Respiratory therapists are healthcare professionals who provide care to patients with respiratory disorders. They work with patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, and may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.
Respiratory therapists help make treatment plans and assist patients who have breathing conditions, usually in hospital settings. They run breathing tests, monitor patients' health and perform treatments such as chest physiotherapy and oxygen therapy. They also educate patients on at-home therapies and medication use.
This career requires an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy. In addition, you'll need to do a practicum for hands-on experience and take a certification or licensure exam. You'll typically also need a certification from the National Board for Respiratory Care.
The BLS data shows these good trade jobs have a $68,190 average salary as of 2021. Respiratory therapist jobs are in high demand, with 14% employment growth expected through 2031.