How much money do travel therapy recruiters make?

You’ll hear about money a lot in the travel healthcare industry – especially when it comes to travel contracts, your hourly rate, the bill rate, pay packages, stipends, reimbursements, bonuses, extensions, negotiations, insurance benefits, etc. More often than not, we’re chatting about the traveler’s side – how much a traveler gets paid, how you get paid, how to get paid more, how to talk about pay… it goes on and on! Today, I want to talk about something a bit different. Let’s chat about how much money travel therapy RECRUITERS are being paid and how they are paid!

Because I believe true empowerment comes from knowing and understanding all sides of the industry, not just the traveler’s side!

How are travel therapy recruiters paid in this travel healthcare industry?

Travel therapy recruiters typically have a compensation package that includes both a base salary and commission – with a salary typically in the range of 30k – 35k (usually). Their job is to help you find your dream position in the travel world. Part of the motivation to find you your perfect position is that they will also get a commission/a cut for doing so. Do they receive a competitive benefits package? Typically yes. Does it include company health insurance with good health benefits? Yes. Do they only get a commission if you accept and work an actual travel contract? Also yes!

Think about it this way… travel therapy recruiters have a pretty typical corporate job (pay and benefits wise), but they have an extra incentive to be great at their jobs and get amazing travel healthcare workers (like us) jobs – it pays off for us and them. But what happens when they’re too commission-focused? What happens when they adjust our pay packages to pay us less… and pay their wallet more? They can indeed lose track of what’s really important. That’s why Nomadicare takes really careful consideration when it comes to deciding which recruiters we will work with.

I firmly believe that travelers deserve fair pay and I also believe recruiters deserve fair pay. It doesn’t have to be one or the other – this industry CAN and should be a win-win for both players. When interviewing recruiters, I want to make sure they share the same perspective.

How do we find out if a travel therapy recruiter shares the same “win-win” perspective as us?

I and Nomadicare’s Recruiter Matchmakers are not afraid of asking the tough questions. In our extensive interviewing process, we chat about pay directly with the recruiters and ask this very important question:

As a recruiter, you have an important role in how a traveler gets paid. You can choose how you’ll pay your traveler. Most companies will have a range you can pick from. In that range, how do you personally decide what you’ll pay your traveler?”

When it comes to this question, we get a variety of answers from travel therapy recruiters such as:

“If I find them their dream job (with the hourly rate and benefits they’re looking for) – I will decide based on the bill rate. If it’s a higher bill rate, that might change how much I pay. For example, when it comes to the best-paying travel therapy contracts, I might keep a little bit more back just because I’m doing the extra work to get them this great assignment. If they’re happy with the pay I offer and I’m able to keep some back – that’s a good thing for us both!”

“It depends! When it comes to the experienced travelers, I do want to pay them a bit more because I know healthcare facilities will be excited about that travel therapist and it makes my job easier! I’m happy to give an experienced Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, or Speech Language-Pathologist all I can upfront when they have the experience to prove they are worth that! If it’s a new grad, I might hold some money back until I see how things play out during their assignments with us. If I can offer them more in the future, great!”

“I pay the most I can (upfront) based on the exact bill rate. We have access to so many travel therapy jobs and I can offer some really exciting opportunities to the therapists that choose to work with me! My hope is that travelers will continue to work with me because they trust me to take care of them. Our healthcare staffing agency does not promote keeping money back from travelers or trying to keep a higher percentage on our end. I know some travel therapy companies do this – but we don’t. And personally, I wouldn’t no matter what. These people are trusting me with their therapy careers and they’re the ones going out there to all different states to fill needs and work hard for their patients. Higher bill rates exist because facilities really NEED a traveler, not because they want the recruiters (like me) to take home more money in our own pockets.”

Which response do you feel represents the way we think?

We are not here to shame how any travel therapy recruiters work – but we are here to find the ones that share our same values. To find the ones who treat travelers like humans, who take their jobs seriously, who want to pay the most upfront simply because it is the right thing to do. Both sides work hard, both sides face challenges, and BOTH sides deserve to be paid (but not at the expense of the other).

Here’s to pay transparency and to finding the right recruiter!


Laura Latimer

Laura Latimer

Travel OT and Founder of Nomadicare

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