Registered Respiratory Therapist Salary

It is extremely helpful to know an estimated salary before beginning down a career path. For instance, knowing a salary range for a registered respiratory therapist can inform your decisions regarding schools you may apply to, programs you may apply for, certifications you will need, and degrees you may want to acquire.

Expected Salary Range

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, respiratory therapists made an average annual wage of $57,880 in 2013. The majority of annual wages for respiratory therapists ranged from $47,770 to $67,390. Registered respiratory therapists should expect to be paid in the upper range due to higher levels of training.

In addition to different levels of training, the range in salaries is partially due to area of employment and type of employer. California, New Jersey and Nevada had the highest annual wage means among the fifty states. Outpatient care centers, colleges and universities, and employment services paid the highest annual wages among employers.

Types of Jobs

In addition to salary, consider the type of employment you wish to pursue. Outpatient care centers provided the highest salaries for respiratory therapists in 2013. While outpatient care centers may pay the highest amount on average, outpatient care centers may not offer the type of services you wish to provide to your patients.

Your training may have brought you in contact with something specific that you enjoyed. Most schools and programs will encourage you to pursue the area of study that you enjoyed while in school, which is excellent advice to rely on when searching for employment. Registered respiratory therapists must manage high levels of stress, and job satisfaction is one way to tolerate the large amounts of demand associated with the position.


Pursuing additional training helps many people advance in their careers, which is also true of registered respiratory therapists. Most employers look for experienced respiratory therapists with more training than their peers. Employers also consider additional degrees and certifications extremely beneficial.

Respiratory therapists need an associates degree before they may enter a certification program and become a certified respiratory therapist. However, respiratory therapists are encouraged to obtain a bachelor’s degree. In addition, becoming a registered respiratory therapist increases training, knowledge, and potential salary for respiratory therapists.