How to Become a Traveling Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)


As a healthcare jobseeker, does a Traveling Speech Language Pathologist career sound good to you?

Traveling can be a wonderful way to not only see the country, but expand your clinical skills while learning from new clinicians across the country. And the hiring outlook is trending up – with projected growth of 25% through 2029 –  much faster than the average for all occupations.

But before you start taking too many steps down that path, it’s important to have a firm understanding of what the job demands – and the type of education and licensing you’ll need.

So here goes:

What is a Traveling Speech Pathologist?

A traveling speech-language pathologist travel job (SLP) focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of speech, communication, and swallowing disorders in patients.

You’ll provide patient services in clinical settings, schools, and corporate offices. Your duties and responsibilities vary depending on the environment in which you work and the needs of each client. In addition to the diagnosis and treatment of a speech or swallowing disorder, you may work with clients to improve verbal and nonverbal communication or perform an intervention to improve office relations. A travel SLP works on temporary assignments in different locations.

As a traveler, you’ll work short-term temporary assignments that may last anywhere from 13 weeks to a year. Due to the temporary nature of the contracts, you’re an at-will employee who can be canceled or replaced anytime. As with all healthcare travelers, you may find yourself in between jobs from time to time.

What Kind of Background Do you Need?

A travel speech pathologist needs a degree and a license from the state in which they accept work assignments. Educational qualifications include a master’s in speech-language pathology.

Licensing requirements for most states include clinical experience, which you can start to gain while working towards your master’s degree. You can also pursue a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). As a travel SLP, you’ll need the clinical skills to adapt to different environments and be flexible enough to accept various assignments.

Research the Industry

With any career change, research is key and that goes for the travel SLP industry. Here are some suggestions of what you can do:

Find a mentor who has healthcare travel experience

  • Join groups on social media to connect with other travelers i.e. “Travel Therapists” and “Travel Therapy”
  • Read websites and blogs about the industry
  • Attend “The Traveler’s Conference” which is an annual 3-day conference in Las Vegas every September.  TravCon has seminars on travel and connects more than 1000 travelers and agency representatives in one location.
  • Speak to an accountant or tax professional knowledgeable in traveling professionals and filing multi-state income taxes

Partner with the Right Recruiter

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of pursuing a career as a Traveling Speech Pathologist is in finding a well-respected recruiter that specializes in the travel healthcare industry.

A seasoned travel recruiter will have the knowledge and background to ensure that you’re well-positioned to successfully take on an SLP career. A recruiter will also help you navigate the ins and outs of the interviewing and hiring process, provide insights into job openings, salary, stipends, housing options, and other potential benefits – while also being there should you have any questions!

At Focus Staff, we understand the ins and outs of traveling healthcare professionals during these challenging times and have access to a wide variety of excellent professional opportunities. To learn more, contact us today.


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