Thinking of Becoming a Respiratory Therapist – What You Should Know


Have you had your eyes set on a career in the medical field? Part of what makes this field such an exciting one is the fact there are so many different positions available. If you’ve been thinking a job as a respiratory therapist sounds like it could be exactly what would challenge you and make you happy, then there are a few things to be aware of before you start chasing your dream.

Here, we will take a look at what a respiratory therapist (also known as an RT) is, how to become one, and what a typical day in the life of an RT may include.

What is a Respiratory Therapist Exactly?

It’s always a good idea to make sure you fully understand the career and what it entails before you decide if it’s right for you. Getting a solid definition of what a respiratory therapist is will help you make up your mind.

An RT has a number of responsibilities, which include interviewing patients, conducting chest physical exams, and then determining the best treatment method and therapy for that patient’s specific condition. They can diagnose breathing and lung disorders and will consult with the patient’s regular physician.

There is also an educational aspect to the job, as it will be up to you to educate the patient on their diagnosis and treatment answering any questions they may have.

Get the Proper Education and Training

Before you can even start to think about a career in respiratory therapy, it’s necessary to get the proper education and training so you can become accredited and work in the industry. While you can find training all over the country, New Jersey is an especially attractive area to study and work due to the higher than average salary.

As far as the best respiratory therapy programs in NJ go, there are four schools students can choose from. Three of the four offers a two-year program at a public institution, whereas the fourth one is through Rutgers University, which just so happens to be the largest higher learning institute in the state.

How Much Do Typical RT’s Make?

Salary is also another big question that people have when choosing a career path. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, respiratory doctors make on average $58,670. This is the national average. There are some states, such as New Jersey, that actually surpass the national average. In the state of NJ, you can expect to make about $67,670 per year on average.

Now what is really promising about this field is that it is enjoying massive job growth at the moment. From now until 2026, the amount of jobs available is expected to grow by 23%.

Respiratory Therapy – A Promising Career Path

Thanks to its robust job growth numbers over the next nine years and the fact that RT’s make a very healthy average salary, this is a very promising and rewarding career path to consider.