Respiratory Therapist Salary

The average Respiratory Therapist Salary is calculated by the US Government Bureau of Labor Statistics from a variety of sources. Respiratory Therapists work in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics and medical offices. A Respiratory Therapists salary will vary depending on the location and the setting. Area of specialization also plays a part in how much they earn. The assumption was made that the Respiratory Therapists reflected here were working an average of 40 hours per week with a total of 2080 hours per year.

Median Hourly & Annual Data


A Respiratory Therapists median salary is $26.56 per hour. The lowest 10% earn $19.55 per hour and those in the upper 10% earn more than $35.77 per hour.


On an annual basis the median Respiratory Therapist salary is $55,250 The lowest 10% earn less than $41,000 per year while the upper 10% earn more than $74,400 per year. These salaries are calculated as a mean or average.

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Lowest and Highest Respiratory Therapist Salary

The lowest paid Respiratory Therapists earn mean or average wages below $20.00 per hour. Presumably this is offset by costs of living and other factors. The lower pay levels are associated with rural areas. The highest pay levels are found in major metropolitan areas where the mean or average wage is over $33.00 per hour. Demand and low supply seem to be a significant factor in fueling higher salaries.

Top 5 States

The best states to earn a Respiratory Therapist salary are California $75,870, New Jersey $69,580, Nevada $69,340, Alaska $68,790, and Massachusetts $67,620.

Top 5 Metropolitan Areas

The best city or metropolitan areas to be a Respiratory Therapist are San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division $90,230, Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Division $88,000, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $86,620, Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $85,240 and Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA $85,020.

Click here to see the salary of Respiratory Therapists for all 50 states

Other Industries that Employ Respiratory Therapists

Consumer goods rental, Management and technical consulting services, Colleges and employment services employ approximately 3200 respiratory therapists.

Employment Data

It is estimated that there are 113,980 Respiratory Therapists employed in the U.S.

Where They Work

Over 93,000 respiratory therapists work in hospitals. Nursing care facilities, Physicians’ offices, and Employment services account for the majority of those who are employed.

Private Practice vs. Employment

Respiratory Therapists work primarily as supportive personnel under the supervision of Physicians. The nature of their work limits the opportunities for self-employment.


Fringe benefits such as vacation, health insurance and retirement plans will vary depending on the work setting and size of the employer. A typical benefits package is worth over $20,000 per year.

International Salary


The average salary of respiratory therapist in Canada is $63,356 CAD. The salary ranges from $35,000 to $105,000 CAD. At current exchange rates the average annual salary for a psychiatrist in Canada is $57,443 USD.

United Kingdom

Respiratory therapy in the UK is not a recognized specific profession, but a specialization route available to physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Common titles include Respiratory Nurse, Clinical Respiratory Physiologist, Cardio-Respiratory Physiotherapist and Cardio-Respiratory Occupational Therapist.


Australia does not appear to have a separate profession for respiratory therapists.