Becoming a Respiratory Therapist


As you begin to pursue a healthcare profession, you’ll need to decide which specialty is right for you. Respiratory therapists work with patients of all ages who suffer from conditions with varying levels of severity. Check out these FAQs to figure out if becoming a respiratory therapist is a good decision for you!

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

Respiratory therapists treat breathing and cardiopulmonary disorders. Their patients may include those who suffer from cancer, heart attacks, strokes or asthma. After becoming a respiratory therapist, you’ll have the option to treat patients of all ages. You’ll examine patients, diagnose their conditions and create treatment plans.

Why Should I Become a Respiratory Therapist?

A career in respiratory therapy has many perks. Respiratory therapists can follow a variety of career paths and enjoy high-paid positions.

Flexible Career Options

Respiratory therapists can choose from a wide array of positions. This flexible career path will give you plenty of options when it comes to your job description, work environment, and living location. You can choose nearby respiratory therapist positions, or travel to a location of your choice to fill job openings.

Registered Respiratory Therapist Salary

Registered respiratory therapists earn a healthy salary. Your registered respiratory therapist salary will depend on a variety of factors including your level of education, years of experience and living location. As an entry-level employee, you can expect your respiratory therapist salary to range between $34,700 and $69,900.

What Types of Respiratory Therapist Jobs are There?

Respiratory therapy jobs vary in their job description and work environment.

Respiratory Therapist Positions

If you pursue this specialty, you’ll have the ability to choose from a variety of respiratory therapy jobs based on your area of interest. Here are a few common respiratory therapy positions you can choose from:

  • Neonatal Respiratory Therapist
  • Cardiopulmonary Respiratory Therapist
  • Clinic Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory Therapist Work Environments

Depending on your position, you’ll work in a variety of locations including laboratories, doctor’s offices, and hospitals. Within hospitals, respiratory therapists can choose to work in a variety of areas including:

  • Emergency rooms
  • Operating rooms
  • Intensive care units
  • Neonatal units
  • Pediatric units

Travel Respiratory Therapist Jobs

A career in respiratory therapy provides you with the ability to travel. Medical facilities around the country are constantly searching for travel respiratory therapists to fill their open positions. You can seek out travel respiratory therapist jobs based on your specialty, living location and length of the assignment. Choosing this path allows you to enjoy an exciting, fast-paced career while traveling to new destinations.

Three Steps to Becoming a Respiratory Therapist

In order to land your dream respiratory therapist job, you’ll need to take the proper steps to prepare for this career.

steps to becoming a respiratory therapist

1. Receive the Proper Education & Training

At the minimum, respiratory therapists must earn their associate’s degree, but many positions will require bachelor’s degrees. There are also master’s programs available. Most respiratory therapy programs include courses in the subspecialties in the field including cardiopulmonary therapy and neonatal therapy. You will likely receive clinical training through your respiratory therapy education.

2. Receive Your License & Certification

Upon completing your education, you must complete the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Exam to become certified. Licensing may vary among states, but passing the exam is a typical requirement.

3. Consider Becoming Registered

After passing the NBRC Exam, you have the option to take further exams to become registered. Some states even require you to become registered. Becoming registered shows your advancement in the field of respiratory care.

Ready to start your path to becoming a respiratory therapist? Check out the travel respiratory therapist positions we have available now! Choose positions close to home, or travel to new destinations.

Which area of respiratory therapy most interest you? Comment below!

Author: Allied Travel Careers

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