Travel Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Statistics


Current Openings


States with Jobs


Market Growth

What does this mean for you, our adventurous and brave travelers?

Fall 2019 has shown a slight downturn in the travel COTA market since spring. Compared to March of this year (there were 46 jobs nationwide), we are today sitting around an average of 27 jobs for travel COTA. This market has consistently been low for travel positions and is on another downturn this fall.

Flexibility is always the name of the COTA travel game. 

Submit to 5-8 jobs at once - Work with several recruiters from several companies that you like. Different companies have different jobs so you need to work with 3-4 when the market is this tight.

Be very open to SNF jobs - And any and every location. (helpful hint: don’t only look at San Diego or Austin😉)

Get experience before you travel - As a travel Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, it is recommended that you have at least two years of experience before you travel. If you are a new grad, you are at high risk for not landing a travel assignment until you have some experience under your belt. You also risk getting placed in tough (non new grad appropriate) assignments, contract cancellations, and companies underpaying you and pushing the bill rate down. 

Be nice to your recruiters - Your speciality is not in demand for many states. Recruiters have to work 3x as hard to get you in a placement, and too many COTAs on their list hurts their productivity (thus their paycheck). You want them to like you and to want to hustle for you. Be a great communicator and show up as a kind and professional partner to them, so they want to go the extra mile for you!

Extend - If you’re already in a travel position you like, see if you can extend!

State Breakdown

August 2019

What does this mean for the market?

Fall 2019 - the market temperature is chilly! The COTA travel market has been consistently competitive the last year or more. That means significantly less jobs and you need many more submissions for landing a travel job. It is an extra hard specialty for new grads to try to be travelers.

When one might hear travel therapy companies say, “We staff in all 50 states”. 

What this means: The agency is legally set up with the ability to staff in all 50 states. 

What this does not mean: The agency has jobs in all 50 states. 

We surveyed dozens of companies to create this map. It represents a large percentage of the travel COTA job market. Across all of the USA there are around 27 open travel COTA jobs at one time and many states have no jobs at all. California is holding the trophy for having the most needs right now and that is a state that stays pretty consistent with having jobs (hint: great state to get a license in!) New York and Oregon are also looking positive.

Setting Breakdown

August 2019

What trends do we see in the data?

While SNF will most likely always have the market share of jobs, it’s a great idea to gain experience in many different settings. Many people ‘in the know’ are whispering about home health becoming a growing area for jobs in 2020 because of the Medicare payment models that will shift in 2019. This is a great season to apply to home health jobs and start becoming skilled in that setting.  

Nomadicare bases all these estimates on this page from information provided by dozens of our awesome partners. It is here to give you our very best estimate on the job market this quarter! We are cheering for you. Bookmark this page - we update the stats every season! 

Total Openings

November 2018 - August 2019

What Nomadicare vetted recruiters are saying

“The next three months are hard to predict due to the pending Medicare changes for SNFs and in January for Home Health. I do think there will be a short transition period that could cause a fall in the market, but should correct itself within a few months.”

“Overall I’m not seeing major changes across the board. Just keep an open mind and be flexible.”

“Still chase your dreams! There is still a travel market out there. It's still tight, it’s still competitive, but there are still a lot of great jobs out there.”

Market Comparison

August 2019

What Nomadicare recommends

Join a yoga class and get flexible! There is still a little bit of room out there for experienced and “true” travelers who:

Know their best defense is options. They are always staying in communication with multiple recruiters so they are never caught without an option when option A doesn’t go as planned.

Are brave and adventurous! They are not trying to “travel” next to their hometown.

Are savvy with working with many companies and stay professional so they don’t burn bridges.

Know that sometimes contracts get canceled, that this journey is unpredictable, and they embrace it and roll with it.

Are prepared for interviews to make sure they are standing out.

Understand SPEED can be everything. They know what they want. They can look at pay packages and make decisions fast, so their resumé gets to the top of a stack! 

Most importantly, they utilize resources that are here for them! They use Nomadicare to get matched with vetted recruiters who hustle for them. They also use Nomadicare’s location matching so they are talking to the right companies that have the contracts they want. 

Where do you want to travel next?

Let us get you there with your own personalized recruiter match, all for free.

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