Respiratory Therapist Salary

Respiratory Therapists in the United States take home an average $24.82 per hour. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the particular firm, followed by geography and tenure. A strong majority enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. Women account for the majority of Respiratory Therapists who responded to the questionnaire — 64 percent to be exact. Most Respiratory Therapists report high levels of job satisfaction.

$36,970 - $73,851
$37K
$51K
$74K
MEDIAN: $51,078
10%
50%
90%

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$19.25 - $33.74
$19
$25
$34
MEDIAN: $24.82
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$36,970 - $73,851  
   
Bonus
$303.04 - $9,766  
Commission
$2,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$39,828 - $72,713  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 513
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$19.25 - $33.74  
   
Hourly Tips
$8.33  
Overtime
$20.71 - $50.01  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$303.04 - $9,766  
   
Commission
$2,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$39,828 - $72,713  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 2,791
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists, or RTs, work with people who are experiencing issues with breathing and, often, cardiopulmonary issues. In many cases, their patients include premature infants born without fully developed lungs, as well as children and adults who suffer from problems such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Generally, a respiratory therapist meets with a patient and examines them; after discussing the results of the exam with a physician, they then put together a plan of treatment for the patient. Often, the plan involves removing mucous from a patient’s lungs, as well as inserting a ventilation tube down the patient’s throat in order to connect it to an oxygen-delivering machine. Respiratory therapists working in emergency rooms also often provide care to heart attack, drowning, and shock victims. Respiratory therapists working in home health care often set up ventilators and other life-supporting equipment, as well as providing care takers with direction on the equipment’s use.

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Respiratory Therapist Tasks

  • Determine requirements for treatment; type, method and duration of therapy based on physicians' orders.
  • Set up and operate mechanical and therapeutic devices following specified parameters of treatment.
  • Monitor patient's physiological responses to therapy; vital signs, arterial blood gases and blood chemistry changes and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
  • Maintain patient charts with therapy information.
  • Inspect, clean, and test respiratory therapy equipment.

Common Career Paths for Respiratory Therapist


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Respiratory Therapists may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Physician Assistant. The latter position pays an average of $84K annually. A common career progression for a Respiratory Therapist is to become a Respiratory Therapy Manager or a Registered Nurse. Compared to Respiratory Therapists, the first group earns $12K more on average, and the second group earns $4K more.

Respiratory Therapist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Respiratory Therapist


Respiratory Therapists flock to Lincare Inc., Kindred Hospital, Kindred Healthcare, Mercy Hospital, and Baptist Health, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Dignity Health offers the largest salaries in town — $69K on average. Respiratory Therapists will also find cushy salaries at HCA, Inc. (+$60K), Kindred Healthcare (+$54K), and Banner Health (+$53K).

Not only do salaries lack room to grow — pay ranges from $39K to just $54K — but Mercy Hospital offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $42K. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include University of Michigan (U-M) at $47K, William Beaumont Hospital at $47K, and Baptist Health, where $48K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Respiratory Therapist


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Sleep Medicine, Long Term Care, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 7 percent. It is often found that people who know Emergency Room are also skilled in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Acute Care. Most people skilled in Critical Care are similarly competent in Acute Care and Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Pay by Experience Level for Respiratory Therapist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Respiratory Therapists do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $48K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $53K. Respiratory Therapists with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $57K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $62K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $52,187

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Respiratory Therapists will find that New York offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 40 percent. Respiratory Therapists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+23 percent), Boston (+18 percent), San Diego (+17 percent), and Baltimore (+13 percent). With compensation 11 percent below the national average, Pittsburgh is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Respiratory Therapist

Gender

Female
64 %
Male
36 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 284 votes.
Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
17%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Respiratory Therapist Salaries

▲20%

▲10%

▲1%

National Average
$52,000

▼8%

Skills That Affect Respiratory Therapist Salaries


Long Term Care
▲6%

Sleep Medicine
▲6%


Respiratory therapist
▲4%





▲2%

▲1%


Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
▼0%

Patient Education
▼0%

Home Health/Home Care
▼0%

National Average
$52,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 284 votes.

Gender

Female
64 %
Male
36 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 77%
dental benefits
Dental: 70%
vision benefits
Vision: 59%
dental benefits
None: 20%
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