Gainful Employment

Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals. Others work in nursing care facilities and physicians' offices. Respiratory therapists are on their feet for long periods and may need to lift or turn disabled patients. Therapists work closely with registered nurses, physicians, surgeons, and medical assistants.

Work Schedules

Most respiratory therapists work full time. Because they may work in medical facilities, such as hospitals that are always open, some may work evening, night, or weekend hours.

The median annual wage for respiratory therapists was $58,670 (ARRC) updated in May 2016.

Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 12 % from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other disorders that can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function. The aging population will in turn lead to an increased demand for respiratory therapy services and treatments, mostly in hospitals.