What does a Respiratory Therapist do?

Respiratory therapists help patients who have trouble breathing by providing general and emergency respiratory therapy. This entails assessing patients by performing diagnostic tests and evaluations, treating patients, and tracking progress. Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities.

Respiratory therapists must have an associate's degree in respiratory therapy from an accredited respiratory program and be licensed as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. To become licensed, they must pass a national certification exam and complete any additional licensure requirements, as determined by the state of practice. The best respiratory therapists are compassionate, possess great interpersonal skills, and have a strong grasp on anaomy and physiology.

What responsibilities are common for Respiratory Therapist jobs?
  • Perform assessments and diagnostic procedures to determine patient treatment needs
  • Make recommendations for respiratory care and treatment
  • Perform treatment procedures according to patient needs
  • Modify care plan based on patient progress and treatment effectiveness
  • Operate, maintain, and repair respiratory equipment to ensure proper functioning, cleanliness, and operation
  • Comply with all outlined safety and health standards
  • Document patient's respiratory care
  • Educate the patient, family, and team on respiratory problems and treatment
What are the typical qualifications for Respiratory Therapist jobs?
  • associate's Degree in Respiratory Care from an accredited respiratory care program
  • Current Registered Respiratory Therapist license in state of practice
  • 1 year of experience in respiratory therapy
  • Working knowledge of respiratory equipment and medical supplies
  • Strong leadership skills and a professional attitude
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to manage the emotional stress of working with and caring for terminally ill patients/families
  • Familiar with safety and confidentiality standards
  • Comfortable working independently
EducationAssociate's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Respiratory Therapist Salaries near Australia

Average Base Pay

$43 /hour
Not including cash compensation
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Respiratory Therapist Career Path

Learn how to become a Respiratory Therapist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Respiratory Therapist
No Salary Reports
Senior Respiratory Therapist
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Respiratory Therapist IV
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Respiratory Therapist

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Respiratory Therapist Insights

Read what Respiratory Therapist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Hyur Staffing ServicesHyur Staffing Services
Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
7 Sept 2021

“I have been with 4 staffing agencies and Cody Rivera has been the best account manager to work with.”

Cross Country HealthcareCross Country Healthcare
Travel Respiratory Therapist
29 Oct 2022

“Communication with my recruiter was excellent and i never had any problems with getting paid.”

Lakeview ManagementLakeview Management
Respiratory Therapists
5 June 2023

“One of the standout aspects of working at Lakeview Specialty Hospital is the emphasis placed on professional development and growth.”

Baptist Medical Center South (AL)Baptist Medical Center South (AL)
Respiratory Therapist
3 May 2022

“Good team work and clean”

Apria HealthcareApria Healthcare
Respiratory Therapist
24 Oct 2022

“People I work with are great and helpful.”

Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
25 May 2022

“Overall one of the best places to work in WA state and not get burnt out.”

UF HealthUF Health
Respiratory Therapist
10 June 2023

“PRN pay rate is not competitive”

Al-Dar Hospital
Registered Respiratory Therapist
5 Sept 2023

“No career progress and doctors are close mindedp”

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Respiratory Therapist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Respiratory Therapist

When working as a Respiratory Therapist, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, BLS Certification, Critical Thinking, ICU and CPR Certified.

The most similar professions to Respiratory Therapist are:
  • Therapist
  • Outpatient Therapist
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Behavior Therapist

The most common qualifications to become a Respiratory Therapist is a minimum of a Associate's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

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No skills overlap
Outpatient Therapist
No skills overlap
Mental Health Therapist
No skills overlap
Behavior Therapist
13% skills overlap

Respiratory Therapist jobs