Your Online Respiratory Therapist Salary Resource

Welcome to Respiratory Therapist Salary! Our goal is to become your number one informational resource for your aspiring career as a respiratory therapist. Here you'll find the respiratory therapist salary information you're looking for, a jobs listing, and general info you need to know about respiratory therapy. Enjoy your stay!

Respiratory Therapist Salary

Respiratory Therapist Salary

The respiratory therapist salary is one of the most stable in the health care industry. Respiratory therapist jobs are expected to grow 28% by the year 2020, with an estimated 31,200 new jobs. The population of earth is rapidly rising due to the increase in both the infant and elderly populations. As such, demand is particularly high for respiratory therapists with experience working with infants or the elderly. Due to the aging population, and the resulting increase of cardiopulmonary disease, demand for respiratory therapy is very high. There are currently around 112,700 respiratory therapists in the USA, and it is one of the most stable professions in the country.

The national average salary for a typical respiratory therapist is around $27.05 an hour (or $56,260 a year). The lowest 10% earned less than $40,660, while the top 10% earn over $74,400 a year. Starting salaries for this profession range from $16.29 an hour to $21.58. Keep in mind that larger companies often pay higher salaries than their smaller counterparts. Taking into account benefits such as health care, vacation/sick time, education assistance, and bonuses can increase your compensation by 30%, to a medium salary of $67,700. The main factors that will determine your salary are:

  • Location
  • Education/Level of Training
  • Certifications/Specializations
  • Experience

Here is a chart that shows you the range of salaries you can expect based on your experience:

Respiratory Therapist Salary by Experience

Years of ExperienceHourly SalaryAnnual Salary
0-1 Year$16 - 25$33,100 - 51,500
1-5 Years$19 - 29$38,600 - 59,500
5+ Years$21 - 35$44,000 - 72,200
Salary based on experience of respiratory therapists

To negotiate a good salary, be confident and sell your strengths and experience to the interviewer. Try to get as many options for yourself as possible, but interviewing at a number of different potential employers including universities, private companies, hospitals, private clinics, and government health agencies at a local, state, or federal level. Here’s a chart of the types of respiratory therapist jobs that pay the highest average hourly wages:

Respiratory Therapist Salary

IndustryEmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Wage
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools1,030$32.24$67,060
Nursing Care Facilities3,580$28.76$59,820
Offices of Other Health Practitioners1,890$28.03$58,300
Specialty Hospitals5,420$27.91$58,050
Offices of Physicians2,620$26.92$55,990
General Hospitals87,520$26.87$55,880
Top paying industries for respiratory therapists
Respiratory Therapist Salary by State

The national respiratory therapist salary in the United States is $56,260. To see how your state compares, including more detailed information for specific regions and cities, please click on your state below. Currently, only certain states are available, but we plan to have information for all fifty states soon!

Respiratory Therapist Career Path
respiratory therapist salary

Learning about the Respiratory Therapist Salary

As you gain experience as a respiratory therapist, you’ll find several opportunities to grow and advance your career. For example, in time one can be promoted to a managerial role and supervise a team of respiratory technicians. While experience is a key factor here, earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree may help speed up this process. You can learn to specialize in critical care for other organs (such as the heart or kidney) or related field such as pharmaceutical or medical equipment. If you do obtain a degree, you have the opportunity to train others in respiratory therapy courses at respiratory therapist schools. And finally, becoming a consultant is a viable and possibly lucrative option. There are many opportunities at more advanced respiratory therapy levels. Steps you can take while you work to advance in your career or increase your respiratory therapy salary:

  • Obtain certifications
  • Obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the field from an accredited program
  • Complete additional training and obtain additional skills

What is a Respiratory Therapist? The respiratory therapist job description states that they are medical professionals who assist patients (of all ages) who suffer from chronic breathing, or pulmonary, disorders. These include respiratory diseases like bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. For infants, a respiratory therapist’s expertise is significant in treating underdeveloped lungs. A typical therapist will administer and analyze diagnostic tests, perform relevant examinations, control blood-oxygen levels, and set up and utilize cardiopulmonary equipment to assist or monitor the patients’ breathing. They are also known to provide emergency care to patients suffering from shock, stroke, drowning, or heart attacks. The majority of respiratory therapist jobs are based in hospitals, but there are many therapists who work in home care or nursing care facilities. Respiratory therapy jobs typically require an Associate’s degree or education from a respiratory therapist school. Most work full time, but since hospitals are always open, some can expect to work evening and weekend hours.

More information from Wikipedia