Respiratory Care Career Information

What jobs can I get? How much can I get paid?

Degrees and certificates in the Respiratory Care program may lead to the following jobs or careers:

 

Respiratory Therapy Technician

$20.94
Entry Hourly Wage

Respiratory Therapist

$25.01
Entry Hourly Wage

Please review current job openings and contact your advisor to review your options.

All data gathered for Dallas/Fort Worth. Source: DCCCD Labor Market Intelligence


What Does a Respiratory Therapist Do?

Respiratory therapists (also called respiratory care practitioners) provide hands-on care that helps people recover from a wide range of medical conditions that affect the lungs.

Whenever breathing is an issue, respiratory therapists are there. They specialize in treating people with diseases such as asthma, emphysema, heart disease and more. Respiratory therapists also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, drowning, or shock. They work in almost every area of health care, with patients ranging from premature infants with undeveloped lungs to elderly patients with diseases.

Job Opportunities

Respiratory care is one of the nation’s fastest-growing allied health professions, with job growth expected due to:

  • an aging population, with increased respiratory conditions
  • environmental issues
  • the increasing role of RTs in disease detection

Job opportunities are expected to be very good, especially for RTs with cardiopulmonary care skills or experience working with infants.

Where Do Respiratory Therapists Work?

More than 80% of respiratory therapists work in hospitals, but they may also work in:

  • doctors' offices
  • clinics
  • home health care
  • rental firms for medical products
  • nursing homes

Credentialing and Licensing

The National Board for Respiratory Care offers certification and registration to graduates of programs accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Two credentials are awarded to respiratory therapists who satisfy the requirements:

  • certified respiratory therapist
  • registered respiratory therapist

Graduates from accredited entry-level or advanced-level programs in respiratory therapy may take the CRT examination. CRTs who were graduated from advanced-level programs and who meet additional experience requirements can take two separate examinations leading to the award of the RRT credential.

All states except Alaska and Hawaii, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico require respiratory therapists to obtain a license. Passing the CRT exam qualifies respiratory therapists for state licenses. Also, most employers require respiratory therapists to maintain a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Supervisory positions and intensive-care specialties often require the RRT or at least RRT eligibility.

Why Is This a Good Career Bet?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health-related occupations will add the most new jobs to the economy – nearly one-third of the total increase – through 2024. Fourteen of the top 20 fastest-growing jobs listed by CareerOneStop are in health care occupations.

CareerOneStop projects positions for respiratory care technicians to increase by 31% through the coming decade. Respiratory therapists rank 11th of its top 100 fastest-growing jobs requiring at least an associate degree.