Salary Structure

Respiratory Therapist Salary Structure In The US

In the dynamic field of healthcare, respiratory therapists play a crucial role in helping individuals breathe easier. Aspiring respiratory therapists often wonder about the financial aspects of their chosen profession. To shed light on this, we’ve gathered valuable insights into the compensation landscape for respiratory therapists in the United States.

The foundation of a respiratory therapist’s earnings lies in their base pay, ranging from $64,000 to $99,000 per year. This figure represents the core salary, reflective of the skills, experience, and expertise they bring to their vital role in patient care.

In addition to the base pay, respiratory therapists may receive extra compensation, including cash bonuses, commissions, tips, and profit-sharing. This supplementary income ranges from $4,000 to $7,000 per year, providing an opportunity for professionals to enhance their overall earnings.

Our comprehensive analysis, derived from a proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and user-reported salaries, reveals that the estimated total pay for a respiratory therapist is $79,821 per year in the United States. The average salary stands at $74,786 annually, encompassing both the base pay and additional earnings.

The “Most Likely Range” offers a valuable perspective, representing values within the 25th and 75th percentiles of all pay data available for this role. This range, from $64,000 to $99,000, provides a realistic view of the earning potential for respiratory therapists based on the diverse factors influencing compensation.

It’s important to note that the estimated additional pay of $5,035 per year adds a layer of financial reward for respiratory therapists. This extra income recognizes their dedication, performance, and the diverse ways in which they contribute to patient care and overall healthcare outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors influence the salary of a respiratory therapist in the US?

Several factors affect respiratory therapists’ salaries, including location, experience, education level, certifications, and the type of healthcare facility they work in.

Is there a significant salary difference between respiratory therapists working in different regions of the US?

Yes, there can be notable salary discrepancies based on geographical location. Generally, urban areas or states with higher costs of living tend to offer higher salaries compared to rural areas.

How does experience impact the salary of a respiratory therapist?

Experience plays a significant role in determining a respiratory therapist’s salary. Typically, those with more years of experience command higher salaries compared to entry-level professionals.

Do respiratory therapists with specialized certifications earn more than those without certifications?

Yes, respiratory therapists who hold specialized certifications, such as Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) or Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT), often earn higher salaries due to their advanced skills and expertise.

Are there differences in salary between respiratory therapists working in different healthcare settings, such as hospitals versus clinics?

Yes, the type of healthcare facility can impact salary levels. Respiratory therapists working in hospitals or acute care settings may receive higher salaries compared to those employed in outpatient clinics or long-term care facilities due to the complexity and intensity of the patient population they serve.


In conclusion, respiratory therapists can anticipate a competitive and rewarding compensation package in the United States, with an estimated total pay of $79,821 per year. This figure not only reflects the base pay but also considers additional earnings, acknowledging the multifaceted contributions these healthcare professionals make to the well-being of their patients.

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