Travel Occupational Therapy Statistics


Current Openings


States with Jobs


Market Growth

What does market this mean for you?

Flexibility is the name of the OT travel game. Fall 2019 has shown a pretty dramatic downturn in the travel OT market. Compared to December 2018 (there were 275 jobs nationwide), we are sitting around an average of 127 jobs for travel OT. That is getting pretty close to an all time low. 

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 open to SNF jobs and lots of locations - Ahem, don’t only look at San Diego or Austin ;))

Get experience before you travel - The need for new grads in occupational therapy is low right now. Low needs = less stability or consistency for you. If you are a new grad, you are at high risk for long (unwanted) gaps between assignments, 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. Recruiters have to work 3x as hard to get you in a placement, and too many OTs 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 to push you in good contracts. 

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

State Breakdown

August 2019

What does this market mean for the industry?

Fall 2019 - the market temperature is chilly! What was once a hot market is seeing a cool breeze sweep through the Travel Occupational Therapy world. That means significantly less jobs and more competition for each job. It is an extra hard season 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 OT job market. Across all of the USA there are around 127 open travel OT 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!) Texas and Illinois are also looking promisable this fall.

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 are vetted recruiters are saying?

“It is just plain cold. I got one job need today, the first one I’ve seen in a long time, and it does not seem to be picking up. This is the first school season I’ve seen where we haven’t had anything for OT.”

“It is dry dry dry for OTs, but you know everything goes in ebbs and flows.”

“I’m not worried about it, but it is on that downturn right now.” 

“I know people are scared of the changes, but this happens in our industry and it always comes back. Yes, I do think in the next 3 months we will start to get more OT needs. This is totally normal and they’ll be right back up.”

“Be flexible if you want to stay as a traveler. With these jobs they, [OTs], don't have a lot of options right now. As a true traveler you need to pick up and be ready to go. Totally respect there are times we want to be in a certain location, but that's not the market for OT right now. Eventually it will be. Be flexible.”

“For OT, it's more of a competitive market. I would say about 3-5 submittals to land a job for an OT with experience. For a new grad, it could be anywhere from 5-10 submittals depending on what state and settings they're open to.”

Market Comparison

August 2019

What does Nomadicare recommend?

Join a yoga class and get flexible! There is still a great market out there for 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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