Debt is a topic that comes up frequently when we speak with therapy students and recent graduates about travel therapy. Inquiries about student loan forgiveness programs have increased, and the unanimously passed RC 11-16 motion spearheaded by students concerned about their future financial well-being was passed just this week by the APTA House of Delegates. It’s wonderful to see emerging professionals bring such important issues to the attention of their national organization, and we hope some (or all) of the suggestions made will be considered to ease the increasing financial burden now accompanying students as they enter their first year of professional work. While we wait for the 2018 solutions, remember that travel therapy can be a huge asset in your efforts to reduce debt.
Travel as a New Graduate
Accepting a 13-week travel contract as your first therapy job has become a normal career path for many new graduates. Generally, travel therapists make 25 to 40 percent higher pay (thanks to tax-free stipends and urgency for your help and expertise to fill department needs) than in a permanent position. There are no year-long contracts here, but if you can make the commitment to travel for at least a few years while putting that extra take-home pay towards your principal loan balance, it will help you achieve freedom from student loan debt potentially years sooner than making minimum payments.
Refer Your Friends
Many of our travelers have such wonderful 13-week contract experiences that they refer a former classmate to their recruiter. Or two, or even five or more classmates. Even if you don’t travel yourself, you can think of students in your class, or perhaps the class below or above you, who may be interested in travel. When your referral is placed with us, that’s $1,000 per PT, OT or SLP and $500 per COTA and PTA that Cariant Health Partners will pay out. So think of any adventurous therapists in your personal contacts, or maybe others interested in avenues that can boost their student debt payments. Your referral efforts could add up to thousands of dollars that can be allocated to pay down debt.
If you recently graduated or will graduate soon, recruiters are knowledgeable resources on the financial benefits of travel therapy. You can contact our team to learn more, or take the next step and see what locations are open and get started on your career path to debt-free living.