Respiratory Therapists

Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.

Fast Facts

Hourly Pay
Entry Level: $25.37/hr
Median: $28.62/hr
Experienced: $32.60/hr

Current Employment
661 (2019)

Projected Employment
723 (2030)

Growth for Respiratory Therapists

2019 Jobs2030 JobsChange (2019-2030)% Change (2018-2030)

Industries Employing Respiratory Therapists

IndustryOccupation Group Jobs in Industry (2019)% of Occupation Group in Industry (2019)% of Total Jobs in Industry (2019)
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals55278.9%2.9%
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)406.1%0.6%
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals192.8%5.6%
Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists)182.7%0.2%
Home Health Care Services152.3%0.3%

Occupational Tasks for Respiratory Therapists

  • Provide emergency care, such as artificial respiration, external cardiac massage, or assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Monitor patient’s physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
  • Set up and operate devices such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
  • Work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures or related duties.
  • Maintain charts that contain patients’ pertinent identification and therapy information.