The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has made it exceptionally difficult for therapists to find consistent work. You can’t meet with your clients in-person as often as you would before, making it a lot harder to find the appropriate time to conduct sessions.
However, as most industries have learned up to this point, in order to survive in a pandemic-led world, your industry has to adapt to change. The area of therapy may have just found a viable solution- online therapy!
How It Works
Online therapy programs differ from in-person ones in that they offer a lot more flexibility. As is common with a lot of freelance positions, you are free to choose your own schedule and who you choose to work with as clients. You can set up meetings as often as you like, conforming to your schedule and the schedule of your clients.
It can be your primary source of income or just a subset of your current work. There is also a lot more variety when it comes to performing online counseling, as there are several methods that you can use to conduct sessions.
There are also many online therapy sites that welcome those that specialize in specific practices. For example, BetterHelp lets you work with specific populations such as teens, military service members, and college students. Family therapists and group therapists will also be able to work with their specialized groups easily.
Keep in mind that some online therapy websites require a minimum caseload in order to secure your employment there, so keep that in mind when you are choosing who you perform your practice with.
One of the biggest questions you should ask before you give your services to an online therapy company is how much they are willing to pay you. Of course, this question will have varying levels of importance depending on how much time you are willing to commit to them.
If you plan to make online therapy your full-time gig for the time being, this is a question you will want to give serious consideration to. If you are simply using it as a supplement, it might not be as important but it still something you shouldn’t gloss over.
Remote therapy companies tend to have different ways of giving their employees proper compensation. The most basic and familiar way would be to use an hourly rate, but by no means does every employer do this. Some companies pay therapists based on how many cases they are bringing in, and others determine the cost based on the success rate of those cases.
When mulling over your options, keep in mind that hourly rate is the safest form of payment. However, if you have a passionate drive for success, the other methods of determining pay may be more appealing to you.
On average, online therapists actually make more money than their in-person counterparts. According to ZipRecruiter, online therapists make a yearly average of $64,428 per year, while in-person therapists make an average of $58,931 per year. Most of these compensations tend to be on the lower end than the higher for both forms of therapy.
You should also keep in mind that online therapy has a lower minimum salary benchmark, but a much higher maximum. Regular therapy has a much higher minimum salary but a smaller maximum.
You should also take your qualifications into account so you can have a good idea of what fair compensation looks like. The biggest things to look at are what level of college degree you possess and your years of professional experience.
You can appropriately judge your expectations by researching how much people with your level of skill make. This is crucial information to know before you accept a position, so make sure you exhaust all your avenues when you are thinking about potential compensation.
While online therapists do tend to make more than their offline counterparts, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider before you decide to go down that path. You obviously want to work for a company that gives you the compensation you deserve, but you need to take your qualifications as well as the company’s payment method into account before you decide.
While online therapy is a relatively new market, there is a lot of room for potential. If you do decide to make the jump, you may find that it is worth it in the end.