What is the Best Travel Therapy Company?
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and give travel therapy a try.
Now all you have to do is pick what company to work for, and it should be easy when you probably have recruiters already knocking down your door. But then another company contacts you. And another. You Google “Best travel therapy company” and become aware of five more companies that you didn’t even know existed.
You suddenly start receiving emails that you know you never signed up for. You decide to join a Facebook group to ask for advice and then recruiters start private messaging you there as well. Someone DMs your Instagram account and it’s over.
It’s enough to make you tear your hair out and give up on this whole travel therapy thing! But try not to get overwhelmed. Finding the right travel company to work for is easier than you think.
What is the Number One Travel Therapy Company?
Beyond tax home and housing questions, there is no request I hear from new travelers more often. We all want to work for a company who appreciates us, pays us what we’re worth, and makes the sometimes arduous process of starting travel therapy as easy as possible.
So, after lots and lots of research and comparison, I’ve found that the number one travel therapy company is…
What? Yes. No one.
That’s not to say that there aren’t travel companies out there doing great work. It just means that there is no one size fits all answer for everyone. A travel therapy company who has tons of jobs in California may not have as much presence in the midwest. A company that started out as only travel nursing may not have as many therapist contracts. A smaller company may offer high pay but have less in the ways of benefits and support.
While there are a lot of great, ethical companies, the true “best” one for you may not be the best for me. And guess what? It may not be the “best” company for your second contract. Or your third! But maybe by the time you’re ready to take on your fourth assignment, it will be the right fit again. The truth is, experienced travelers have a different mindset than permanent therapists.
While your company can make or break your experience in a perm job that you keep for years, it just doesn’t matter as much for travel therapy jobs that you only keep for a few months.
Most long-term travelers will end up working with several different travel companies throughout the course of their career. And unlike a lot of perm jobs where a company may be the only or one of few providers for therapy services in that area, these travel companies are all competing against each other at a national level.
So that long list of travel therapy companies that may have seemed overwhelming is actually a good thing – with this much competition, companies are all offering pretty similar experiences. Companies that provide worse pay, benefits, and support don’t tend to stick around for long.
So What is Important?
The real thing that makes the biggest difference on your success and happiness as a travel therapist is a good recruiter. I have spoken to recruiters at well-established companies who felt like used car salesmen and recruiters at tiny, fledgling companies who are kind, non-invasive and really do care about ensuring that you are happy.
I’ve also spoken to recruiters who come heavily recommended from other travel therapists, but then for whatever reason we don’t really “vibe.” It can definitely be a process to find the right one for you, so don’t be hesitant to interview several!
And, I always recommend working with a few recruiters each time to cover your bases and make sure you’re getting paid fairly, so if you find a few you like, even better!
How to Find Out if a Travel Company is the Best for You
Once you have made contact with a few recruiters, you can start sussing out if they’re a good fit for you. Only you know what your priorities are, but here are a few questions to start:
- How long has the company been operating?
- How long have you been a recruiter?
- What benefits (health insurance, 401k matching, PTO, etc.) does your company offer?
- Am I eligible for benefits on Day 1 of my assignment, or is there a waiting period?
- What is your preferred method of communication?
- If I work with you, what is your typical response time?
- How would you describe your personality?
- Do you currently have jobs listed for my specialty in my preferred areas?
- What mentorship and support does your company offer?
- What is your favorite part of your job?
If you like what you hear, great! I suggest starting a document that lists recruiter info, company benefits, and any other relevant information. This way, when assignments do come up, you can easily compare the differences.
The good news is, at the end of the day you’re probably going to come out about even no matter who you take an assignment with. That company offering higher hourly pay may not have Day 1 health insurance, or that company with slightly lower pay may have an established credentialing team that will do some of the work in helping you obtain licensing.
It’s all about what is the most valuable to you.
What have been your favorite travel companies to work for? What makes them your favorite?
I’m currently with Ventura and my contract goes until December. I have potentially high health insurance costs (ulcerative colitis) and got into the therapy game late so I am trying to dump of money into 401 IRA roth mutual funds to catch up as much as possible and care about insurance. My last contract I took was with a different company than my first. I will not be worrying about getting the very highest bill rate and since I now have experience working in acute/ sub acute/ HH in CA/ WA & I’m not worried about finding a job. I wanted to know what companies have you worked for that have the best health insurance & 401 matching/ shortest duration for being able to start making contributions. The companies I’ve worked for so far (AMN, The Genesis Group, & Ventura all have a 3 month waiting period.) If I can’t find a company that will let you start contributions after a month I will have to stay with Ventura for my next contract.
It’s been a little while since I’ve looked into the benefits of the companies (and I know these things are always changing!) so I would reach out to current travelers in the Facebook group Travel Therapy Therapists (which only consists of travelers, no recruiters) to get some current insight. I hope this helps!