Most travel-enthusiasts dream of landing a well-paying job that allows them to travel frequently. For the free spirit, being one of the millions of cubical-bound employees who toil away in the same dismal corner in the same town 50 weeks per year is not only a nightmare, it’s unimaginable.
Obviously, some jobs naturally entail a lot of travel, such as flight attendant positions, sales positions, customer service agent roles, trucker jobs, cruise ship positions, and more. But those professionals will tell you they rarely get to enjoy the destination they visit because of their short layovers.
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A better way to travel, work and play
Imagine scoring a job that could take you to culturally-rich and exotic locations, while allowing you to explore and experience them fully. Unbeknownst to most, jobs in the healthcare sector are among the best positions to bring this dream to life.
A nurse can start a hospital shift on Tuesday and find themselves hiking a mountain trail on Saturday. A lab tech can work Thursday and Friday and end up exploring an outdoor market is an exciting, multicultural city Saturday and Sunday.
Some health care jobs are especially conducive to travel opportunities and high earning potential and can simultaneously afford employees the time to fully immerse themselves in the sights and activities native to that vacation destination.
Wondering how you can make this your reality? Medical staffing agencies have identified seven health care jobs chalked full of travel opportunities.
1. Travel nurse
You may be surprised to know that the role of a traveling nurse is not a new development in the career world. In response to the high demand for nurses and accompanying shortages, this position was established and later became commonplace within the industry.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that opportunities for nurses will increase 12% from 2018 through 2028, one of the highest rates for any industry. Furthermore, the projected growth rate for travel-nurse opportunities is even greater, at a whopping 16% increase.
A travel nurse can be a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). Median pay is about $71,730, and nurses generally receive a stipend to cover housing, travel, and sometimes food costs.
2. Cath lab
If you are a cath lab tech or nurse, your skills are in considerable demand across the nation. Trained to work with heart patients, cath lab workers assist medical teams in performing catheterizations of the heart, along with a variety of other functions ancillary to the procedure.
Not to mention, travel opportunities for cath lab workers are plentiful. Though a travel nurse is obligated to travel professionally, these nurses can often handpick their destinations of choice. The average pay is $41 to $46 per hour, but travel cath lab workers often outearn their travel nurse counterparts. They also receive stipends for housing, food, travel, and sometimes even off-duty entertainment.
The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) projects strong demand and growth for cath lab workers. In fact, job availability for cath lab workers is forecasted to increase by 15% through 2026.
3. Physical therapist
Traveling physical therapists typically earn $88,000 per year, on average. To add a cherry on top of the high-salary sundae, housing and travel are routinely paid for, above and beyond salary.
This is a sector where experience is highly sought-after. PT professionals who do have a few years under their belts may be able to negotiate the sweetest travel assignments.
4. Lab technicians
In light of the COVID-19 outbreaks, the demand for lab technicians is projected to skyrocket in the coming months, according to Forbes. Despite an increasing demand for coronavirus testing, it’s easy to forget the need for trained professionals to process accompanying lab results.
Before the pandemic, the BLS predicted a 16% increase in opportunity for medical lab techs. Now, the demand will likely accelerate off the charts. Rest assured, those who want to escape their normal routines and opt for travel-friendly jobs will find plentiful opportunities and excellent pay.
Travel opportunities in this field are excellent for cardiopulmonary rehab specialists. These specialists work with people who require lifestyle support and medical education to adjust to their medical conditions after treatment.
The average pay is $43,923. In addition to salary, these professionals receive tax-free per diem to help cover travel and meals.
6. Long-term care
The rapid growth of America’s senior population is significant. By 2060, 1/4th of the population will be 65, which equates to approximately 95 million people. More than half of those 95 million people (52%) will require long-term care.
These statistics translate to a massive influx of opportunities to work as a long-term care travel nurse. Average pay, according to nurse.org, is $50 per hour or about $3,000 per week.
This career path is designed for x-ray technicians who oversee the vital diagnostics function of imaging patients with x-ray technology. These technicians also maintain their equipment and may perform other imaging techniques, such as fluoroscopy procedures.
Like many other medical specialties, the demand is high, and opportunities to practice medicine around the world are readily available. Along with travel opportunities, the median salary for a radiology tech specialist is $71,670.
The best years of your career
Travel-hungry healthcare professionals hoping to explore the world often do so in the early stages of their careers. Time and time again, it is reported to be among the most rewarding times of their lives.
With a boom in opportunity, qualified healthcare workers can take advantage of the unique intersection of their chosen field with a plentiful opportunity to enrich their lives with travel.