Respiratory Therapist Salary
In most instances, a respiratory therapist salary largely depends on the skill level that the therapists demonstrate in performing their job duties. These duties include evaluating, treating and caring for patients that have cardiopulmonary problems. A few of the duties of a respiratory therapist are to work under the direction of a doctor to provide therapeutic treatment, supervise respiratory assistants and help to develop care plans for patients. A respiratory therapist salary is also contingent on geographical region, work experience and industry among other factors.
The respiratory therapist salary profile based upon industry rank surgical hospitals and general medical facilities as having the highest numbers of employees in this career. Although medical facilities and surgical hospitals employ the highest number of these professionals, the highest paying respiratory therapist salary is paid in the employment services industry. This industry pays an average of $30.00 per hour or more than $62,000 annually. The lowest paying industries are the general medical facilities and surgical hospital facility, paying $54,000 annually.
Respiratory Therapy Salary National Wage Estimates
As of 2009 the U.S. Bureau of Labor of Statistics reports there are over 107,000 respiratory therapists in the United States. The mean average wage is $26.00 an hour or $54,000 per year. Broken down by percentages, the respiratory therapist salary numbers are 10 percent earn $39,000 ($19 per hour), 25 percent are paid $45,000 ($22 per hour); 75 percent at $32,000 ($26 per hour) and 90 percent make $72,000 ($34 per hour).
States Paying the Highest Respiratory Therapist Salary
U.S. Department of Labor Statistics report California and New Jersey as the highest paying states for this occupation. The salary paid in these states is $66,000 (California) and $65,500 (New Jersey). Rounding out the top five are Maryland at $65,400, Nevada at $65,300 and Massachusetts at $62,600.
Metropolitan Areas with the Highest Concentration of Respiratory Therapists
Saginaw, Michigan has the highest concentration of respiratory therapists. They are paid $25.00 an hour on average. The next four metropolitan areas are Kokomo, Indiana ($24.50 hourly), Cheyenne, Wyoming ($26.94 hourly), Lima, Ohio ($22.00 hourly) and Bowling Green, Kentucky ($22.39 hourly).
Highest Respiratory Therapist Salary Based on Metropolitan Area
Just because an area has a high concentration of workers in this occupation does not mean that the respiratory therapist salary range is the highest. The metropolitan area that pays the highest is the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area in California. This area pays a wage of close to $40 an hour or over $80,000 yearly. The Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg, Maryland area pays $73,400 annually. Respiratory therapists in the Santa Rosa-Petaluma, California area earn $71,130 a year. Salisbury, Maryland pays $72,000 and the metropolitan area of Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York pays an annual salary of $70,000.
Respiratory Therapist Salary Projections
Respiratory therapist jobs are expected to increase in the home healthcare, hospital and employment services industries. The U.S. Department of Labor expects employment in this occupation to increase by 2 percent between the years 2008 and 2018. Employment is expected to grow by over 22,000; from 105,000 to 128,000 during this time period.