How Much Respiratory Therapist Make An Hour

Are you considering a career as a respiratory therapist? Curious about how much you could potentially earn per hour in this rewarding field? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the average hourly wage for respiratory therapists and the factors that influence their earnings.

As a respiratory therapist, your role is crucial in helping patients with breathing difficulties. You work alongside healthcare professionals to provide specialized care and treatment. But what about the financial aspect? Well, on average, respiratory therapists make an hourly wage of $29.70. However, it’s important to note that several key factors can impact your earnings.

Education and experience play a significant role in determining your salary potential. Additionally, geographic location can also influence how much you make as a respiratory therapist. Certain areas may offer higher wages due to demand or cost of living.

But don’t worry! There are plenty of opportunities for career growth and advancement in this field. And with a favorable job outlook, becoming a respiratory therapist promises stability and fulfillment.

Ready to learn more about how you can increase your earnings as a respiratory therapist? Read on to discover valuable tips and insights that will help you thrive in this profession.

Key Takeaways

  • Average hourly wage for respiratory therapists is $29.70.
  • Factors influencing earnings include education, experience, specialization, and additional certifications.
  • Geographic location also plays a role in determining earnings, considering the cost of living.
  • Higher education and experience can increase earning potential for respiratory therapists.

Overview of the Role of Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists play a vital role in providing care to patients with respiratory issues, working tirelessly to improve their breathing and overall well-being. They have a range of responsibilities that include assessing patients, developing treatment plans, administering medications, and monitoring their progress. These healthcare professionals receive specialized training in areas such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), mechanical ventilation, and managing artificial airways. With this expertise, they are able to provide essential support to patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory conditions. Respiratory therapists work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for their patients.

Now let’s move on to discussing the average hourly wage for respiratory therapists without skipping a beat.

Average Hourly Wage for Respiratory Therapists

On average, the wages for respiratory therapists range from $25 to $40 per hour. This makes it a lucrative career choice for those interested in the field of healthcare. The average salary for respiratory therapists is around $59,710 per year, but this can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and level of education. In comparison to other medical professions, respiratory therapists earn a competitive wage. For instance, registered nurses earn an average hourly wage of $36.22, while physical therapists earn an average of $41.46 per hour. Factors that influence earnings in this field include specialization within respiratory therapy, additional certifications or degrees obtained, and years of experience in the industry. Moving forward into the next section on factors that influence earnings…

Factors That Influence Earnings

When considering factors that influence your earnings as a respiratory therapist, it’s important to take into account your level of education, years of experience, and any specialized certifications you may have. These factors can greatly impact your earning potential and provide incentives for respiratory therapists to continue their education and gain additional certifications. The more advanced your education and the more years of experience you have, the higher your hourly wage is likely to be. Additionally, specializing in a specific area within respiratory therapy can also lead to increased earnings. For example, obtaining certifications in neonatal or pediatric care may open up opportunities for higher paying positions. It’s important to note that while these factors can contribute to increased earnings as a respiratory therapist, they are not the only determining factors. In the subsequent section about ‘education and experience,’ we will explore these aspects in further detail.

Education and Experience

To maximize your earning potential as a respiratory therapist, the key lies in the level of education and experience you possess. The job requirements for a respiratory therapist typically include completing an accredited respiratory therapy program and obtaining licensure or certification. Many employers also prefer candidates who have additional certifications such as the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. Higher levels of education, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, can also increase your earning potential.

Experience is another crucial factor that influences your salary as a respiratory therapist. As you gain more years of experience in the field, you become more skilled and knowledgeable, which can lead to higher-paying opportunities. Additionally, having specialized experience in areas like critical care or neonatal/pediatric care can further enhance your earning potential.

When it comes to negotiating your salary, it’s essential to research industry standards and be prepared to communicate your value based on your education and experience. By highlighting these factors during salary negotiations, you can potentially earn a higher income.

Now let’s transition into discussing how geographic location affects respiratory therapists’ earnings…

Geographic Location

Consider exploring different geographic locations as a respiratory therapist, as the city or state you work in can greatly impact your earning potential. The cost of living and salary comparison should be taken into account when determining where to practice. In some areas with higher costs of living, respiratory therapists may earn higher salaries to compensate for the expenses. Conversely, in regions with lower costs of living, salaries may be lower. It’s important to research the average salary range for respiratory therapists in different locations and compare it to the cost of housing, transportation, and other expenses. By doing so, you can make an informed decision about where to work that maximizes your earning potential while also maintaining a comfortable standard of living. Now let’s transition into discussing the next section about work settings and shifts without skipping a beat.

Work Setting and Shifts

If you’re looking for variety in your work as a respiratory therapist, different work settings and shifts can offer exciting opportunities. Did you know that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 29% of respiratory therapists are employed in hospitals? This means that you could find yourself working alongside other healthcare professionals in a bustling hospital environment, caring for patients with various respiratory conditions. Alternatively, you might choose to work in a skilled nursing facility, providing specialized care to long-term residents who require respiratory support. Another option is working in home healthcare, where you would have the opportunity to visit patients in their own homes and provide personalized care. No matter which setting you choose, your work schedule may vary depending on the needs of the facility or patients. Your job responsibilities will include assessing and treating patients with breathing difficulties, conducting diagnostic tests, and educating patients on managing their respiratory health. Now let’s explore the benefits and perks of being a respiratory therapist!

