If you’re a traveling physical therapist (PT), occupational therapist (OT), or speech-language pathologist (SLP) in search for your summer travel job assignment, then you’ve come to the right place! With longer and warmer summer days approaching, you’ll want to spend them someplace worthwhile. Check out these top five high-paying travel therapy summer destinations and find your summer job before you know it!
No. 1: California
Photo courtesy of visitcalifornia.com
With nearly 40 million people in the state, California has a large demand for healthcare professionals like yourself. Especially as the population ages and begins to require more care, the need for travel therapy professionals will also grow. In fact, the demand for California physical therapy assistants (PTAs) is expected to grow 28.6 percent and the need for PTs is projected to increase by 24.5 percent by 2028. Not to mention OTs will see a 16.7 percent increase by the same time. The math adds up and the numbers show that California needs you.
What to do in California in the summer
During your days off, take time to explore the area and get to know Cali in all its glory. Since you’ll be there a while, you should know some of the top things to do in California during the summertime. Here’s what you need to know:
- Experience the scenery. Hop over to the Big Sur and get the best of both worlds with the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. As one of the most scenic drives in California, the Big Sur offers gentle hills, dramatic waves, nearby parks, and more.
- Dive into the history. Old Sacramento is a historic destination as one of the communities at the forefront of the Gold Rush. Take a step back in time with horse-drawn carriages, old-fashioned buildings, and more.
- Visit an amusement park. With Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, Universal Studies, and more, California is full of amusement parks just waiting for your entrance. Get lost in the thrill of the rollercoaster rides and interactive games and make the most of your magical day.
No. 2: New Jersey
Photo courtesy of visitnj.org
If you’re into beautiful beaches, great food, diverse culture, and making money, then New Jersey just might be the place for you! Annually, OTs in New Jersey can make up to $98,750, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And PTs can earn up to $95,690. So, find out what New Jersey can offer you and secure your travel therapy job.
What to do in New Jersey in the summer
In the summertime, New Jersey sits between the perfect 70- and 80-degree Fahrenheit weather, which makes it ideal for you to get out and about. On your days off, dive in deep and explore the area where you’re working. Might we suggest:
- See the view from a lighthouse. Lighthouses have lined the New Jersey coast for centuries, so envelop yourself in the historic beauty and climb one of the state’s many lighthouses. Travel back to 1764 and experience the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse in the country. Don’t forget your camera! You’ll want to remember this moment.
- Take a long walk along the beach. Did you know that New Jersey has more than 130 miles of coastline? That means there’s just about every kind of beach you could want, from private and serene to family-friendly to party-friendly. Plus, where there’s a beach, there’s a boardwalk with restaurants, shops, and bars for you to try out!
- Spend the day fishing. With more than 400 public lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, plus secluded rivers and streams, New Jersey is home to some good game. If you’re feeling super adventurous, hop aboard a charter fishing boat for some deep-sea fishing.
No. 3: Massachusetts
Photo courtesy of visit-massachusetts.com
By 2030, the demand for all therapy professionals will increase significantly faster than the average occupation. And that’s because the U.S. population is getting older, more therapy professionals are retiring, and more people are needing healthcare.
According to the BLS, occupational therapists can expect a 17 percent growth, physical therapists will see a 21 percent increase, and a 29 percent growth for speech-language pathologists. So, no matter your specialty, you’re sure to find yourself a travel therapy gig in Massachusetts.
What to do in Massachusetts in the summer
In its 234 years of being a state, Massachusetts has gone through a lot. From hosting the country’s first lighthouse, being home to the men who invented basketball and volleyball, establishing the nation’s first public park, opening the U.S.’s first subway system, and more, Massachusetts holds a lot of history for you to unfold. Here’s what you can do to get started:
- Plan a museum day. Whether you visit the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, or someplace else, you’re in for a treat. Each with unique and diverse culture, you can learn more about the 19th and 20th centuries, study paintings, sculptures, and statues, and view collections from all across the world.
- Go on a hocus pocus tour. It only takes 90 minutes to learn the truth about the Salem Witch Trials and the hysteria that followed in this walking tour. Hear from first-hand experts what happened in the old town and discover whether the infamous curse is real or not.
- Pack a picnic in the Boston Common. Created in 1634, this outdoor park has a rich history full of British Redcoats, America’s independence, anti-slavery movements, and more. So, the next time there’s a sunny afternoon, enjoy the fresh air and the preserved beauty for free.
No. 4: Illinois
Photo courtesy of enjoyillinois.com
You may know Illinois as the home of Chicago, corn, or the first McDonalds, but what you might not realize is that Illinois is also a prime travel therapy job location. In fact, therapy jobs are one of the top fastest growing occupations in the state with PTs growing 20 percent, OTs expanding by 14 percent, and SLP jobs increasing by 7.5 percent all by 2024!
What to do in Illinois in the summer
Illinois is full of historical sites and attractions just waiting to be experienced. As you browse Illinois travel therapy jobs, make a list of to dos for while you’re there. Need some ideas? Here’s some:
- Visit the second-tallest building in America. That’s right. The Willis Tower in Chicago, or Sears Tower as it’s historically known as, is the second-tallest building in all of North America and it’s open for you to tour. Take a peek at the city from the Skydeck and get a view 1,353 feet above the ground.
- Get a picture with the Leaning Tower of Niles. You’ve heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Niles in Niles, Illinois is a mini version that was built in 1934 as part of an amusement park. Nowadays you can visit the site free of charge, enjoy a lunch picnic, and take selfies with the leaning tower.
- Walk Navy Pier. This classic Chicago attraction is 3,300 feet long and one of the top tourist destinations in the Midwest. With over 50 acres of parks, eateries, shopping centers, and family attractions, Navy Pier has something for everyone. Catch a firework show in the summer or climb aboard for a star-lit dinner cruise!
No. 5: North Carolina
Photo courtesy of visitnc.com
If you like barbecue, seafood, and college basketball, you’ll want to settle down in North Carolina for your summer travel therapy job. Plus, in North Carolina, PTs can make 32 percent above the national average, OTs can earn 28 percent above the national average, and SLPs can be paid 14 percent above the national average. Not only can you experience the natural beauty of North Carolina, but you can do so while you perfect your skills as a talented therapy traveler.
What to do in North Carolina in the summer
With mountains, beaches, lighthouses, and city life, North Carolina is a great location to rest, relax, and recharge. When you’re not working, do as the North Carolinians do and immerse yourself in the coastal culture. These are the things you won’t want to miss:
- Mine some gems. Have you ever seen gemstones in their natural rock formation? Well now’s your chance! At the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine, you can mine gemstones and gold to bring home as souvenirs. Plus, here you’ll also find a baby goat petting zoo, the world’s largest gem mine bucket, a rock shop, and a number of picnic tables.
- Go for a hike. The Iron Mountain Hot Springs Mountains-to-Sea Trail is the official state hiking trail of North Carolina. With more than 1,100 miles between the Outer Banks and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there’s about 680 miles of hiking and biking trails, along with 500 miles of connecting roads to help get you where you want to go.
- Treat yourself to award-winning wine. You work hard every day to help improve the lives of your patients. So, now it’s your turn to treat yourself at Banner Elk Winery. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this winery and villa set the standard for high country wines. Capture the view of the mountains and enjoy the subtle and delicate nuances of the famous fruit wine.
Finding a travel therapy job can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. Use Fusion Marketplace to accelerate your job search, interview, and hire process to find your summer assignment in no time. Don’t yet have your Marketplace profile created? Wait no more and build your traveler profile to gain access to thousands of travel therapy jobs across the country, including these top summer destinations.