Respiratory Therapist Salary

A respiratory therapist’s salary varies depending upon many factors, such as the type of workplace, the focus of their practice and job description, the level of education and experience, geographic location, and the size of their facility of employment.

Generally, the more education and experience, the higher the salary a respiratory therapist can demand. Larger facilities sometimes pay higher wages than smaller facilities, but this depends on other factors such as geographic location. The presence of certification can also allow a respiratory therapist to demand a higher salary.

How Much do Respiratory Therapists Make?

Here are national salary and wage statistics for respiratory therapists in the US, as of 2012.

Lowest Pay Median Pay Highest Pay Average Pay
Hourly Wage $19.70 $26.86 $36.26 $27.50
Annual Salary $40,980 $55,870 $75,430 $57,200

Respiratory Therapist Salary and Wages by State

Here are the highest paying US states for average respiratory therapist salaries and hourly wages, based on 2012 data. Figures include lowest, median, highest, and average salaries and wages.

Annual Salary by State

State Lowest Salary Median Salary Highest Salary Average Salary
California $53,630 $72,380 $95,150 $73,320
Nevada $50,890 $69,540 $91,120 $69,540
Connecticut $51,550 $67,470 $87,840 $67,890
New Jersey $53,930 $68,100 $83,110 $67,670
Alaska $54,720 $68,330 $77,360 $67,220
Massachusetts $50,330 $66,070 $86,550 $66,430
Delaware $48,420 $63,680 $76,170 $66,190
Hawaii $52,060 $67,790 $76,330 $65,960
New York $47,830 $66,020 $81,540 $64,380
Washington $49,960 $63,570 $77,950 $63,380
See all states…

Hourly Wage by State

State Lowest Wage Median Wage Highest Wage Average Wage
California $25.78 $34.80 $45.74 $35.25
Nevada $24.47 $33.43 $43.81 $33.43
Connecticut $24.79 $32.44 $42.23 $32.64
New Jersey $25.93 $32.74 $39.96 $32.53
Alaska $26.31 $32.85 $37.19 $32.32
Massachusetts $24.20 $31.76 $41.61 $31.94
Delaware $23.28 $30.62 $36.62 $31.82
Hawaii $25.03 $32.59 $36.70 $31.71
New York $23.00 $31.74 $39.20 $30.95
Washington $24.02 $30.56 $37.47 $30.47
See all states…

Respiratory Therapist Salary and Wages by City

Here are respiratory therapist salary figures for the highest paying major US cities, also including average, lowest, median and highest salaries.

Annual Salary by City

City Lowest Salary Medial Salary Highest Salary Average Salary
San Francisco, CA $62,540 $84,540 $110,930 $83,970
Sacramento, CA $64,010 $84,420 $108,570 $83,380
Las Vegas, NV $52,510 $70,930 $91,820 $71,070
New York, NY $58,370 $69,370 $84,930 $69,210
Los Angeles, CA $53,730 $69,000 $87,560 $68,890
Boston, MA $51,100 $67,850 $89,680 $68,350
San Diego, CA $51,380 $67,060 $90,260 $67,950
Anchorage, AK $55,360 $68,420 $77,280 $67,470
Seattle, WA $50,740 $67,780 $87,310 $67,200
Honolulu, HI $52,420 $68,050 $76,440 $66,350
See other cities…

Hourly Wage by City

City Lowest Wage Median Wage Highest Wage Average Wage
San Francisco, CA $30.07 $40.64 $53.33 $40.37
Sacramento, CA $30.78 $40.59 $52.20 $40.09
Las Vegas, NV $25.25 $34.10 $44.14 $34.17
New York, NY $28.06 $33.35 $40.83 $33.28
Los Angeles, CA $25.83 $33.17 $42.10 $33.12
Boston, MA $24.57 $32.62 $43.12 $32.86
San Diego, CA $24.70 $32.24 $43.39 $32.67
Anchorage, AK $26.61 $32.89 $37.16 $32.44
Seattle, WA $24.39 $32.58 $41.98 $32.31
Honolulu, HI $25.20 $32.72 $36.75 $31.90
See other cities…

How to Improve Your Respiratory Therapist Salary

While many factors impact salary for respiratory therapists, the largest factor is location. Due to economic conditions in various parts of the country, respiratory therapists can earn significantly different wages in different parts of the country for the same work. The most effective way to earn a higher salary is to relocate to a higher-paying region.

Of course, since costs of living usually keeps pace with salary levels, the best way to benefit from relocating to a high-paying city is to reside far enough away to escape higher rents and higher living costs while earning higher pay within the city. Aside from relocating, there are a few more steps a respiratory therapist can take to earn a higher salary:

  • Become certified. Since most employers prefer certified respiratory therapists, achieving certification will enable you to demand a higher salary.
  • Gain more education. Employers are usually willing to pay higher wages and salaries for respiratory therapists who hold higher levels of training, because more education implies greater dedication and more in-depth knowledge.
  • Specialize. Some respiratory therapists specialize in areas such as asthma, neonatal care, or sleep disorders. These specialists may earn more for their in-depth expertise.

Salary figures based on 2012 data courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.

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