Median pay for Respiratory Therapists in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $25.10 per hour. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the company, followed by the particular city and experience level. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Female Respiratory Therapists are more common than men among those who completed the survey; more than half (63 percent) are women. Medical benefits are awarded to a fair number, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
|Salary||$36,499 - $74,260|
|Bonus||$0.00 - $5,990|
|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).)
|$40,117 - $73,295|
|Hourly Rate||$19.43 - $34.13|
|Overtime||$22.00 - $50.79|
|Bonus||$0.00 - $5,990|
|Total Pay (||$40,117 - $73,295|
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.Read More...
Respiratory therapists need at minimum an associate’s degree, though many respiratory therapists have bachelor’s degrees. Many RTs have graduated from programs that focus on specifically on respiratory therapist training. Students hoping to one day enter the field of respiratory therapy need to successfully complete classes including human anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and other science-related courses. They can also expect to be complete studies in therapeutic and diagnostic techniques, medical terminology, and patient assessment. (Copyright 2018 PayScale.com)
Respiratory Therapist Tasks
- Inspect, clean, and test respiratory therapy equipment
- 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
Popular Employer Salaries for Respiratory Therapist
Leading companies who hire large numbers of Respiratory Therapists include Lincare Inc., Kindred Hospital, Kindred Healthcare, Mercy Hospital, and Baptist Health. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Dignity Health offers the most; Respiratory Therapists earn $69K on average there. Respiratory Therapists can also look forward to large paychecks at HCA, Inc. ($60K), Kindred Healthcare ($54K), and Banner Health ($53K).
The lowest salaries can be found at Mercy Hospital — median pay is $42K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $39K and only reaching $54K. University of Michigan (U-M), William Beaumont Hospital and Baptist Health are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $47K, $47K, and $48K.
Common Career Paths for Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory Therapists who transition into a Physician Assistant role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $84K per year. Career advancement for the typical Respiratory Therapist often leads to becoming a Respiratory Therapy Manager or a Registered Nurse; median salaries in these positions are $11K higher and $3K higher, respectively.
Respiratory Therapist Job Listings
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 of 6 percent, 5 percent, 4 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Most people familiar with Emergency Room also know Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Acute Care. Those familiar with Critical Care also tend to know Acute Care and Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Pay by Experience Level for Respiratory Therapist
Pay by Experience for a Respiratory Therapist has a positive trend. An entry-level Respiratory Therapist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $48,000 based on 1,716 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Respiratory Therapist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $53,000 based on 841 salaries. An experienced Respiratory Therapist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $57,000 based on 724 salaries. A Respiratory Therapist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $62,000 based on 551 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
Respiratory Therapists will find that New York offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 38 percent. Respiratory Therapists will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+22 percent), Boston (+17 percent), San Diego (+16 percent), and Baltimore (+12 percent). Pittsburgh is the lowest-paying area, 12 percent south of the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Houston (3 percent lower) and Tampa (2 percent lower).
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Key Stats for Respiratory Therapist
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