How Luna Can Provide all the Benefits, with None of the Drawbacks
By Lily Beltran | December 20, 2018
From an outside perspective, traveling physical therapy can seem like a pretty attractive gig. Many PTs decide to become traveling physical therapists to enjoy more autonomy, flexibility and, in some cases, increased income. Of course, there are pros and cons to every type of career, and it’s important to consider all sides before making any major life decisions.
In this post, we’ll explore what it’s really like to be a traveling physical therapist and show you how Luna is helping traveling PTs do things differently.
So, what exactly does a typical traveling physical therapy contract look like? Here’s how one of Luna’s Physical Therapists, Ann Kramer, describes it:
“Traveling physical therapy consists of short-term contracts, usually 8-13 weeks long. There are several companies who recruit PT’s, OT’s, nurses, etcetera to fulfill specific needs in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes or whatever else the job seems fit. From my experience, I made a higher wage.”
Constant Change is the Norm
There can be some unique drawbacks to a typical traveling physical therapy job. While these positions may pay a reasonable rate, there is an innate need for traveling physical therapists to live an almost nomadic lifestyle; considering the fact that contracts last a maximum of three months.
We recently spoke with a traveling physical therapist in the Bay Area who is also a parent to small children. During her kids’ last summer vacation, she was offered a contract in Nevada that required her to move. Knowing that she needed the money to sustain their life in the Bay Area, she was forced to make the move. It was an inopportune time to leave her children behind, as she missed valuable time with them during their summer break.
Traditional traveling physical therapy jobs may be a great idea for someone interesting in constantly-changing, living environments, but the majority of therapists want to live a more stable life that doesn’t require them being uprooted from their friends, community, and family every couple of months.
You Can Increase Your Income (But There’s a Catch)
One of the most appealing reasons for becoming a traveling PT is the financial opportunity. Because many of these assignments require therapists to relocate to more rural, underserved areas, financial incentives are often offered in return. Housing subsidies are a common perk for traveling PTs, for example. This can be appealing, especially to recent graduates with student loans to pay off.
Most traveling PTs also have the ability to enjoy unique tax benefits that come from being an independent contractor, sole proprietor, or entrepreneur. For example, when taking a job as a traveling physical therapist, you may be entitled to some write-offs via stipend housing. (Note that to avoid being taxed on this, you should review the residency laws as it pertains to this benefit).
Another financial benefit of being a traveling therapist is the ability to greatly increase your take-home income by foregoing a house payment. Many traveling therapists reside in RV’s that allow them to travel from contract to contract without needing to pay for housing. But without the ability to write off your housing stipend, you may very well earn the same amount of money that you would at a regular clinic—with the constraints of a nomadic lifestyle. Ouch.
A Better Approach to Traveling Physical Therapy - Luna!
We knew that there had to be a better way to approach this outdated concept—a way for therapists to enjoy all the financial benefits of traveling physical therapy without constantly uprooting their lives. At Luna, you can have the freedom of traveling physical therapist while still coming home to your friends and family after work. So stay local, and get the benefits of freedom at the same time! Luna therapists receive competitive pay while maintaining strong connections with community, friends, and family.
If you’re craving the freedom and autonomy of a traveling physical therapist position but are discouraged by the lack of financial stability and the need to relocate frequently, we’d love to hear from you. Learn more about Luna and how we can help you gain independence and control over your career as a physical therapist.
If you’re a traveling physical therapist, you should consider joining Luna. #travelingpt #andlocaltoo