Are you looking to become a respiratory therapist? If so, then you should know your patients would be counting on you for the breath that keeps them alive. The best part is that this job would not only make you feel great about helping others, but you’ll get to enjoy a decent compensation as well. The good thing is that each position in the medical field needs the services of a respiratory therapist and it’s sure to be an excellent career as long as you have the proper training and education. In this post, we’re going to explore the career as well as the salary and exactly how much do respiratory therapists make once you become qualified and licensed.
What’s the Job of a Respiratory Therapist?
A respiratory therapist is in charge of treating and caring for patients who experience difficulty in breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders. The duties of a respiratory therapist must be under the supervision of a doctor or physician. As a therapist, you are to provide therapeutic treatments, carry out diagnostic procedures and supervise respiratory therapy assistants. It’s also your duty to develop patient care plans while patients are under medical supervision and even when they get discharged, to ensure that their breathing remains stable.
Moreover, a respiratory therapist must take care of patients on life support, if need be, it’s also their responsibility to make life decisions in such cases. In essence, the position demands great skill and knowledge, and that’s the major reason why respiratory therapists get paid relatively well.
How Much Do Respiratory Therapists Make?
Well, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary that can be earned by a respiratory therapist is:
Now, this might not seem super attractive at first glance, however the fact is that you’ll earn a rewarding salary for the most rewarding job. I mean, what could be better than seeing your patient breathing after many years of difficulties? It’s important to note that some respiratory therapists earn between $44,490 to $61,720 or more. The lowest paid in the pack of therapists tend to make less than $37,920. The good news is that there’s still plenty of room to grow even if you find yourself in the lowest paid bracket.
What Influences the Salary of Respiratory Therapists?
As we all know, quite a number of factors come into play when determining the wages for any specific job category. Your earning potential as a respiratory therapist depends on qualification, experience, location and type of employer. So, if you’re looking to get paid as a respiratory therapist, you must undergo the necessary training and obtain the relevant qualification. Speaking of qualification, the minimum requirement for the job is a two-year associate degree. However, a bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a university is often preferred especially if you want to get paid handsomely. Prospective students are lucky, because there are multiple respiratory therapy schools to choose from in each state.
Moreover, respiratory therapists working in large hospitals, as well as those employed in colleges and universities, get to earn the highest salary in the business. Those working in small hospitals or physicians’ office should expect a lower salary, in somes cases, but not always, of course.
Does Location Affect Salary?
To answer this question briefly: Absolutely!
Respiratory therapists in some states earn a higher salary than those in other locations in the United States. For instance, therapists working in Nevada, California, and Connecticut earn the most money. However, there are some states where respiratory therapists earn the least money; such states include Alabama, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Dakota, Iowa, and Mississippi.
Are There Job Opportunities In This Field?
It’s important to note that the entire healthcare industry has been and will continue to grow, and the field of respiratory therapy is sure to follow suit. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of respiratory therapy is bound to grow at a much faster rate than average (as much as 21%) through 2018. There are several reasons why this field will continue to rise throughout 2017 and beyond. For starters, the population of old folks i.e. baby boomers, keeps increasing by the day, and most are in need of a respiratory therapist who can help them with breathing difficulties. As we know, a large percentage of the aging population suffer from severe diseases including heart disease, pneumonia, and emphysema; this means there will be increased demand for respiratory therapy for years to come.
All in all, being a respiratory therapist comes with loads of benefits; the biggest benefit is when you know that you’ll constantly be saving lives on a daily basis! Moreover, you stand a chance to earn a good salary as long as you have the necessary qualifications. Another good thing is that you’ll get to choose the medical setting you would like to showcase your expertise. Also, you will have the opportunity to work wherever you please. Respiratory therapists are needed in every city of every state. Just be sure to get the best qualifications relevant to this field, and you’ll be well on your way to having a successful career as a respiratory therapist.