physical therapists who choose to be "travel PTs" often rave about the benefits of that career path.

In what year was physical therapy established as a field of study answer in numeric form? ›

The profession of physical therapy was first developed in the early 1900's. Physical therapists helped patients recover from polio and assisted in rehabilitating soldiers returning from the first World War. In 1936, students only needed two years of education to practice physical therapy.

How can a PT make a lot of money? ›

8 ways to make extra money as a physical therapist
  1. Pick up extra physical therapy shifts. ...
  2. Provide telehealth services. ...
  3. Become a physical therapy consultant. ...
  4. Offer home therapy services. ...
  5. Become a personal trainer. ...
  6. Become a first aid course instructor. ...
  7. Get into healthcare and physical therapy freelance writing.
Nov 1, 2021

Where is the highest demand for physical therapists? ›

The 5 States With the Highest Projected Demand for Physical Therapists (2018-2028)
RankStateAverage Number of Physical Therapist Job Openings per Year
1California1,630
2New York1,560
3Texas1,150
4Florida950
1 more row
Apr 7, 2022

Engage your audience with these 10 creative ideas for physical therapy inservice topics.

A case study is a great way to present your research , interventions, and the progress you’ve helped your patient achieve.. It allows you to share any great ideas or techniques you’ve applied to the case, in turn providing your colleagues with ideas for their own patients.. Condensing one, two, or three days' worth of material into a brief presentation, teaching it, and answering questions about it will solidify understanding and help you recognize patients appropriate for the techniques.. Presenting research can be a great way to spark discussion and debate among colleagues, and bring new ideas to light.. When discussing research articles, include why you chose to read this article, what the findings were, and how it applies to your patient population.. Alternatively, if you work in a facility where your patient is being treated by multiple disciplines, consider presenting with your colleagues about a shared patient.. Discuss your interventions and how you collaborated between disciplines to support each other’s goals.. Inviting speakers from community organizations, such as fitness centers, Silver Sneakers programs, adapted sports organizations, and camps can educate therapists about available resources.. ), present it to your colleagues.. Hopefully this article has given you ideas for how to make yours more creative.

Interested in becoming a respiratory therapist? Our respiratory care career guide can help you navigate the path to one of the fastest-growing medical careers!

Interested in learning more about the life of a respiratory therapist?. A respiratory therapist is trained and skilled to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who have difficulty breathing.. From initial interviewing and examining, to teaching patients how to administer treatments on their own, respiratory therapists are a critical component in helping people living with cardio-pulmonary disease and disorders.. A day in the life of a respiratory therapist can involve meeting and assessing new patients, as well as administering treatment to and following up with existing patients.. RTs work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, critical care units, neonatal intensive care units, ERs, and even in patients’ homes.. A typical day or shift can consist of:. Meeting with and examining patients who have pulmonary diseases, disorders, or complications Conducting, performing, and analyzing diagnostic and function tests to assess lung capacity and capability Working with physicians and nurses to create treatment plans Treating patients with aerosol medications and chest physiotherapy Evaluating progress of treatment Administering inhalants Documenting care by updating charts and records Operating mechanical ventilators and other machines Completing discharge planning by working with other members of the medical team Training patients how to administer treatments and use equipment on their own Recommending equipment and treatment for outpatient or home health Protecting patients (and other healthcare employees) through stringent protocols. For example, RTs working in a nursing home will work with the elderly, whereas in a neonatal intensive care unit, the care for newborn and premature babies could look very different.. Responsibilities can be based on where an RT works.. All respiratory therapists should have the following skills:

