Respiratory Therapist Salary, Job, Outlook & Education Option

Respiratory Therapist

A respiratory therapist aids patients who have difficulty breathing. The respiratory therapists follow the directions of medical professionals and manage a variety of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs have not fully developed to patients suffering from lung diseases. They supply patients with oxygen as well as manage ventilators and give medications to the lung. Respiratory Therapist Salary is one of a kind in the labor market.

Practice scope

Respiratory therapists collaborate alongside medical doctors as well as nursing staff to help patients of all age groups, from infants to seniors. In the course of a normal routine daytime, respiratory specialists can:

  • Assist in the diagnosis of breathing or lung disorders
  • Perform tests and evaluate patients. and research
  • Find the appropriate treatment and therapy options with doctors
  • Analyze blood samples and sputum in the laboratory
  • Control the equipment and devices required to assist people who are unable to breathe normally on their own.
  • Inform patients and their families about breathing disorders and lung diseases


There are numerous areas in that respiratory therapists are able to be specialized. Certain areas require additional qualifications or expertise. The respiratory therapist can be specialized in:

  • Pediatric or neonatal
  • Geriatric
  • Rehabilitation of the pulmonary system
  • Polysomnography
  • Critical Care
  • Home care
  • Diagnostics of the lungs

Work-related in a safe environment

Respiratory therapists are employed in hospitals as well as cardiopulmonary diagnostic labs rehab centers for cardiopulmonary patients, nursing homes, and home health care agencies; however, approximately 75 percent of respiratory therapists are hired by hospitals. They mainly work 35 to 40-hour days. Depending on the location of their work is located, they could be required to work on weekends, nights, and holidays, particularly when they provide direct care for patients in nursing homes or in hospitals.  Also, They can work for long hours, and respiratory therapists generally have a large number of shifts in their shoes.

The process of becoming a respiratory therapy

Anyone who is interested in becoming a respiratory therapist must be organized and detail-oriented. organized. It’s essential to have interpersonal and problem-solving abilities, as well as the ability to perform well under stress. Students in high school can get ready for their position by engaging in math, science, and health classes.

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Respiratory Therapist Salary 2023

Respiratory Therapists’ salary was on an average of $62,810 by 2020. The highest-paid 25 percent earned $75,950 in the year that was reported, while the lowest-paid 25 percent earned $54,170.

The annual average salary for a respiratory therapist working in the United States is $75,260 a year.

If you’re in need of an easy calculator for your salary it will be around $36.18 per hour. It’s the equivalent of $1,447/week or $6,271/month.

Although is observing annual salaries of $152,500 or as little as 37,000 The most salaries for Respiratory Therapists vary from five thousand dollars (25th percentile) to $83,000 (75th percentile) with the highest earners (90th percentile) earning $118,500 per year all across the United States. The pay range of a respiratory therapist can vary significantly (by up to $35,000) and suggests that there could be numerous opportunities for advancement and higher pay depending on the level of skill as well as location and work experience.

Based on the most recent job ads on the website, the Respiratory Therapist job market in Chicago, IL, and the nearby area is very busy. The Respiratory Therapist working in the area you live in earns an average of $77,817 a year, which is $2,557 (3 percent) higher than the average national pay of $75,260. is ranked number one of 50 states across the country for salaries of Respiratory Therapists.

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To determine the most precise annual wage range for Respiratory Therapist positions, continuously scans its database of millions of current jobs posted locally across America.

Respiratory Therapist Salary By State

StateAverage Salary
District of Columbia$81,470
New Hampshire$70,800
New Jersey$74,590
New Mexico$58,020
New York$80,400
North Carolina$59,040
North Dakota$61,570
Rhode Island$67,890
South Carolina$58,860
South Dakota$52,870
West Virginia$51,250

The Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Respiratory Therapist Jobs

We’ve identified ten cities where the average amount for a respiratory therapist job is more than the average for all of the nations. Top of the list is Green River, WY, along with Atkinson, NE, and Santa Clara CA close behind in the second and third spots. Santa Clara, CA beats the average of the nation by $12,645 (16.8 percent) while Green River, WY furthers the trend by adding an additional $17,291 (23.0 percent) higher than the average of $75,260.

With these cities offering median salaries that are above those of the nation, opportunities for advancement in the economy by switching areas as a respiratory therapist appear to be extremely lucrative.

