The Future of Travel Physical Therapy

As a staffing agency, getting to know your candidates’ needs, wants, and even their dislikes is crucial for understanding the customer you’ve set out to serve. In order to better understand who we serve, CovalentCareers launched a survey in 2017 of 1691 people in the field of physical therapy; this included 656 students and 1,035 practicing PTs.

We set out to learn more about who these aspiring and current therapists are by asking about simple demographic information (graduation year, location, setting preferences, etc.) as well as deeper questions about their career aspirations and concerns. Here are some of our most interesting findings:

1. Travel therapy is the second-most popular choice of employment for physical therapists. While the majority of PTs (77.9%) are looking for full-time work, a significant amount of PTs (12.5%) are strongly considering travel PT as their primary option, and there is a chance we may see that number grow in the coming years.

2. Travel PT is more appealing to new grads than it is to those with established careers. Of those surveyed, the average likelihood of pursuing a travel PT position was at a 36.3%, however, newer PTs show greater interest than PTs who graduated earlier. This can be attributed to practicing clinicians not wanting to uproot their lives to move, but the future is bright for travel therapy.

PREMIUM CONTENT: US Healthcare Staffing Recruitment Strategies

3. Moving is the primary reason why PTs may consider changing jobs. 5% of PTs who had indicated interested in changing positions in the next six months said that moving to a new location was the primary drive behind relocating.

4. Mentorship remains the most important consideration to PTs, whether they’re just starting out or have more experience. Finding the right opportunity that will provide mentorship and guidance is more than twice as important to prospective candidates as the practice setting and three times more important than compensation.

5. PTs are generally optimistic about the future of the industry and love what they do. At an average rating of 7.5/10, PTs generally feel optimistic about the future of PT, and an even greater percentage, nearly 83%, state that they would choose physical therapy again if they had the option to go back and change their minds.

6. Ironically, the prospect of relocating itself is both the most exciting and most intimidating prospect of travel therapy. PTs interested in travel therapy reported that traveling/exploring was the most exciting part of being a travel PT (48.8%), but 23.1% of that same group reported constantly moving as the most frightening aspect, followed closely by not being able to maintain relationships (20.3%) and not having a mentor (18.3%).

You can access the full report here. At CovalentCareers, we like to use data like this to create marketing initiatives that work to directly serve and communicate with our users. As you craft your 2019 marketing strategy, consider using data like this to better guide how you advertise to prospective candidates. Understanding what your candidates want can help craft a story about your company and show them why you are the best at what you do. So get out there, tell your story, and if you have any questions about how we tell ours, hit me up at the email address below. I’ll be happy to help.

Matt Geller

Matt Geller
Matt Geller is CEO of CovalentCareers & NewGradMedia. He can be reached at matt (at) covalentcareers (dot) com.

Matt Geller

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