Select a Degree LevelSelect a CategorySelect a Subject

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) serves under a physician to provide basic and specialty healthcare above and beyond the care provided by most registered nurses.. A family nurse practitioner earns an average annual salary of $116,510 each year, which is equal to $56.01 an hour or $9,710 a month.. Family Nurse Practitioners in New Jersey earn $127,500 a year, and many work at what are often called the best hospitals in the region, including Morristown Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.. If you choose to work as a family nurse practitioner in Massachusetts, you will earn $130,220 a year, on average.. FNPs also work for physicians and in nursing homes to help provide care to Nashville’s growing elderly population, and in doing so, they earn an average of $101,860 a year.. Boston, Massachusetts is one of the most populated cities in America, and it’s also one of the highest paying for family nurse practitioners, who earn an average annual salary of $133,950.. A family nurse practitioner in Philadelphia earns an average annual salary of $110,140, and the vast majority work in private doctors’ and specialists’ offices.. They earn an average annual salary of $111,830, and some of the biggest Chicago employers include Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center, and the University of Illinois Hospital.. Miami FNPs earn around $107,950 a year, and they work in a variety of places like the University of Miami Hospital and Mercy Hospital.. As a family nurse practitioner, you can earn an average annual salary of $115,360 a year and work with some of the nation’s most prominent specialist surgeons in locations like Emory University Hospital and Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.. In California, you will earn a salary of $137,410 a year, on average, while in Alabama, you will earn an average annual salary of $102,840.

Data-driven information about how to become a heavy equipment operator including: job description, average salary by state, job outlook and career review.

Heavy machine operators are required to operate these machines in order to complete a specific task, care for these machines, and often repair and maintain these machines as well.. Heavy machine operators are also required to keep themselves, the machine, and other working on the project safe around these heavy machines, so they’re required to abide by strict guidelines and procedures in order to accomplish this.. The key responsibilities of heavy equipment operators at work is to control and operate the various machines that move earth, freight, or other materials, and operate construction equipment according to safety standards.. orchestrating heavy machines to accomplish tasks keeping equipment clean making minor repairs to equipment coordinating safety notify supervisors about mechanical malfunctions coordinate activities with all other members of the crew operating heavy equipment such as back-hoes and bulldozers to lift, move, or place equipment mechanical skills that include familiarity with power tools and hand tools, as well as equipment care mathematical skills that include the ability or perform calculations based on weight and mass.. The lowest 10 percent of heavy equipment operators make about $29, 710 while the top 10 percent of heavy equipment operators can make about $81,640.. Some states require different licenses and certificates in order to become a heavy machine operator.. In these courses, you’ll learn hands-on training for common types of equipment, learn the education curriculum necessary to become a heavy machine operator, and learn what’s required to pass any certification exams you might need.. Several other states will require that you have heavy equipment professional certifications from places like the National Association of Heavy Equipment training Services as well as the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators.

Are you, like your ancestors, a nomad at heart and searching for a career that matches your enthusiasm? Here are 15 of the best traveling jobs in healthcare!

Whether you are a physician, a nurse, a therapist, or simply trying to get more experience in the medical field, there is a variety of career opportunities that allow you to travel the country -- and many travel jobs let you choose where you want to go!. Another great travel healthcare career to consider is becoming a healthcare consultant.. Telemedicine jobs are going to continue to grow in importance over time as patients need care in new and innovative ways, and hospitals and healthcare facilities seek ways to provide that care to those patients who cannot get care in typical fashion by attending regular patient interactions or need constant care outside the hospital.. This means that there are opportunities for healthcare professionals who wish to travel and still provide care to patients in unique ways.. This means that social work is a great job for those healthcare professionals who are seeking ways to impact others, offer guidance, and travel as well.. Are you a traveling medical professional?

Videos

1. MY FIRST TRAVEL PT PAYCHECK | Breaking down a travel PT pay package
(Adventures by April)
2. 3 Ways to Hack Your Physical Therapy Salary
(Tim Fraticelli - PTProgress)
3. WHAT IS TRAVEL THERAPY???: PLUS Pros & Cons! Travel PT Explains Details of Being a Travel Therapist
(Ryan & Megan)
4. Travel Physical Therapy | One Year Anniversary
(ThePTbae)
5. 3 Month Update | Working as a Travel Physical Therapist
(ThePTbae)
6. How I Started as Travel Physical Therapist
(ThePTbae)

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