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Respiratory Therapist salary and educational requirements

Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists assess, treat, and care for patients that have breathing disorders. They assume responsibility for all respiratory care of the patient. They initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures, maintain patient records, check, and operate equipment. Training for many programs takes about a year, and an associate degree in respiratory therapy would take about two years. 

In 2008, the average national salary for a respiratory therapist was $53,000 and that could go up depending in the industry (specialty hospital or employment services pay more).  Salaries for respiratory therapists are even higher depending on the state in which you work: California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Nevada pay the highest and range from $61,000 to over $65,000 a year. 

California College for Health Sciences has 10 on site programs nationwide and Independence University has an accredited online program to get your certificate or associate degree in Respiratory Therapy.  In a resident program you spend half the day in a classroom, and the other half doing clinical work in a hospital gaining hours.  The online training program is similar, except you are doing the homework from home or the library. 

For resident program (learn in the classroom) information: California College for Health Sciences

For an online respiratory therapy program: Independence University

For more information about  what a respiratory therapist does: Department of Labor – Respiratory Therapist

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