Living away from your friends and family to work in travel healthcare can be draining, both physically and emotionally. While it's important to be true to yourself and fulfill your love of travel, there may come times where it's beneficial to live near family temporarily. Taking on a travel therapy or allied assignment close to home can give you a valuable chance to recharge and refresh your spirit and attitude. Or, you may have a family member who needs you to be nearer to home for a little while. Whatever the case, here's your guide to local travel imaging, lab, and therapy jobs:
Throughout your time as a traveler or researching a career in travel therapy or imaging, you’ve probably heard of the terms “local travel” and a “50-mile radius.” It’s a common misconception that you must travel at least 50 miles from home to be eligible to apply for a travel position, and then you would be considered a local traveler. While some healthcare facilities and agencies do require you to live a certain distance away from that facility (it may be more or less than 50 miles), that comes down to the discretion of the facility and doesn’t have an impact on whether you’re a “local” travel therapist or allied professional or traditional traveler. Being classified as a local travel healthcare professional just means that you are not duplicating your housing costs, and do not require a tax-free housing stipend. This rule doesn’t come from facilities or agencies, but from the IRS Publication 463 which states that you qualify for tax-free stipends when a person needs sleep or rest, which must include an overnight stay, in order to meet the demands of their work while away from home.
With all of that being said, one of the biggest cons to being a local travel healthcare professional is that it often requires you to have a much longer commute to work. Limiting yourself to one area also limits the number of job opportunities you get. You may still have to trek across the state or even across state lines as a local imaging and lab professional or therapist depending on what jobs are available near you, especially if your local healthcare facilities have a minimum mileage rule. You also don’t get the chance to explore new and exciting places around the country. If you’re a homebody or looking to stay local to be near family, then that may not be a con at all!
A big pro to local travel jobs is that you typically earn more than you would as a traditional travel therapist or allied professional! Not requiring a tax-free stipend because of duplicate housing costs often means that that extra money will be included in your hourly pay and paycheck. Even with living locally, either on your own or with family, you’ll earn more than conventional staff do on average. You’ll still be required to start your therapist or allied role quickly with little training, due to the demand for travelers!
If you’re ready to start your career as a local travel therapist or allied professional, reach out to one of our recruiters! They’ll help you find the perfect contract near you and have your back every step of the way.