What are the Different Types of Travel Physical Therapist Jobs?

Terrie Brockmann

Travel physical therapist jobs may be a permanent career or temporary employment. Some travel jobs involve relocating to a location for the duration of a job, while others involve traveling with a person who needs physical therapy. Another type of travel job is to sign on with a travel group or company, such as a cruise line. A therapist should consider the benefits and disadvantages of each type of travel job.

Travel physical therapists may work on cruise ships.
Travel physical therapists may work on cruise ships.

Most travel physical therapist jobs do not involve daily travel. Specialty employment services offer job contracts for jobs at places such as clinics, hospitals, or other traditional health care facilities in other locations. Typically, the employment service has a listing of jobs throughout the country or region. A job generally lasts 13 weeks, but the length of time may vary, depending on the facility's needs.

Travel physical therapists can work in hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient rehabilitation facilities.
Travel physical therapists can work in hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient rehabilitation facilities.

There are many advantages to working for a travel employment service. Often, therapists temporarily change locations when jobs in their area are scarce. Many people seek employment in cooler locations during the hotter months. For others, traveling to different parts of the country is more interesting. Working in dissimilar localities allows a person to learn new approaches to the job and gain valuable knowledge and experiences.

Typically, travel physical therapist jobs pay more than non-travel jobs. An applicant needs to check each employment service's benefit package before signing on for a job. Benefits vary, depending on the agency's policies. Often companies offer round trip reimbursement, insurance, and free housing. Sometimes they offer job bonuses or other incentives.

Sometimes the travel physical therapist jobs are special assignments, such as working at a summer camp for disabled children or working with a sports team. Other people like to travel to areas where family and friends live. A therapist from a rural area may request a job in an urban setting or vice versa.

Uncommon types of travel physical therapist jobs involve traveling with a client who needs physical therapy. This can range from being a physical therapist on a cruise ship to working with a single person. Sometimes a person who needs a physical therapist will hire a therapist to accompany him or her on a trip. Clients often use employment agencies to find qualified therapists; therefore, a therapist should check with several different agencies to find this type of job. Sometimes people post job opportunities on the Internet, such as websites that seek crew members for sailing excursions.

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Discussion Comments


@MrsPramm - A good solution to that would be to get a job as a companion physical therapist to someone who is traveling.

This is the kind of thing that's probably not that easy to find, since you'd have to have quite a rich client in order for them to afford your travel, but it would be a pretty incredible opportunity.


@pleonasm - It sounds like a good idea to me, however I would make sure to talk to someone who had done it recently before I decided to take the plunge.

It sounds like traveling physical therapist jobs would be very dependent on the economy, simply because people tend to stick close to home when things aren't going well and if the economy isn't doing well they are going to be fiercely competing for local jobs. And most of the time, local people will get local jobs before foreigners, particularly traveling foreigners, will.

So, I'd make sure it is actually as easy as all that to get the jobs before I went and committed to traveling overseas.


I have a friend who is a physical therapist and she traveled all over Europe using her job as a tool to get around. It was awesome for her, because she would get a bunch of contacts at each place, a pretty good salary and the working hours were much better than similar positions, like nursing.

If I had this qualification I would definitely become a traveling physical therapist, as it seems like a lot of fun.

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