A final point to think about is the median salary of the top ten cities which is very low, at 10 percent among Green River, WY, and Frankston, TX, rate of pay increases. The potential for a less expensive cost of living could be the most important factor to look into when looking at the salary and location for a position as a Respiratory Therapist.

In A Tabular Form

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Green River, WY$92,551$7,712$1,779$44.50
Atkinson, NE$92,309$7,692$1,775$44.38
Santa Clara, CA$87,905$7,325$1,690$42.26
San Francisco, CA$85,939$7,161$1,652$41.32
Bolinas, CA$85,586$7,132$1,645$41.15
Cool Valley, MO$85,325$7,110$1,640$41.02
Washington, DC$84,822$7,068$1,631$40.78
Aristocrat Ranchettes, CO$84,408$7,034$1,623$40.58
Los Angeles, CA$83,517$6,959$1,606$40.15
Frankston, TX$83,420$6,951$1,604$40.11

The Tops 5 Best Paying Related Respiratory Therapist Jobs in the U.S.

We have identified at least five positions in this Respiratory Therapist job field that pay more than the normal Respiratory Therapist pay scale. Examples of these positions comprise RT Travel, Therapy Travel as well as Respiratory Therapist Travel.

It is important to note that all of these positions pay between $44,228 (58.8 percent) to $85,640 (113.8 percent) higher than the typical Salary for Respiratory Therapists is $75,260. If you’re a qualified candidate, being employed in one of these Respiratory Therapist jobs could allow you to earn more than the average Respiratory Therapist position.

In A Tabular Form

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
RT Travel$160,900$13,408$3,094$77.36
Therapy Travel$152,880$12,740$2,940$73.50
Respiratory Therapist Travel$133,119$11,093$2,559$64.00
NICU RRT$120,263$10,021$2,312$57.82
Teen Travel RRT$119,488$9,957$2,297$57.45

Home Care Respiratory Therapist Salary

The mean annual wage for a HOME Health respiratory therapist in the United States is $70,249 a year.

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In case you require a basic calculation of your salary, this will be around $33.77 per hour. It’s the equivalent of $1,350/week or $5.854/month.

Although has seen annual wages as high as $129,500 and as low as $19500, the majority of HOME Health Care Respiratory Therapist’s salaries ranging from $48,000 (25th percentile) to $94,500 (75th percentile), with the highest-earning professionals (90th percentile) earning $115,000 per year nationwide. The median income for HOME Health Respiratory Therapists can vary significantly (by approximately $46,000), implying that there may be multiple opportunities to improve and earn more depending on skill level, region, and years of professional experience.

Based on the latest job listings on According to recent job listings on, the HOME Health Care Respiratory Therapist market for jobs within and around Chicago, IL, and the nearby area is very busy. A home health CARE Respiratory Therapist in your region earns an average salary of $72,357 a year, which is $2,108 (3 percent) higher than the average national pay of $70,249. is ranked number one out of 50 states in the nation in terms of HOME Health CARE.

To calculate the most exact annual wage range for HOME Health Care Respiratory Therapist positions, continuously scans its database of millions of current jobs that are published in local newspapers across America.

Respiratory Therapist Requirements

Below are the outlined basic Respiratory Therapist Requirements;

Respiratory Therapist Certification

Respiratory therapists must be a graduate and granted an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or master’s from an educational program in respiratory therapy recognized or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). When they graduate, they’re qualified to test their Therapy Multiple Choice (TMC) Examination. The TMC Examination has two scores. to pass TMC Examination. TMC Examination. If a candidate scores the cut score that is low they’ll earn the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential. If a candidate is able to achieve the score of the highest cut they will earn the CRT credential and are eligible for taking the Clinical Simulation Examination (provided the candidate is qualified to obtain this RRT qualification).

Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs)

After the respiratory therapist has obtained the CRT credential and has met the clinical Simulation (CSE) Examination qualifications, they are qualified to take on the CSE. This Certified Respiratory Therapist (RRT) qualification is granted to those who successfully pass both the TMC in addition to the CSE. It is an RRT credential that is widely recognized to be the “standard of excellence” for respiratory health professionals.

