Respiratory Therapist Salary Information

medical assistant nursesA respiratory therapist or respiratory care practitioner is a medical professional who helps people with breathing problems on a daily basis. It is these therapists who work with doctors to make sure a patient is able to breath properly and that this situation is addressed and attended to immediately. Respiratory therapists or RTs are the people who make sure that his or her patient gets treatment when it comes to their respiratory problems. RTs do this task with the help of specialized medical equipment, medication and even breath training or therapies.

The Respiratory Therapist Income

There are several factors that make up a respiratory therapist salary. The average annual salary of a respiratory therapist according the Bureau of Labor and Statistics in the United is around $54,280 annually. Just like in any profession, the geographical location plays a major role as well as the industry or institution that they plan to practice in. The top industries that pay a very lucrative income are: the health care industry which pays RTs a salary range of $16.58 to $31.22 an hour or an annual salary of $39,486 to $73,937. 

Hospitals also give a very competitive income for respiratory care practitioners. They usually offer starting RTs $16.96/hour and tenured RTs will be looking at $31.91 an hour. Rehabilitation facilities or long term care institutions offer a very generous respiratory therapist compensation that ranges from $39,484 up to $73,542 in a year. These figures will still continue to grow especially for the coming years since the need for medical professionals who are knowledgeable in this industry is in a high demand.

Aside from these top industries, future respiratory therapists can earn more money if they choose the state they will be working within carefully. The top state that offers a lucrative yearly salary for these professionals is California, specifically in San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento. Another state that is on par with this state and cities is Washington DC. Just like in any other profession, bigger cities will yield a better salary offer while the smaller ones can pay you the average salary that their city or state offers.


Why Education Plays A Major Role In A Respiratory Therapist’s Career

Since your goal is to earn a stable income for years to come, then you will have to make sure that you have a solid educational background in the field of respiratory therapy. So, since all big careers start inside an educational institution, the path to becoming a respiratory therapist starts with either an associate degree at the very least or a bachelor’s degree. Most schools offer respiratory programs that help students to work in this chosen medical field. 

Whether you will be enrolling in vocational schools, colleges or medical schools you can look closely at their courses and find which one will help you become a respiratory therapist in the near future. RT students will have to take different science courses that include: physiology, human anatomy, microbiology and physics. They will also be given the right training so that they can learn how to diagnose a patient, provide therapeutic procedures and medical record keeping skills. All these things are quite essential to be able to work and excel as a respiratory therapist.

After graduating or earning your degree in your chosen educational facility, you will have to pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist Examinations or CRT. This license examination is required in the United States with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. This examination will be administered by the NBRC or National Board for Respiratory Care. After passing the test, you will now able to work as a licensed respiratory therapist which means that you are one step closer to getting a very substantial respiratory therapist wage.

The Working Environment Of A Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists usually work in hospitals or clinics so that they can easily reach out to patients with pulmonary disorders. The basic everyday task that they must do is to assess, treat and manage patients with respiratory issues. Aside from working in a hospital, some respiratory care professionals also travel to a patient’s home or a nursing facility to give them the care that they need. 

RTs must be able to multi-task in this chosen field, they should be able to make quick assessments and be very aware of the signs that may indicate a serious respiratory problem. It may be a demanding job but it can also be fulfilling since you know that you are helping every single person to become healthy.

These are just some of the things that will definitely help you on the way to excel in respiratory therapy and to provide health care for patients. The current job outlook for respiratory therapists is continuously growing at 28% starting in 2010 until 2020. This means that this profession is growing 28 times faster than the average and that the respiratory therapist salary is becoming quite competitive. So if you are perusing the idea of becoming a respiratory care practitioner, you definitely have a bright future in store for you.

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Cathy R. Moore

Cathy R. Moore

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