How Much Do Respiratory Therapists Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

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.

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Associate's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$65640 per year
Hourly wage
$32 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$45,940 to $54,170 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$22 to $26 per hour

Entry-level Respiratory Therapists with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $45,940 to $54,170 per year or $22 to $26 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Respiratory Therapists to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $43 $89,170
Senior (Top 25%) $37 $75,950
Middle (Mid 50%) $30 $62,810
Junior (Bottom 25%) $26 $54,170
No experience (Bottom 10%) $22 $45,940

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
CA $42 $87,190
DC $40 $82,940
NY $38 $79,840
HI $37 $77,930
NV $37 $77,380
MA $37 $76,270
WA $36 $75,380
NJ $36 $74,710
AK $36 $74,390
OR $35 $72,340

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Respiratory Therapist is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at CA might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Respiratory Therapists are in the states of CA, DC, NY, HI and NV.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Outpatient Care Centers $87920 $42.27
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $71180 $34.22
Other Residential Care Facilities $66620 $32.03
Specialty Hospitals $66110 $31.78
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $65710 $31.59
Management of Companies and Enterprises $64950 $31.22
Employment Services $64340 $30.93
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) $64270 $30.90
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers $64130 $30.83
Home Health Care Services $63490 $30.52
Offices of Other Health Practitioners $62200 $29.90
Offices of Physicians $62190 $29.90
Other Ambulatory Health Care Services $62110 $29.86
Federal Executive Branch $61830 $29.72
Elementary and Secondary Schools $61180 $29.41
Health and Personal Care Stores $60080 $28.88
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly $59980 $28.84
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities $59960 $28.83
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals $56350 $27.09
Rental and Leasing Services $56340 $27.09
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories $55820 $26.84
State Government $54330 $26.12
Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers $48330 $23.24
Local Government $ $*

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