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Respiratory Therapy Job Salaries

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Respiratory Therapy Job SalariesWhat Is Respiratory Therapy?

Respiratory therapy involves working with patients who suffer from breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders, including pneumonia, emphysema, asthma, heart attack and stroke. Those in the field are called respiratory practitioners, divided between the jobs of respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians.


Respiratory Therapy Salaries

Respiratory therapy salaries are quite good, especially for those who work as respiratory therapists. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2004 median annual earnings of respiratory therapists were $43,140, while the middle 50 percent made between $37,650 and $50,860. The highest 10 percent, who are often found in larger metropolitan areas or in wealthy suburban hospitals, earned over $57,580.

High earning potential in the field also exists in travel respiratory therapy jobs. To get involved in this, you will generally be expected to have at least one year hospital experience. To find respiratory therapy travel jobs, you will likely work with a large travel healthcare staffing company, who will line you up with appropriate work. In addition to high salaries, you can most often receive free housing.

Although there will be less of a selection, travel jobs are also available to respiratory therapy technicians. While technicians make less money than therapists - an average of $36,740, with the top 10 percent making $52,280, according to the BLS - you can get in the door to this career with just an associate's degree, or even a certificate. A respiratory therapy job, on the other hand, requires a minimum associate's and a preferred bachelor's.


Respiratory Therapy Job Outlook

Job opportunities for both respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians are to grow faster than average in the next ten years, according to the BLS. This is largely due to the rapidly-aging population.