Students & Universities
Transitioning from student to professional can be a confusing and overwhelming time. The SOS Team has prepared this information to help you learn to navigate your way through the job search process, license process and to successfully establish yourself in your chosen field.
SOS works with therapists under three programs; School and Medical Travel, School Contract and Perm Placement. Only in Travel and Contract positions will you actually be employed by SOS. In Perm Placement, you will be employed by one of our SOS client facilities if you accept the position. You can interview with SOS in any of our divisions and even for specific SOS assignments without being committed to accept a position for which you have interviewed.
For both Travel and Contract positions you are directly employed by SOS. Travel and Contract jobs are actually the same jobs, but are categorized differently based on the qualifying characteristics of the therapist. The two designations are used to distinguish between the two compensation packages we can offer based on the location of the therapist's place of employment in relation to their legal residence. If you accept a position that is further away from your legal residence than you can comfortably commute, then we can provide you with tax-free company paid housing and the position is designated as a Travel position. This employment status is defined by the federal tax code and if you meet this criteria you are eligible for a range of tax advantages in addition to the benefits that are directly provided to you by SOS on a tax free basis.
If you are eligible for Travel status you will receive an hourly salary plus the tax free company paid housing or housing reimbursement. If SOS directly provides your Travel housing, we will negotiate the local lease, pay the deposits associated with the lease, pay the rent and utilities and provide a rented furnishings package. We do not generally pay for phone or cable TV bills. As a Traveling Therapist you also have the option of arranging your own temporary housing and submitting housing expenses to SOS for reimbursement.
Contract positions are for people who accept a position that is within commute range of their home. If you are a Contract therapist, you are not eligible for SOS's tax free company paid housing and will instead be paid a higher salary in lieu of this reimbursement. This higher pay is in recognition that SOS will have no housing expenses related to your Contract and all of their hourly pay is subject to regular payroll tax assessments.
Through our Permanent Placement division, you will be matched with and introduced to our clients who will employ you directly. The important thing to know about SOS's permanent placement division is that we are a licensed private employment agency and that you will never be charged a fee or otherwise penalized for seeking employment through our agency. Your benefits and compensation plan for a Perm position will be determined by the client employer, not by SOS.
SOS Employee Salary and Benefits:
Your hourly rate can vary based on the geographic area, cost of living, clinical setting, etc. We evaluate our compensation package on an ongoing basis to make sure that our salaries are among the highest available in each market. The SOS Benefits package is superior to those generally offered in Travel or Contract companies in several areas.
In a school setting, both programs provide a guaranteed work week of 37.5 hours per week through the school year, and the option of summer assignments. So long as your employment with SOS remains unbroken, your insurance benefits remain in place at the company's expense even if you choose to take the summer off. You can elect to be paid for time worked throughout the year as it is earned, or you can choose to receive your pay on a pro-rated basis over 12 months, similar to the compensation options offered by public school districts.
In the medical settings, you will be guaranteed a work week of 40 hours per week. Medical Travel therapists commit to four 13-week assignments and can take up to 2 weeks off between assignments.
We are currently offering Masters and Doctorate level new graduates employees who sign a one year employment agreement a $2,000 sign-on bonus, including CF-SLPs. A limited number of $1,000 sign-on bonus positions are available for Associate or Bachelor degree new graduates in some geographic areas.
In addition to your hourly salary, our first year employees receive $600 in continuing education annually, accrued paid time off, and full health, prescription, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits. We pay 100% of our employee's insurance premiums. There are no payroll deductions assessed for this benefit. And so long as employment is ongoing, insurance is provided over the summer even if the therapist elects to take the summer off work. In addition to your hourly salary rate, as an SOS Employees you can accept additional hourly wages in lieu of these benefits under our custom fit ala carte compensation plan.
In addition you can choose to have the company paid health benefits plan that includes a PPO health plan, prescription plan, major medical plan, dental plan, vision plan, and a $50,000 life insurance policy or, if you are covered by another health plan, you can decline the SOS medical insurance plan and receive more pay per hour.
In addition to the a la carte benefits that you can keep or trade for cash, we have a required minimum benefits package our employees receive but cannot trade for additional salary. These benefits include SOS providing or paying for all required state license(s), all required but non-reimbursed medical tests and, relocation expenses up to $500 per assignment, professional liability insurance and other insurance coverage as required by law. Beginning with their second year of employment, you are eligible to participate in our 4% company matched, 401K plan.
SOS employees work in all clinical settings; hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, rehab facilities, home health, schools, etc. However, travel and temporary contract positions in medical settings generally last for only a few months, while contract positions in the schools are generally for the entire school year. This means that if you are working as a Traveler in medical settings you will be changing assignments, and probably relocating to another area every three months. As a Travel or Contract Therapists working in a school contract you will usually be in the same place for the entire school year. You can then elect to take another assignment, either travel or contract, over the summer months.
Physical and Occupational Therapists who are working on a temporary or provisional license may work for SOS on an assignment to assignment basis based on the availability of a suitable assignment. SOS extends one year Employment Agreements for Travel positions to therapists who have been issued a permanent professional license. SOS works with CFs in both School Travel and Medical Travel settings. It is significantly easier for a new graduate Speech Language Pathologist to complete their CF year in a School Travel or School Contract position before undertaking a Medical Travel assignment.
However, SOS does set aside a limited number of CFY Medical Travel positions each year for the dedicated medical therapist who wants to immediately undertake the unique challenges and rewards of being a Medical Travel therapist. If you are a strong new graduate therapist who loved the changing rotations in your clinical externships and excelled in each new environment you would be well suited to consider Medical Travel assignments.
SOS is a therapist owned and managed company that puts your professional interests and well-being first. We understand the unique needs you have as a new graduate and are committed to helping you to successfully launch your career. Thank you for the opportunity to share in detail the unique benefits of working for a Travel company. We frequently speak to graduating therapists regarding their employment search process and the employment climate they will encounter after graduation. We would be happy to make ourselves available to speak on campus to students if that would be of benefit to you. We also look forward to answering any other questions you may have.