Picking a Travel PT Company

Hi everybody! Let’s talk about your #1 priority if you’re looking into traveling companies. There’s a lot to look at when you’re searching for the right company, and every one says they’re the best because of A, B, C, and whatever else. Well, I’m here to tell you not to worry about it. All those random perks sound great, but when it all boils down, you’re interested in the job. I mean, what good is mentorship if you get stuck at the worst clinic ever for 3 months?

So here it is: your #1 priority:

Pick a Recruiter!

Thats it. It’s that simple. Don’t pick a company. Just pick the best recruiter.

Pick a recruiter who gets you, what you want, what you prioritize. Pick one who will fight for you. This will definitely not come as a surprise to anyone who’s traveled before, but nobody told me when I started, and I think it’s worth passing on to you.

Your recruiter (not the company) gets you the job, interview, and salary. They’re your teammate in a game you’ve never played. It helps to have someone good.

Find a recruiter who doesn’t laugh, groan, or sigh when you ask for something. I’ve asked to travel to some ridiculous locations, but I was never told no (I’m still waiting on Alaska, but I was never told “no”). I also was a huge thorn in my recruiter’s side when it came to the payment breakdown. Phone conversation after phone conversation lead to me finally understanding that I would make a lousy accountant. But I now understand everything about the payment breakdown for our company, and my recruiter still takes my calls, so she can’t hate me yet!

I got an incredible recruiter early on, and she has made all the difference. She got me a job lined up before my passing NPTE scores came in. So instead of waiting, we got working a month early!

She got us a location that’s okay taking new grads – this is huge. Not only are you new at traveling, but you’re also a new grad. Facilities that take new grads might not advertise mentorship, but they’re unofficially offering it. The director and staff know what you know…and probably what you don’t. They’re saying that they will work with you. You can take this opportunity to show what you’ve got, but if you ever don’t know the answer, the other PTs have your back.

If you’re still worried about the new location, breathe, and take some advice from Collin Liston on Transitioning from School to your First Job

Your recruiter can also get you into a site that has worked with travelers before. Life is tons easier when somebody else has paved the trail. The orientation will be smoother. The introductions won’t be littered with explanations of what a traveler does. And *sometimes* housing is easier because the site will just tell you where the last travelers lived. This is probably the best perk, trust me.

So put everything else on the back burner. It’s still important to consider all the slight differences when it comes to the different staffing companies, but your recruiter will be the one who makes all of that happen. My advice is to test them out. Ask difficult questions, and see how they handle it. I met with every company possible at CSM 2015, and I was 100% confident in just one recruiter, and I picked her. The rest fell into place perfectly.

Take your time, ask questions, and pick your recruiter. Don’t get too worried; you can always switch company whenever you want! But pick a recruiter who will work for you. It’s worth your time to get a good one.

When to start looking for a recruiter

Whether you want a job in a private practice, a hospital, or want to travel, the best time time to start developing relationships is always NOW. If you are a student who is about to graduate, begin reaching out to recruiters today so that you have the relationship built and your recruiter can go to work for you. The more information they have about what you want in a position, and the more time they have, the better the odds they will get you the position you desire most in the location (Alaska) you want to work.

Where to begin

A great way to find recruiters is to ask your friends and colleagues. Another place to begin reaching out is on Linkedin. You can also browse the websites of recruiting companies to learn more about their team and what they have to offer.

Not sure what travel company to go with? Create your Physical Therapist Professional Profile and let recruiters and Job Offers find you.

About Bill Denz

Bill Denz
Bill graduated from Daemen College in Western NY in May, 2015. He has been traveling with his fiancée and puppy, Lucy, ever since. He has worked in NY, KY, VA, and TX. Bill has worked in outpatient orthopedics, skilled nursing, and inpatient acute, but his real passion is ortho. In his spare time, Bill works on his blog, ptexplorers.com, studies for his McKenzie Certification, and explores all the local hiking of wherever he’s living at the time.


  1. Jessica

    Bill would you mind sharing some of the “tough” questions you asked during your search for a recruiter? and your recruiters information? Thanks for the great article!

    • Bill Denz

      Hi Jessica! Thanks for reading!

      My recruiter, Jessica, would have a field day with this one haha! I made her sit down on the phone and before I would agree to anything, she had to explain every aspect of how travelers get paid. At the time, I just wanted to make sure I was getting all the correct information, but now I know that I really learned that I was dealing with someone who wasn’t going to jump ship just because something was difficult (or annoying). I asked a couple of recruiters if they would consider working with a traveling trio (lots of people travel as a pair), and none of them had ever heard of it before. Some even just said “no,” but Jessica was the only one who said she’d do it! We never did travel as a trio, but it was a fun thought and a great question to weed out who would really work hard for us.

      Other than that, I eliminated companies based on who’s recruiters sounded trustworthy, and those questions were all over the place. I tried to find someone who wasn’t telling me that it was a cakewalk. If they say that, they’re lying to you. You’ll always hit bumps. With all the licenses and odd paperwork, something will eventually get messed up. The recruiters who admit that and focus on fixing the messes are the ones I’d recommend.

      Thanks for your comment, and let me know if I can help with anything else!

  2. Kaleigh Cole

    Hi guys! I think its a great idea to update this section on recommended recruiters as the good ones can be hard to come. My recruiter has been truly incredible and I would highly recommend her to anybody interested in traveling as a new grad! Feel free to message me on this website or find me on facebook and I’d be happy to share my experience!

  3. Hannah Minard

    Can you do travel PT on a temp license right after graduation?

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