Respiratory therapists, or RTs, work with people who are experiencing issues with breathing and, often, cardiopulmonary issues. In many cases, their patients include premature infants born without fully developed lungs, as well as children and adults who suffer from problems such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Respiratory therapists working in emergency rooms also often provide care to heart attack, drowning, and shock victims. Respiratory therapists working in home health care often set up ventilators and other life-supporting equipment, as well as providing care takers with direction on the equipment’s use.
Respiratory Therapist Salary
Respiratory Therapists in the United States can expect to earn an average of $24.73 per hour. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the specific employer, though geography and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. A strong majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than half collect dental insurance. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction.
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