Our respiratory therapist salary data is gathered from the United States Department Of Labor and is guaranteed to be updated within 30 days of the most recent data release. The mean average annual salary is calculated based on a 40 hour work week.
The average annual respiratory therapist salary in the US is $57200
The average hourly rate a respiratory therapist makes in the US is $27.50
Work as a respiratory therapist
As a respiratory therapist, you are going to assist patients that have respiratory issues, and will work with physicians, in order to determine what the best course of treatment is going to be for the condition that they are dealing with. As a respiratory therapist, you are not only going to decide on, but also carry out the treatment plan, so certain education and formal training is required in this position, and depending on where you work, you may need to learn how to use different types of equipment, especially in home positions, or those away from a hospital.
In order to become a respiratory therapist, you will be required to first earn an associate’s degree; all states highly regulate those who work in this field, due to the fact that it is a detail driven field. Although certification is not a requirement in every state, it is a prerequisite to becoming a licensed respiratory therapist, so many will choose to continue their education and training, in order to be able to sit in for the exams, and be able to eventually earn their license as a respiratory therapist. It is important to receive your degree from an accredited university, in order for it to be valid, and for you to eventually be able to receive your license.
In the field of respiratory therapist, there is no continual training requirement on a regular basis as with other careers, but because of the equipment you use, and other changes in medicine, if you are licensed and certified there are courses you have to take. As a respiratory therapist, you have to renew your credentials only every 5 years, and if necessary at the present time, you will be required to attain additional training or licensing in other areas that correlate to the position that you work in. Certain states also require continual education courses and seminars, and this is also going to help you earn a higher respiratory therapist salary over time.
It is not a requirement in most states, but if you eventually hope to become a licensed respiratory therapist, and earn the higher respiratory therapist salary, then certification is required. You will have to sit in and pass the certification exam, then you will be required to sit in for another exam in order to receive your state license to practice as a respiratory therapist. The higher your license is, the more exams you have passed, and the higher your training, the higher your salary, the more job opportunities you will have, and the easier it is going to be for you to decide on the career path of choice you will take. For some, it is only the minimum requirements, for the respiratory therapists who hope to earn a higher salary, and better position, more education and formal training will be completed.
Like practicing physicians, you are likely going to work normal business hours, and as a full time respiratory therapist, can expect to work the 40 hour work week. Since you generally work with physicians to determine the best course of treatment, you are working the hours they work. In some cases, you can work as a home aid, or work in nursing homes, where your hours are not at all going to be based on a consistent schedule. But, these are the jobs that earn a higher respiratory therapist salary, and are going to eventually lead to better positions in the future, so many individuals who choose a career as a respiratory therapist, do choose to work the off hours, hectic schedule.
Regardless of the hours you like to keep, how much you hope to earn, or where you eventually want to go as a respiratory therapist, there are different options available to you in this field. Due to the different rules in each state, education can vary, as can continual education, training, and taking different exams. Knowing what is required in your state, and keeping up with the many changes that are always happening in the medical profession, is something that you should do if you choose to work as a respiratory therapist, or any other position in the field of medicine, in today’s day and age.
Respiratory Therapist Career Explained