Respiratory Therapists

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What do they do?

Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.

Also known as:

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Respiratory Therapist, Cardiopulmonary Technician and EEG Tech (Cardiopulmonary Technician and Electroencephalogram Technician), Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT), Clinical Coordinator of Respiratory Therapy, Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP), Respiratory Therapist (RT), Respiratory Therapy Director, Staff Respiratory Therapist, Staff Therapist

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Respiratory Therapists in United States

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Respiratory Therapists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028, more slowly than average compared to all occupations.

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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For Virginia:

  • 4.2%

    Percent Change

    Ranks #39 in job growth rate
  • 190

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Ranks #20 in net job growth

Select Type of Degree:

Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Respiratory Therapists:

Indicates your preferred majors

★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, Bachelors degree, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (1.5%)
  • Master's degree (3.5%)
  • Bachelor's degree (26%)
  • Associate's degree (55.5%)
  • Some college, no degree (11.8%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (1.4%)
  • Less than high school diploma (0.3%)

Percent of workers in this field

Colleges that Prepare

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Implement advanced life support techniques.
  • Treat medical emergencies.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 24.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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