|Quick Facts: Respiratory Therapists|
$61,830 per year
$29.73 per hour
|14% (Much faster than average)|
What Respiratory Therapists Do
Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing—for example, because of a chronic condition such as asthma.
Most respiratory therapists work full time. Because they may work in medical facilities that are always open, such as hospitals, they may have shifts that include nights, weekends, or holidays.
How to Become a Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory therapists typically need an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. Respiratory therapists must be licensed in all states except Alaska; requirements vary by state.
The median annual wage for respiratory therapists was $61,830 in May 2021.
Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.
About 9,400 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.
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.