Respiratory therapist’s salary is around $57,000 in the United States. Respiratory therapy is all about giving care and relief to patients who suffer from breathing difficulties due to asthma and other diseases, or drowning and similar trauma. Respiratory therapists work with doctors and other healthcare professionals to create effective treatment plans for the patients. The average respiratory therapy salary was $55,870 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report. The estimated increase in the demand for this occupation is 19% within 2012 to 2022, mainly due to the growing population of the middle-aged and the elderly, who have a higher risk of contracting respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and pneumonia. Keep reading for more information about respiratory therapist salary and career requirements.
Respiratory therapy job description
Respiratory therapists assess patients who are suffering from cardiopulmonary or breathing disorders. They consult with doctors to come up with treatment plans, perform diagnostic tests, and treat patients with various methods, such as aerosol medications and chest physiotherapy. These therapists also monitor and record the effect of the treatment on the patients. They oversee the work of respiratory therapy technicians when conducting tests and assess the results of those tests. They are also responsible for teaching patients on how to use their treatments.
How much does a respiratory therapist earn ?
Average respiratory therapy salary
As of May 2013, the average respiratory therapy salary was $57,880, or $27.83 per hour, according to the BLS.
Respiratory therapy salary in the USA
The typical salary for respiratory therapists in the US ranges between $31,078 and $67,721, according to PayScale. The salary survey site also showed that the median pay for this occupation is $46,799. Bonuses may be provided aside from the respiratory therapy’s salary to as much as $1,992 as well as profit sharing ranging from $195.74 to $2,980. Their hourly rate ranges between $17.72 and $31.81 with the median wage being $23. Overtime pay is around $21.53 to $48.66.
PayScale also reports that the entry level respiratory therapy salary is around $29,813 to $59,735. Mid-career therapists receive an annual pay that ranges from $35,580 to $67,971, while experienced therapists take home around $38,424 to $74,443. Late-career therapists earn a respiratory therapy’s salary ranging between 44,179 and $75,765.
In respiratory therapy, the salary also varies based on the skills of the therapist. Critical care skills usually bring the therapists a salary ranging between $38,290 and $70,791. Skills in handling emergency/trauma could earn them a respiratory therapy salary around $31,043 to $80,112. Experience and skills in handling cases in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit could justify an annual pay ranging between $37,717 and $71,870.
According to Indeed, the average respiratory therapy’s salary is around $63,000, while Salary.com showed that their median pay is around $60,223.
Respiratory therapy salary by city / state in the USA
The BLS reported that the highest paying state for respiratory therapists in the US is California, as of the May 2013 data, as it paid therapists $75,870. This is followed by New Jersey, where therapists take home $69,580 and Nevada, where they earn $69,340. Those who are based in Alaska and Massachusetts are still among the top earners with an average respiratory therapy’s salary of $68,790 and $67,620, respectively.
In comparing the respiratory therapy salary by city, therapists who are working in the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA area earn the most with an annual pay of $90,230. Those who are based in the Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA area receive a much lower salary of $88,000, while those who are working in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA area make around $86,620. Therapists with offices in the Vallejo-Fairfield, CA and Sacramento—Arden-Arcade—Roseville, CA areas are still considered high earners with a respiratory therapy’s salary of $85,240 and $85,020, respectively.
Respiratory therapy technician salary
According to the BLS report in May 2013, the average respiratory therapy technician’s salary is around $47,850, or $23.01 per hour. The highest earners make $67,470 or more, while the lowest earners only take home $31,550 or less. The industry that pays them the most is the nursing care facilities, which compensate them with an annual pay of $60,710. The top paying state is Nevada, where they got paid $71,410 per year.
Respiratory therapy assistant salary
SimplyHired.com showed that a respiratory therapy assistant earns an average of $36,000 per year. Indeed.com reported the same figure for this occupation’s salary in the state of New York, but it is lower at $32,000 for those working in California and New Jersey.
Respiratory therapist salary in Canada
Respiratory therapists working in Canada earn an average of C$63,356, according to WowJobs Canada. On the other hand, Salary.com showed that the median pay for this occupation is C$56,146 per year.
According to PayScale, the typical respiratory therapy’s salary in the country ranges between C$34,282 and C$70,965. The site reported that the median pay is around C$52,247. Bonuses may amount to as much as C$2,990. Their typical wage starts at C$20.45 and may reach as high as C$37.84, while overtime pay is between C$35.48 and C$7.81.
Respiratory therapist salary in Australia
An average respiratory therapy’s salary for those earning a living in Australia is around AU$53,000. A registered therapist can earn higher at around AU$85,000 per year. Experienced therapists who have been promoted to the position of a director may very well earn AU$142,000 per year. Those who have been working for decades may take home a salary of respiratory therapy of around AU$73,000 per year.
Respiratory therapy salary in the UK
Based on salary survey, a respiratory therapist in the UK may earn around £19,337 per year. Their hourly rate is expected to be around £9.67.
Respiratory care professionals are among the NHS’ healthcare science staff. They may get a respiratory therapy’s salary ranging between £294 and £15,013 as entry-level professionals. As support workers, they may earn between £14,294 and £18,425 per year. With experience and improvement in skills, their earnings might move to band 3, which starts at £16,271 and increases up to £19,268.
Respiratory therapy salary in South Africa
Since respiratory therapy is somehow related to the occupation of registered nurses, the salary of the latter can be used as a basis for the former. Nurses in South Africa earn between R72,510 and R238,141, while their median pay is around R155,556.
How to become a respiratory therapist
To become a respiratory therapist, one has to have at least an associate’s degree, although a bachelor’s degree would give applicants more advantage. The degree may be offered by universities, colleges, vocational-technical institutes, and even the Armed forces. Respiratory therapy programs cover courses in physiology, human anatomy, pharmacology, microbiology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Some programs may include therapeutic and diagnostic procedures and tests, patient assessment, equipment, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Respiratory therapists have to be licensed, except in Alaska, although licensing requirements differ by state. Licenses are often provided to therapists who completed a certification exam. The main certifying body is the National Board for Respiratory Care. The first-level certification is the CRT, while the second-level is the RRT certification.
Conclusion about respiratory therapy salary
On an average, the respiratory therapy salary is $57,880. The top earners make at least $76,750, while the lowest earners take home at most $41,110.