Have you ever wondered what are the best states to work as a respiratory therapist? That’s a question I get asked quite often.

The “best state” is not necessarily the same for everyone, because we are all different. We all think independently and have different opinions of where the best state to live is. And that’s a good thing because it’s definitely not all about the money. As a respiratory therapist, you’ll be able to get value out of the fact that you are saving people’s lives on a daily basis. And that’s really what it’s all about.

But just for the sake of this article, we are going to refer to the “best state” as the one that pays the highest salary. 

What are the highest paying states for respiratory therapists?

After doing some research, I was able to find the highest and lowest paying states for respiratory therapists. As it turns out, location is the biggest factor that influences the salary and wages of a respiratory therapist. Sure, there are other factors that come into play, such as experience, but none as big as the state that you live in.

That’s why it’s important to compare the wages of the best and worst states to work as a respiratory therapist. Although for many, money is not an issue. But for a lot of us, the salary amount is a huge factor in where we choose to work and live.

So if you are a new graduate still searching for your first job, or even if you are a student but you’re looking ahead to try to decide where you want to work once you graduate, this list will help you see which states you will be able to earn the most money in. Let’s take a look at the lists of the highest and lowest paying state, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational & Wages database.

Best States to Work as a Respiratory Therapist

StateAverage Salary
California$73,323
Nevada$69,540
Connecticut$67,890
New Jersey$67,670
Alaska$67,220
Massachusetts$66,430
Delaware$66,190
Hawaii$65,960
New York$64,380
Washington$63,380

As you can see, California offers the highest, and a very nice salary for respiratory therapists, exceeding the national average by 40%. Nevada and Connecticut also offer competitive rates, respectfully. If you’re feeling frisky, Alaska and Hawaii are also two of the highest paying states. Any travel respiratory therapists out there?

Worst States to Work as a Respiratory Therapist

StateAverage Salary
Kentucky$45,460
Alabama$45,770
West Virginia$46,600
Tennessee$47,640
Arkansas$47,680
North Dakota$47,720
Mississippi$48,260
South Dakota$49,160
Oklahoma$49,160
Missouri$49,680

These states may be great in their own respective ways, but if you’re wanting to earn a high salary as a respiratory therapist, maybe they’re not for you.

As you can see, Kentucky comes in with the lowest salary for respiratory therapists, followed by Alabama and West Virginia. Also, the state where I am currently work come in on the list as one of the lowest paying states. I love my job and I’m content with the salary I earn, which goes to show that it really isn’t all about the money. But it’s still nice to see the average earnings from other states, just as a reference.

Now that we what the highest and lowest paying states, let’s take a look and see all the other remaining states:

Respiratory Therapist Salary by State

StateAverage Salary
Alabama$45,770
Alaska$67,220
Arizona$52,670
Arkansas$47,680
California$73,320
Colorado$56,640
Connecticut$67,890
DC$57,540
Delaware$66,190
Florida$53,720
Georgia$51,430
Hawaii$65,960
Idaho$53,770
Illinois$53,210
Indiana$51,340
Iowa$50,680
Kansas$50,150
Kentucky$45,460
Louisiana$51,580
Maine$53,950
Maryland$62,010
Massachusetts$66,430
Michigan$52,370
Minnesota$61,460
Mississippi$48,260
Missouri$49,680
Montana$52,340
Nebraska$51,280
Nevada$69,540
New Hampshire$61,080
New Jersey$67,670
New Mexico$52,860
New York$64,380
North Carolina$52,040
North Dakota$47,720
Ohio$52,150
Oklahoma$49,670
Oregon$60,560
Pennsylvania$56,050
Rhode Island$59,730
South Carolina$52,810
South Dakota$49,160
Tennessee$47,640
Texas$54,190
Utah$55,960
Vermont$57,700
Virginia$55,960
Washington$63,380
West Virginia$46,600
Wisconsin$56,270
Wyoming$53,660

So where does your state fall on the list?

Now you know the best states to work as a respiratory therapist, according to salary and wages in different areas. Hopefully, if you’re still searching for your first respiratory therapy job, this list will help you decide which state might be right for you.