I have found myself becoming more and more intrigued by the idea of building a tiny home and traveling across the country after graduation. Realistically, the best way to continue enhancing the clinical skills obtained in graduate school and complete my fellowship year while traveling,
not to mention pay my bills, would be to become a traveling speech language pathologist. I searched through my podcast library and found The Traveling Traveler’s in-depth review of being a traveling SLP on Conversations in Speech Pathology.
What types of agencies could you work for?
As a traveling SLP you are required to make connections with recruiters, who will in turn work with agencies on your behalf. While recruiters are able to find agencies with assignments across any specialty in speech pathology, some agencies are becoming more specialized to ease the job hunting experience. In addition, larger recruiting agencies are able to pay more for the job placements that are advertised in frequently sought after cities and specialty clinics, versus smaller agencies. Some agencies are:
–Advanced Travel Therapy
–Allied Travel Careers
What type of assignments are available?
Job assignments are temporary fillings that company’s are requesting SLPs for. This could be due to maternity leave, medical leave, or simply a transitional period between full time employees. That being said, job placements can be found anywhere in the United States, even in Hawaii. These placements range across the board from nursing facilities, acute care, inpatient rehab, home health, schools, and outpatient clinics. Schools are among the most popular assignments available to choose from. California is often looking for traveling SLPs, while states like Florida have a high influx of SLPs and are generally only offering positions in schools. Some states have ethical concerns that you may want to research further, such as Texas and Massachusetts.
How much do you get paid?
Assignment pay ranges by city and facility in which the job is located. In addition, the take home pay is impacted by the benefits that the agency is offering, such as health care, student loan reimbursement, and paid time off. Lastly, the agency may also receive a portion of the company’s designated salary for the position, reducing your take home pay.
-Assignments are about 13 weeks long, allowing you to travel to new places and change your work flow as often as you’d like.
-Time off between assignments is completely up to you, giving you the freedom and flexibility to continue your travels
-Some agencies offer incentives, such as a free Caribbean vacation
-While cost of living is somewhat considered, speech therapy sessions remain at a somewhat stabilized cost across the medical field. This affects a company’s ability to increase your salary, while rentals increase around you. This is particularly important in high cost of living locations, such as New York City or San Francisco.
-Cost of certification and licensing is most often up to the SLP. This means you could be faced with the strain of requesting licensing in multiple states, paying fees, paying renewal fees up to $200, and fees for any addition state required CEU courses. Something to consider if your take home pay isn’t what you expected after graduating.
Let’s see what the future holds for us!