Respiratory Therapists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory Therapists assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.

Salary
$65640
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Associate's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality


Job description

Respiratory Therapists assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.

  • Perform endotracheal intubation to maintain open airways for patients who are unable to breathe on their own.
  • Provide emergency care, such as artificial respiration, external cardiac massage, or assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Monitor patient’s physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
  • Set up and operate devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
Read more about what does a Respiratory Therapist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$62500 per year

Average hourly wage
$30 per hour


Respiratory Therapists with little to no experience tend to make between $43750 and $51430 while the more experienced ones can earn over $72760 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $38 $79,640
DC $38 $78,540
AK $37 $76,610
NY $36 $74,890
MA $35 $73,660

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Respiratory Therapist is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Respiratory Therapists are CA, DC, AK, NY and MA.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Respiratory Therapist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Associate’s degree

We asked other Respiratory Therapists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had an Associate’s Degree followed by a Bachelor’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist
Read more about how to become a Respiratory Therapist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Respiratory Therapist.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week)
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
74%

Is this job meaningful
81%


74% of Respiratory Therapists said they were satisfied with their job and 81% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.



Learn more about Respiratory Therapists

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Quiz

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Related career information

Respiratory Therapists job description, Respiratory Therapists salary, Respiratory Therapists information, what is the job of a Respiratory Therapist like, pros and cons about Respiratory Therapists, colleges and universities for Respiratory Therapists, is Respiratory Therapists the right career for me, careers in Healthcare and Medical

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