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Highest Paying States for Respiratory Therapists

May 26, 2017 | Allied Healthcare


If you’re a respiratory therapist considering moving to a new state to start your career, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most important details that may factor into your decision is the median wage for RRTs in a given area. The good news is that you’re in a highly desired field of work, so there should be plenty of opportunities to find work all around the country. Take a look at the current job outlook and find the highest paying states for respiratory therapists.


Job Outlook for Respiratory Therapists

Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 12 percent—much faster than average for all occupations—between 2014 and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With anticipated growth in the middle-aged and elderly population, there is likely to be an increased incidence of respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. Disorders such as these can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function, leading to an increased need for respiratory therapists.


Highest Paying States for Respiratory Therapists

To get a better idea of what types of wages you can expect, it helps to start with the national median. In 2016, the national median salary for respiratory therapists was $58,670, according to the BLS. However, because salary numbers can vary widely based on location, it’s beneficial to look at averages on a state by state basis. Since RRTs may be interested in moving to a state that offers above average wages.

Here’s a list of the states with the highest average salary for respiratory therapists in 2016, according to the BLS:

  • California – $78,820
  • Nevada – $72,630
  • New Jersey – $71,940
  • Alaska – $71,820
  • New York – $71,100

Average salaries don’t paint the whole picture, however, as wages often go hand in hand with the cost of living. For example, California and New York offer some of the highest salaries, but they both have areas with very high costs of living. Use a cost of living calculator to determine if a higher salary in a certain area is worth it for you and your goals. At any rate, you may want to double check to see if you’re living in a state with lower than average wages.


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Here’s a list of the states with the lowest average salary for respiratory therapists in 2016, according to the BLS:

  • Alabama – $47,090
  • Mississippi – $48,390
  • Kentucky – $48,530
  • Arkansas – $49,280
  • West Virginia – $49,530


States with the Most Respiratory Therapist Jobs

If you’re really considering a move to establish a better career for yourself as a RRT there are other job-related details that should factor into your decision besides salary and cost of living. Another important factor to consider is the amount of job opportunities in an area that interests you. After all, it doesn’t matter how high the average salary is if there aren’t any jobs to go around.

Demand for respiratory therapists is high around the country, but there are some states with more opportunities than others.

Here are the states with the highest respiratory therapist employment level, according to the BLS:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Ohio
  • New York


Traveling Respiratory Therapist Jobs

One of the best ways to to find amazing job opportunities as a respiratory therapist is to become a traveling respiratory therapist. Staffing agencies like LRS Healthcare help place respiratory therapists in hospitals all across the country where help is needed. Since demand is so high for this field of work, there are plenty of amazing options for job assignments. You can easily find assignments in states that offer some of the highest wages. Plus, LRS Healthcare provides a housing stipend that will allow you to explore cities that may have a higher cost of living.

While demand is pretty high for respiratory therapists on a nationwide level, some major cities may still be difficult job markets. We can help get your foot in the door in the city of your dreams.

As a traveling respiratory therapist, you’ll have the freedom to work across the country, and earn a tax-free housing stipend. Meanwhile, there is opportunity to earn additional bonuses. Learn more about travel respiratory therapist jobs with LRS Healthcare today!


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