Program & Course Information
What Respiratory Therapists Do
Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing; for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. They also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, stroke, drowning or shock.
Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals. Others may work in nursing care facilities or travel to patients’ homes.
How to Become a Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory therapists need at least an associate degree, although both associate and bachelor’s degrees are common. Respiratory therapists are licensed in all states except Alaska; requirements vary by state.
The median annual wage of respiratory therapists was $54,280 in May 2010.
Employment is expected to grow by 28 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to greater demand for respiratory therapy services and treatments, mostly in hospitals and nursing homes.
|Quick Facts: Respiratory Therapists|
|2010 Median Pay||$54,280 per year|
|Entry-Level Education||Associate degree|
|Number of Jobs, 2010||112,700|
|Job Outlook, 2010-20||28% growth rate|