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Blog & Press/blog/How Many Travel Assignments Should You Take this Year?

How Many Travel Assignments Should You Take this Year?

September 3, 2015

As a travel nurse, you have a great deal of control over your schedule. You can decide which assignments you will take, as well as how often you will take on new assignments. Both of these factors will affect how often you should travel.

What is Typical?

Because travel nursing offers so much flexibility, it is difficult to say what is "typical." Some travel nurses take assignments several times each year, while others travel only once or twice. Among the 750 nurses currently on assignment at Fastaff, the average length of assignment is 103.2 days. Thus, nurses who take back-to-back assignments may move three or more times each year, while nurses who take time off in between assignments may move less frequently.

Things to Consider

As a travel nurse, you can develop a schedule that makes sense for you. However, the way you structure your schedule will affect how much you earn each year. To get an idea of how this works, consider the following examples. For each of these examples, assume that you work 40 hours each week and that you earn the current average rate for Fastaff assignments, which is $48.45 an hour.

Example 1 - Back-to-Back Assignments

Assume you decide to take back-to-back assignments for an entire year. With no vacation time, you will work a total of 2,080 hours. This translates to an annual wage of $100,776 before taxes. Not too shabby!

Example 2 - Two Weeks Off

Now assume you decide to take two weeks off between all of your assignments during the year. Each of your assignments is 14.5 weeks long, which is close to the Fastaff average. This will allow you to complete three full assignments plus 2.5 weeks of a fourth assignment. Your total hours worked is 1,840, and your annual wage before taxes will be $89,148.

Four Weeks Off

With four weeks off between all assignments and an average assignment length of 14.5 weeks, you will be able to complete three full assignments during one year. Your total hours worked during the year will be 1,740, and you will earn $84,303 before taxes.

Six Weeks Off

Finally, assume you prefer longer breaks of six weeks off between assignments. This will allow you to complete two full assignments and 11 weeks of a third assignment in one year. Your total number of hours worked will be 1,600. You will earn an annual wage of $77,520. While this is less money, it may be perfect for someone wanting to take considerable time off.

When it comes to your schedule, you are in complete control. If you want shorter vacations between assignments, you will be able to earn more money. However, you will also have to travel more frequently during the year. On the other hand, longer vacations give you more time to yourself, but your earnings will decrease. In the end, you should set your schedule based on your own priorities and financial goals.

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