Respiratory Therapist

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October 30, 2016

Jobs

Respiratory Therapist Job Description

Respiratory therapists are medical practitioners who help patients who have difficulty breathing. These medical professionals are trained to work with people who have chronic breathing problems, such as asthma or congenital respiratory disease, as well people with medical emergencies such as stroke or cardiac arrest. Most respiratory therapists serve as clinicians, although they can also work in home health care, nursing homes, hospices, and in education and teaching settings.

Respiratory Therapist Salary Statistics as of 2015

Average annual salary for a Respiratory Therapist is $49633 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest salary recorded was $71479. The lowest salary reported was $35873. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Median hourly wage for a Respiratory Therapist is $24.68 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest hourly rate recorded was $35.54. The lowest hourly rate recorded was $17.84. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Bonuses for a Respiratory Therapist are based on the years of experience using statistics from the U.S. as of 2015. The average bonus recorded was $0 from people with 15+ years of experience. The average bonus recorded was $0 from people with under 1 year of experience.

These are the highest paying states for a Respiratory Therapist. These numbers are based off the median annual salary as of 2015.
California – $33,935 – $72,129
Florida – $30,304 – $62,855
Georgia – $25,532 – $58,723
Illinois – $40,515 – $50,146
New York – $29,492 – $69,496
Ohio – $30,410 – $60,297
Texas – $30,410 – $61,825

These are the highest paying cities for a Respiratory Therapist. These numbers are based off the median annual salary as of 2015.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin –
Chicago, Illinois –
Atlanta, Georgia –
Phoenix, Arizona –
Cincinnati, Ohio –
Sacramento, California –
Nashville, Tennessee –

This chart outlines the average annual salary of a Respiratory Therapist from the past 5 years. In 2015 the average annual salary was $49633 while in 2007 it was just $46028.77

Specialized Fields

Respiratory therapists must earn an associate’s degree, certification, and license in order to be employed in the United States. Once a respiratory therapists meets these qualifications, they can choose to specialize in different types of respiratory care. These specializations include asthma specialist, neonatal specialist,
pediatric transport specialist, and geriatric specialist. Students should be prepared to earn additional certification and training hours in order to succeed in these fields.

Work Environment

The majority of respiratory therapists work full time. Work locations may include hospitals, nursing homes, home health care, and private practices. Respiratory therapists work with patients from every walk of life, including the elderly, children, disabled, and people with more chronic respiratory diseases. In addition to solid medical training, these medical professionals can expect the job to be physically demanding. Respiratory therapists will need to move quickly to treat patients or in some cases lift patients who are physically disabled or in medical emergencies. As with most health care workers, respiratory therapists need to be able to remain on their feet for extensive periods of time. These health professionals may be subject to unusual hours, such as weekends and holidays depending on hospital hours. Like other positions in the health care field, these respiratory therapists should prepared for preventative training and take precautions against exposure to contagious illnesses that can spread in medical environments.

How to Become One (Requirements)

To work as a respiratory therapist, one must earn at least an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy. Students interested in more job opportunities can go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree, although this is not required for all work positions or for state certification. Prospective students should choose a fully accredited degree program with a clinical or practicum requirements in order to gain required experience working with doctors and respiratory patients. The program should also help prepare students for state liscensure and professional certification exams the student will have to take upon graduation. Other courses should include anatomy, pharmacology, diagnosis, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR.

After earning a degree in respiratory therapy, individuals should seek professional certification in order to maximize their employment opportunities. Practitioners can receive up to two types of certification through the tact the state health board or National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). The first type of certification is the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT), which the candidate can receive after obtaining an associate’s degree and passing a NBRC exam. The second type of certification is the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), which the candidate can receive after obtaining the CRT certification and passing an additional NBRC exam.

In addition to completing degree requirements and professional certification requirements,individuals must become licensed in the state in which they intend to practice. Candidates should be prepared to complete a state licensing exam in order work as a respiratory therapist in the United States. For specific requirements for any given state, candidates should contact the state health board or National Board for Respiratory Care for a complete state listing.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for respiratory therapists is estimated to grow by 28 percent within the decade of 2010 and 2020. The demand for respiratory therapist is linked to the rapid increase in the aging population, who will need intensive care in hospitals and nursing homes. Modern living conditions such as indoor and outdoor pollution, contaminants, and smoking will also increase the demand for respiratory professionals. Advances in medical technology, medical research, and treatment techniques will also boost the demand for new respiratory therapists.

Gender Statistics

Related Jobs

40%

60%

Based on our stats gathered across the U.S. 40% of Respiratory Therapists were males while 60% were females. These numbers are based on averages across all states combined. Some individual states may have a much different ratio however.

Past Jobs

Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
$36,930 – $67,440
Respiratory Care Practitioner
$39,493 – $77,633
Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)
$17,343 – $31,297

Future Jobs

Respiratory Therapy Manager
$46,143 – $79,738
Registered Nurse (RN)
$40,353 – $78,551
Physician Assistant (PA)
$60,839 – $107,123


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