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PT Compact Spotlight: The Desert Southwest

The PT Compact helps travelers explore the Desert Southwest

By Joseph Duffy, contributor

The Physical Therapy Compact allows physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) who have licenses from a compact member state to work in the other member states—without having to obtain another license. The PT Compact is especially helpful for travelers, who can quickly expand their choices of assignment destinations.

The PT Compact has member states in all regions, including the desirable Desert Southwest, which includes Arizona, Utah and Colorado. But before reviewing why this region is such a fantastic destination for travelers, let’s look at the Compact and how PTs and PTAs can obtain permission to work in multiple states.


What states are part of the PT Compact?

As of June 30, 2020, the PT Compact is comprised of 20 member states: Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Hampshire. Thirteen additional states, plus the District of Columbia, have either enacted legislation to join the compact or have introduced such legislation. 

If you have a current PT or PTA license from your primary state of residence, and your state is a PT Compact member state, you can apply for and purchase a “compact privilege” for each member state here you want to work. Licensees must meet certain eligibility requirements.

Some member states require additional fees plus a jurisprudence requirement, typically an exam, before you can apply for that state’s compact privilege. Some states waive fees for active duty military. 

Your compact privilege will expire on the same date as your home state license, and you must renew your home license before renewing your compact privileges. For more information, read the PT Compact FAQs and the fees and jurisprudence table from the Physical Therapy Compact Commission.

Once you have your compact privileges, you’re free to take assignments in those states. 

Talk to Med Travelers about travel PT jobs.

Exploring the Desert Southwest

The Desert Southwest is a popular destination for physical therapy travelers, especially for those holding compact privileges in states like Arizona, Utah and Colorado. These sunny, laid back states are perfect for hikers, campers, mountain bikers, dune buggy enthusiasts, nature lovers and explorers of all kinds.

The scenery and environment are unmatched: arid desert air, sculptured red rock landscapes, rugged mountains, star-filled nights and numerous natural wonders. Simply put, Arizona, Utah and Colorado comprise an outdoor lover’s paradise. 

Here are some local adventures you can experience when on assignment in these three amazing states.

  • Arizona
  • Home to Grand Canyon National Park, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders; Antelope Canyon, with inspiring sandstone formations; and the red rock mesas of Monument Valley, Arizona offers natural beauty and so much to do. The city of Sedona is enchanting, with deep red landscapes, a mild climate and a vibrant arts community. Phoenix is known for its golf courses, nightlife, resorts, and spas, as well as gorgeous desert scenery. The Old West is also alive and well in Arizona, from the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum to the Goldfield Ghost Town. PT travelers will always be able to fill their off time with something interesting in this diverse state.

  • Utah
  • After spending some time in the dry climate, you may want to explore some of the best skiing in the country. Park City, Alta Ski Resort, and Snowbird are just a few of the state’s legendary ski resorts, and they’re less than 45 minutes from Salt Lake City. Utah also has fantastic rivers and lakes for water recreation activities, including jet skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding and more. Travelers can also enjoy hiking and camping in breathtaking national parks, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands.

  • Colorado
  • Colorado offers a diverse landscape of arid desert, river canyons and the snow-covered Rocky Mountains. A mile above sea level, Denver is a beautiful, diverse capital city with a vibrant downtown. Hikers in the state can explore vivid landscapes of mountain peaks, forests, high plains and desert lands. You can ski for several months each year, enjoy four distinct seasons and bask in 300+ days of sunshine. You can also find a vast selection of wildlife and rich cultural heritage in frontier forts, railways, mining museums, ancient cliff dwellings and the art of local Native American tribes.

Ready for your own adventure in the Desert Southwest, or another area of your choice? Our recruitment team will help get you on your way.



The PT Compact: What You Need to Know to Sign Up

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