Respiratory Therapy Salary: The average annual salary respiratory therapist was $73,380;
average hourly salary was $26.54 and employment 109,270 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May
2010. The middle 50% earned between $44,490 and $61,720. The lowest 10% earned < $37,920 and the highest 10%
earned > $69,800.
Average salary of Respiratory Therapy for each industry with highest published employment and
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, annual average salary $54,840, hourly mean wage $26.37, employment
- Nursing Care facilities, annual average salary $57,870, hourly mean wage $27.85, employment 3,490 jobs.
- Specialty Hospitals), annual average wage $57,870, hourly mean wage $27.82 and employment 5,210 jobs.
- Offices of Physicians, annual average wage $52,950; hourly mean wage $25.46 and employment 2,300 jobs.
- Offices of other Health Practitioners, annual average wage $59,940; hourly mean wage $28.82 and employment 2,300
- Employment Services, annual mean salary $61,270, hourly mean wage $29.46 and employment 1,960 jobs.
- Universities, Colleges and Professional Schools, annual mean salary $66,450; hourly mean wage $31.95 and
employment 780 jobs.
Different cities offer different earnings potentials, with the highest salaries typically found in the larger
metropolises. Income for this occupation in the California State annual mean wage = $84,320, Texas = 81,800,
New York = 69,720, Florida = $77,530 and Pennsylvania = $68,530, according to the Bureau Employment Statistics in
Respiratory Therapy Salary: Duties and Responsibilities
Respiratory therapists—also known as respiratory care practitioners—evaluate, treat, and care for patients with
breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. A respiratory therapy works with doctors, nurses, and other
healthcare providers to evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing and other cardio-pulmonary disorders
in a wide variety of settings. Respiratory Therapy includes the assessment, treatment and taking proper
medical care of patients suffering from cardiopulmonary and other breathing diseases. They consult with physicians
and other healthcare staff to help develop and modify patient care plans.
A respiratory therapy works with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to evaluate, treat, and care
for patients with breathing and other cardio-pulmonary disorders in a wide variety of settings. They provide
temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema and give emergency care to patients who are victims
of a heart attack, stroke, drowning, or shock. Respiratory therapists evaluate and treat all types of patients,
ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly people whose lungs are diseased. They
also measure a patient's pH, which indicates the acidity or alkalinity of the blood. They also connect patients who
cannot breathe on their own to ventilators that deliver pressurized oxygen into the lungs. Respiratory therapists
perform chest physiotherapy on patients to remove mucus from their lungs and make it easier for them to breathe. If
a patient appears to be having difficulty breathing or if the pH level of blood, carbon dioxide or oxygen is
abnormal, Respiratory therapists check the equipment for mechanical problems or change the ventilator setting
according to the doctor's orders. They also place patients in positions that help drain mucus, vibrate the
patients' rib cages, often by tapping on the chest, and tell the patients to cough. Respiratory therapists who work
in home care teach patients to use ventilators and other life-support systems. They are becoming involved in areas
such as smoking-cessation counseling, case management, pulmonary rehabilitation, disease prevention, and
polysomnography—the diagnosis of breathing disorders during sleep, such as apnea.
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