Benefits and Perks of Being a Respiratory Therapist

Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel knowing that as a respiratory therapist, you are making a positive impact on the lives of patients by helping them breathe easier and improve their overall respiratory health. Not only is being a respiratory therapist rewarding in terms of the difference you can make in people’s lives, but it also comes with several benefits and perks. One major benefit is job satisfaction. Being able to witness firsthand the progress and improvement of your patients’ respiratory conditions can bring immense joy and fulfillment to your work. Additionally, as a respiratory therapist, you may enjoy competitive salaries, flexible work schedules, and opportunities for professional development. These benefits contribute to an overall sense of belonging within the healthcare community. As we transition into discussing career growth and advancement opportunities, it’s important to recognize that being a respiratory therapist offers not only personal fulfillment but also room for professional growth.

Career Growth and Advancement Opportunities

Respiratory therapists have numerous opportunities for career growth and advancement, with a projected 19% increase in job openings expected by 2029. This means that there will be plenty of chances for you to move up the ladder and take on more responsibilities in your role. As a respiratory therapist, you can pursue specialized certifications or advanced degrees to expand your skills and knowledge. This will not only make you more valuable to employers but also increase your earning potential. Speaking of salary, it is important to mention that respiratory therapists have the ability to negotiate their pay. By showcasing your expertise and experience, you can negotiate for a higher salary when starting a new job or during performance evaluations. Keep in mind that salaries may vary depending on factors such as location, experience level, and work setting.

Career Advancement Opportunities Salary Negotiation Tips
Pursue specialized certifications or advanced degrees Research industry standards
Take on leadership roles within your department Highlight relevant accomplishments
Seek out mentorship opportunities Emphasize unique skills or qualifications
Attend conferences and workshops to stay updated on latest advancements Practice negotiating techniques
Network with professionals in the field Be confident and assertive during negotiations

As you explore these career growth opportunities and consider salary negotiation tips, it’s important to understand the overall job outlook for respiratory therapists.

Job Outlook for Respiratory Therapists

Looking to the future, you’ll be pleased to know that job prospects for respiratory therapists are expected to grow significantly. The respiratory therapist job market is projected to increase by 21% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. This demand for respiratory therapists is driven by an aging population that will require more specialized care for conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Additionally, advancements in medical technology and an increased emphasis on preventive care contribute to the need for skilled respiratory therapists.

To maximize your earnings as a respiratory therapist, it’s important to stay updated with the latest developments in the field and pursue additional certifications or specializations. By expanding your skill set and knowledge base, you can position yourself as an expert in your field and potentially negotiate higher salaries or seek out higher-paying job opportunities. Transitioning into the subsequent section about tips for increasing earnings as a respiratory therapist, let’s explore some strategies that can help you achieve your financial goals in this rewarding career.

Tips for Increasing Earnings as a Respiratory Therapist

To boost your income as a respiratory therapist, it’s essential to continuously expand your knowledge and expertise in the field, allowing you to tap into higher-paying job opportunities and negotiate for better salaries. Here are some strategies for career development that can help you increase your earnings:

  1. Pursue advanced certifications: By obtaining specialized certifications such as Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) or Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist (NPS/SDS), you can qualify for higher-paying positions.
  2. Gain experience in different settings: Working in diverse healthcare environments like hospitals, clinics, or home care agencies can broaden your skillset and make you more marketable to employers offering competitive salaries.
  3. Negotiate your salary: Research the average pay rates in your area and use this information to negotiate a fair compensation package when accepting a new job offer or during performance reviews.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your earning potential as a respiratory therapist. In conclusion,

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

You’ve taken the first steps on a path filled with endless possibilities, where your career as a respiratory therapist can blossom like a beautiful garden in full bloom. As you continue on this journey, it’s important to consider how you can increase your earnings and achieve career satisfaction.

One way to boost your income as a respiratory therapist is by taking on additional job responsibilities. This could include pursuing specialized certifications or advanced training that allows you to work in more specialized areas of respiratory therapy. By expanding your skillset, you become more valuable to employers and may have the opportunity to negotiate higher salaries.

Additionally, seeking out leadership roles within your workplace can also lead to increased earning potential. Positions such as department manager or clinical director often come with higher salaries and allow you to have a greater impact on patient care.

By continuously seeking opportunities for growth and advancement within the field of respiratory therapy, you can not only increase your earnings but also find immense career satisfaction. Remember that every step forward brings you closer to achieving your goals!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the specific educational requirements to become a respiratory therapist?

To become a respiratory therapist, you need specific educational and training requirements. These include completing an accredited respiratory therapy program, earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, and obtaining a state license.

Are there any additional certifications or credentials that can boost a respiratory therapist’s earning potential?

Boost your earning potential as a respiratory therapist by obtaining additional certifications and credentials. These qualifications not only enhance your skills but also demonstrate your commitment to providing excellent patient care, leading to better job opportunities and higher salaries.

How do respiratory therapist salaries compare to other healthcare professions?

Respiratory therapist salaries are competitive compared to other healthcare professions. Additionally, the job outlook for respiratory therapists is promising, with a projected growth rate of 19% from 2019 to 2029.

Are there any specialized areas within respiratory therapy that offer higher salaries?

Specialized areas within respiratory therapy, such as neonatal or critical care, can offer higher salaries. These areas require additional training and expertise, which can lead to increased earning potential in the field of respiratory therapy.

What are some common career paths for respiratory therapists looking to advance their earning potential?

Looking to climb the ladder and boost your earning potential as a respiratory therapist? Explore career paths like clinical specialist, supervisor, or educator. These roles offer opportunities for career advancement and increased salary potential.


In conclusion, as a respiratory therapist, your earning potential can be influenced by various factors such as education, experience, and geographic location. On average, respiratory therapists make an hourly wage of around $30. However, with further education and experience, it is possible to earn more. For example, let’s consider the case of Sarah, a respiratory therapist with 10 years of experience who specialized in neonatal care. Due to her expertise and high demand for her skills in a metropolitan area, she was able to negotiate an hourly wage of $40. Remember that continuous learning and seeking out opportunities for career growth can help increase your earnings in this rewarding profession.