Respiratory Therapist Assistant Salary Guide: How Much Does a Respiratory Therapist Assistant Make?
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As a respiratory therapist assistant, you play an integral role in the healthcare field, working with respiratory therapists to serve patients suffering from chronic breathing problems. Workers in this field earn a respectable salary. In this article, you'll learn more about the career of a respiratory therapist assistant and how much you can expect to earn during your career.
How Much Does a Respiratory Therapist Assistant Make in the United States?
The median annual wage for a respiratory therapist assistant in the United States is $55,678. The lowest-paid 10% of workers in the field earn around $44,061, while the highest-paid 10% earn around $65,686. The amount you can expect to earn depends largely on your location and where you are in your career.
Respiratory Therapist Assistant Salary Per State
One of the most important factors that affect your salary is your location. As you can see from the table below, the median wage for respiratory therapist assistants varies significantly from one state to another.
Data from Salary.com
Respiratory Therapist Assistant Salary Changes Throughout the Career Path
When you start your career in respiratory therapy, you may work as a respiratory therapist assistant, completing tasks to help patients with breathing problems. Your job may also include administrative tasks, including preparing and maintaining respiratory equipment and handling basic office tasks.
After working as a respiratory therapist assistant, you could move into the role of a respiratory therapist. When you get a job as a respiratory therapist, you'll work hands-on with patients who have trouble breathing. Your patients may include those with chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma or emphysema. Your patients will run the gamut from infants with underdeveloped lungs to elderly patients with end-of-life diseases.
As a respiratory therapist, some of your tasks will include:
- Examining, diagnosing, and treating patients
- Developing treatment plans
- Monitoring patients' progress
Respiratory therapists earn a median annual salary of $62,810, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but the pay for the highest earnings in the field is nearly $90,000.
If you're considering going into the field of respiratory therapy, there are plenty of similar fields to consider. The jobs below are similar to respiratory therapist assistants — they're important parts of the healthcare field, but don't require significant higher education.
- Phlebotomist: Workers in this field draw blood for tests, transfusions, blood donations, and more and prepare drawn blood for testing.
- Certified Nursing Assistant: Workers in this field provide basic care to help patients with activities of daily living, including bathing and measuring vital signs.
- Pharmacy Technician: Workers in this field assist pharmacists when it comes to dispensing medications and collecting information from patients.
Respiratory Therapist Assistant Job & Career Growth
Respiratory therapy is a rapidly growing field. The growth rate for healthcare support occupations overall is about 16%, which is twice the growth rate for all occupations, according to the BLS. And when it comes to respiratory therapy, the growth rate is even higher. The BLS projects jobs in the field to grow by about 23% from 2020 to 2030.
Other Benefits of Becoming a Respiratory Therapist Assistant
The perks of being a respiratory therapist assistant go above and beyond the salary. First, when you get a job in this field, you'll likely get other benefits like:
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- Paid time off
- Employer contributions to a retirement account
- Overtime pay
How Much Does it Cost to Become a Respiratory Therapist Assistant?
Becoming a respiratory therapist assistant requires far less schooling than other jobs in the healthcare field. First, the job requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Depending on the jobs in your area, you may need an associate degree, though that may not be the case for all respiratory therapist assistants.
That said, if you plan to pursue a career as a respiratory therapist, you'll need an associate degree and a state license.
Because of the minimal requirements to enter the field, the costs are also minimal. You can earn an associate degree for less than $10,000 at certain schools, making it a highly affordable career to get into. And the good news is that federal financial aid is available to help make higher education even more affordable.
Salaries for Related Jobs
- Median salary: $35,100
- Cost to become: Becoming a pharmacy technician only requires a high school diploma or an equivalent, such as a GED, which costs around $150.
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