Respiratory Therapist Salary – How Much Does A Respiratory Therapist Make?



If you are one of the many who are clamoring for entry to an accredited respiratory therapist school in order to begin earning a respiratory therapist salary, take the time to thoroughly research the job market before you commit yourself financially.

I don’t mean just look around where you currently reside, but research the opportunities that may be available in different cities as well as different states. To be perfectly honest, statistics show that new graduates in this medical specialty, most often have to move to different areas in order to compete for available positions.

If you are open to a move, you stand the best chance to begin working pretty much right out of school. In fact, if your school doesn’t have a great reputation of providing employment assistance and providing a high percentage of employed graduates, I would not risk your student loan funding on the chance that you might find work a year or two after graduation, on your own.

Respiratory Therapist Salary Statistics by State

These are the latest statistics for this occupation. And what they show is the fact that the current economic conditions in this country have taken a toll on just about every occupation. There is no doubt that this field like many others in the healthcare industry will experience a resurgence eventually, but at least you will know what the licensed professionals are earning now, and where.

For many students graduating from respiratory therapist schools across the nation, their best bet for respiratory therapist jobs are still the major general and surgical hospitals that employ the bulk of people in this profession. Due to the aging population and the migration of the elderly to senior care residential facilities, the concentration of patients at these locations have produced a bounty of wage opportunities for this profession.

As of March 2012, the following states have recorded the top ten average salary levels for this occupation:

Mississippi                 $75,000
New York                   $73,000
Massachusetts         $72,000
Washington DC        $71,000
California                   $67,000
Rhode Island            $66,000
Connecticut              $66,000
New Jersey               $66,000
Georgia                       $66,000
Alabama                     $66,000

As you can see, every one of these states is a coastal state and all but one are located in the eastern United States, and while some states can boast some of the largest populations, others are miniscule in comparison yet can compete with payment of some of the highest average salaries for a respiratory therapist.

Respiratory Therapist Salary Statistics by Metropolitan Location (population above 50K)

The largest city in the state of Mississippi is Jackson, with a population of over 178,000 and an average annual wage of $76,000.

The largest city in the state of New York is New York, with a population of over 8,000,000 and an average annual wage of $78,000, but the city with the highest annual average wage is White Plains with $80,000, followed by New Rochelle $79,000, Yonkers $78,000, and Mount Vernon $78,000.

The largest city in the state of Massachusetts is Boston, with a population of over 600,000 and an average annual wage of $75,000. Boston is followed by Cambridge, Brockton, and Quincy who also pay an average of $75,000, and Lowell who pays an average of $74,000.

The largest city in the state of California is Los Angeles, with a population of over 3,700,000 and an average annual wage of $67,000. But the cities with the highest average wage are San Jose and Fremont, paying $83,000, San Francisco paying $81,000, Oakland paying $79,000 and Long Beach paying $68,000.

The largest city in the state of Rhode Island is Providence, with a population of over 188,000 and an average annual wage of $62,000. The city with the highest average wage is Warwick $64,000, but Pawtucket and Cranston also pay $62,000.

The largest city in the state of Connecticut is Bridgeport, with a population of over 142,000 and an average annual wage of $66,000. The city of Stamford pays $83,000, Danbury pays $70,000, and Norwalk pays $67,000.

The largest city in the state of New Jersey is Newark, with a population of over 278,000 and an average annual wage of $81,000. Jersey City also pays $81,000, but Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison and Clifton all pay $82,000.

The largest city in the state of Georgia is Atlanta, with a population of over 420,000 and an average annual wage of $71,000. The city of Johns Creek also pays $71,000, while Sandy Springs, and Roswell pay $70,000. The city of Augusta pays $64,000.

The largest city in the state of Alabama is Birmingham, with a population of over 212,000 and an average annual wage of $61,000. But the city of Dothan pays $69,000, and the cities of Huntsville and Decatur pay $65,000. The capitol city of Montgomery pays $63,000.

Respiratory Therapist Salary And Lowest Wage States

The following list consists of the states with the lowest advertised annual wages for respiratory therapist jobs as of March 2012.

Wisconsin                      $53,000
South Dakota               $54,000
Nebraska                       $54,000
Idaho                              $57,000
Arizona                          $57,000
Kansas                            $57,000
New Mexico                 $58,000
South Carolina            $58,000

There is no doubt that there are probably many jobs within these states that pay much higher than the advertised averages listed here, but since these are the averages, there are also many jobs that can pay much less.

Do yourself a favor and be thorough about where you might want to work, and what the average respiratory therapist salary is, for that area. Take into consideration your experience, lifestyle and set goals to see what kind of income you can aspire to, and you’ll cull your list down to the regions that can realistically provide what you want.

The latest information seems to suggest that the competition for this occupation is very high, and a job candidate can no longer rely on just a CRT designation to make the grade. Today, no less than an RRT designation will do, to keep you at the top of qualified candidate lists. A suitable respiratory therapist salary can be yours if you work smart and stay on track.