Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing—for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema.Work Environment
Most respiratory therapists work full time. Because they may work in medical facilities, such as hospitals that are always open, some may work evening, night, or weekend hours.How to Become a Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory therapists typically need an associate’s degree, but some have bachelor’s degrees. Respiratory therapists are licensed in all states except Alaska; requirements vary by state.Pay
The median annual wage for respiratory therapists was $62,810 in May 2020.Job Outlook
Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
About 10,100 openings for respiratory therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.State & Area Data
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for respiratory therapists.Similar Occupations
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of respiratory therapists with similar occupations.More Information, Including Links to O*NET
Learn more about respiratory therapists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.