So, the chance to connect with patients and families, the opportunity to challenge your mind with high tech patient care, variety on the job, lots of places to work, and a career ladder that can’t be beat—it looks like respiratory care really does have it all.
But what about the employment and financial outlook? We have that covered too!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to increase faster than average over the next decade, primarily because the aging baby boom generation will increase the number of older people, who tend to suffer the most from respiratory conditions like pneumonia and COPD and who often have respiratory complications due to heart disease and other common diseases of aging.
While U.S. employment in general is forecast to increase by 15 percent, the need for RTs will grow by up to 26 percent!
With demand for RTs on the rise, salaries are following suit. According to the 2009 Human Resources study from the AARC, the projected average annual earnings of RTs working in the U.S. is $62,223. In this study, and depending on the area of the country, therapists just beginning their careers reported average annual earnings ranging from $42,078-$47,297.