Respiratory Therapist Salary VS RN (Registered Nurse)

There are a few key distinctions between nursing and respiratory therapy even though you’re both well-trained healthcare professionals in both roles. Here are eight distinctions:


In essence, nurses receive general knowledge of the human anatomy as a whole, whereas respiratory therapists receive specific training regarding the cardiovascular system. As a respiratory therapist, you must have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. They typically take courses in anatomy, physiology, and chemistry as well as microbiology, physics, and physiology.

Nurses also need education, even though their education focuses on total patient treatment. Both respiratory therapy and nursing positions typically have an experience requirement in the form of clinical work as part of their program. You will typically pass an exam in order to get the state-issued license required to perform in either of these roles.

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Both schools are difficult for respiratory therapy or nursing as well as the costs for education are similar if you’re receiving an associate’s degree in either discipline. A bachelor’s degree in nursing or a master’s degree in nursing may be higher than the educational requirements for the respiratory therapist, however, the opportunities to advance in your career that it can offer you are often greater than the expense of the program.


Nurses and respiratory therapists often receive similar salaries with possible variations in experience, education, and education. Registered nurses earn a national average of $82,826 annually and respiratory therapists earn an average of $86,949 annually. Salary and earnings for both positions in health care are largely contingent on the location, company demand, knowledge, and experience. Nurses and respiratory therapists typically earn overtime as well, which can increase their earnings overall.


What respiratory therapists and nurses do differs. Nurses can practice in a wider range of practice that is focused on general health, well-being, and medical treatment for the whole body. A respiratory therapist is a specialist in cardiopulmonary therapy, a form of health-related care that is centered around the health of the lungs and the heart. The roles of respiratory therapists and nurses are often in sync and both perform medical assessments of the overall health of a patient. A respiratory therapist is able to detect an issue with the fluid that is present in the lungs and the heart and advise a nurse to administer diuretics, or even a nurse to detect a respiratory problem and inform a respiratory therapist for instance.

Work-related setting

The working environment of the nurse and the respiratory therapist could differ as well. While hospitals are the most commonplace places for respiratory therapists and nurses, it’s often the primary source of work for those working in the field of respiratory therapy. Nurses typically have a greater choice in regards to the type of medical facility they would like to work in and are able to choose from:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctor’s offices
  • Correctional facilities
  • Universities and schools
  • Nursing homes
  • Cancer centers
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Homes for assisted living
  • Patient care at home
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Hospice homes

The respiratory therapists and nurses can work in a variety of shifts, which include weekends, nights, and holidays, based on the establishment they work at.

Opportunities for work

There are more opportunities for nurses as compared to respiratory therapy. As nurses, you are able to pick a specific area of expertise, like neonatal and pediatrics and ambulatory care, hospice as well as psychiatry, emergency medical, and many more. This can let you experience other aspects of the healthcare field and provide you with other career opportunities and advancement.

A respiratory therapist is a specialization focused on cardiopulmonary and pulmonary care, meaning you’ll are limited in work opportunities unless you shift the position completely. When you work in a hospital environment it is possible to experience everyday interactions with patients in the emergency room or critical care patients as well as recovering patients.

Respiratory Therapist Degree

Prof. Bill Galvin helps respiratory care students gain practical experience. The first step you can becoming a respiratory therapy professional is to obtain the requirements for a degree in respiratory therapy. For the best job chances, you should think about taking the necessary courses for a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy. The curriculum for a bachelor’s degree typically includes courses in the field of clinical respiratory care, techniques such as pharmacology, pathophysiology and mechanical ventilation, and advanced respiratory theories.
A lot of programs require a competency test that shows the achievement of the skills and attributes necessary to succeed in the field of respiratory care. Additionally, you’ll have to complete clinical hours to gain practical experience in this vital medical field.

Choose a school that has been recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care and can ensure you the broadest variety of possibilities available after you’ve completed your training as a respiratory therapist. After graduation, respiratory therapists are qualified to work as bedside clinicians, patient educators and advocates, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists, neonatal/pediatric/adult critical care specialists, and in management positions in hospitals and alternative care sites.

Be aware that continuous education is typically needed to maintain proficiency and quality of care for patients who seek treatments for breathing problems in the medical setting.

Lastly, ensure you visit the Moden News homepage and also check out our Jobs in USA category, for more essential information.

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