Why Respiratory Therapy is a Great Career Choice

Jul 15, 2020
Healthcare Career

The Importance of Respiratory Therapy in Healthcare

In today's ever-evolving healthcare landscape, respiratory therapy plays a crucial role in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of respiratory conditions. From assisting patients with breathing difficulties to providing life-saving interventions in emergency situations, respiratory therapists are vital members of the healthcare team.

Uncovering the Benefits of a Career in Respiratory Therapy

Choosing a career in respiratory therapy offers numerous advantages in terms of personal fulfillment, job security, and growth opportunities. Let's delve into some of the key benefits:

1. Rewarding Patient Care

Respiratory therapists have the privilege of directly impacting the lives of patients with respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD, and lung cancer. Through their expertise, therapists help alleviate symptoms, improve lung function, and enhance overall quality of life for their patients.

2. Job Stability and Growth

In an era of uncertain job markets, respiratory therapy stands as a stable and in-demand profession. With an aging population and increased incidence of respiratory diseases, the need for skilled respiratory therapists continues to grow. This career offers long-term job security and various opportunities for advancement.

3. Competitive Salary and Benefits

Respiratory therapy offers attractive financial rewards. The average salary for a respiratory therapist is substantial and increases with experience and specialization. Additionally, professionals in this field often receive comprehensive benefits packages, including healthcare coverage and retirement plans.

4. Diverse Work Environments

Respiratory therapists can choose from a wide range of work settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare. This diversity allows professionals to custom-tailor their careers based on personal preferences, whether it be working with pediatric patients or in critical care units.

5. Continuous Learning and Advancement

Respiratory therapy is a dynamic field that constantly evolves with advancements in medical technology and respiratory care practices. This ensures continuous learning and professional growth for individuals pursuing a career in this field. Respiratory therapists can pursue specialized certifications, such as neonatal or pulmonary function testing, to expand their expertise and increase their marketability.

Education and Training Requirements

Becoming a respiratory therapist involves completing a formal education program and obtaining the necessary licensure or certification. Most entry-level positions require an associate degree in respiratory therapy, while advanced positions may require a bachelor's degree.

During their education, aspiring respiratory therapists acquire in-depth knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, cardiopulmonary pathophysiology, and respiratory care procedures. They also gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations in various healthcare settings.

Upon graduation, individuals must pass the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examination to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). Additionally, obtaining state licensure may be required, depending on the jurisdiction.

Job Outlook and Future Opportunities

The job outlook for respiratory therapists is exceptionally promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a much faster-than-average growth rate of 19% from 2019 to 2029, significantly higher than many other occupations.

This positive trend is driven by factors such as the aging population, increasing prevalence of chronic respiratory conditions, and advancements in medical technologies. Respiratory therapists with specialized skills, such as in critical care or sleep medicine, are particularly sought after.


In summary, choosing a career in respiratory therapy can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding professional journey. With its essential role in healthcare, job stability, competitive remuneration, and various growth opportunities, respiratory therapy stands as an excellent choice for individuals passionate about making a real difference in the lives of patients.