It’s Respiratory Care Week and this year has been much busier than usual for respiratory therapists. Normally most would be gearing up for their extremely busy season, flu season, but this year our respiratory therapists have been on the front lines helping combat the COVID-19 virus. If you are a respiratory therapist, thank you for working in such a difficult profession during these tough times. The good news is that you are in a highly necessary field of work, which can allow you to look for careers across the nation. Check out the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to find the latest numbers for demand and the highest paying states for respiratory therapists.

In recent years, the employment of respiratory therapists has been projected to grow, 10%-14%. In 2019, prior to COVID-19, the BLS anticipated a 19% increase in employment opportunities for the next ten years. Of course during COVID-19 the demand for respiratory therapists grew at a much faster rate. RRTs continue to play a large role in the treatment and healing process for COVID-19 patients. 

Respiratory therapists are in high demand across the nation but certain states will have more opportunities than other states. According to the BLS, here are the states with the highest respiratory therapist employment levels:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania

These states with higher employment levels do not necessarily guarantee a higher average salary. The median salary for respiratory therapists in 2019 was $61,330 with salaries growing for 2020. There are states that pay dramatically more than this but it is important to remember the cost of living. Most salaries take that into consideration state by state so places like California and New York will pay more than a state like Iowa or South Dakota. According to the BLS, here are the states with the highest average salary for respiratory therapist:

  • California – $83,920
  • Texas – $60,560
  • Florida – $58,700
  • Ohio – $58,090
  • Pennsylvania – $57,600

The best way to try new hospitals, cities and states is becoming a travel respiratory therapist. At LRS Healthcare, we have connections across the country with hospitals in high demand for respiratory therapists like you! With competitive rates in all 50 states, LRS Healthcare also assists with finding housing as well as activities to explore your new home. Reach out to learn more about our travel respiratory therapist positions with LRS Healthcare today!