A Good Fit For:

Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing—for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema

Median Annual Salary:


Data last updated October 2021

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Job Description

Routinely performs basic modalities of respiratory therapy for patients requiring non-critical care. Initiates and performs specialized and advanced respiratory therapy services to critically ill patients under clinical guidance. For home services, may travel to patient home to render services. Must be certified or certification eligible by the National Board for Respiratory Therapy.

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Employment Outlook

Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, much 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 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. These respiratory disorders can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function.


Associate Degree – 3 - 5 Years

Most technical colleges offer a respiratory therapist program