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Respiratory Therapist: Salary

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Salary Outlook

In 2012, respiratory therapists made a median salary of $55,870. The BLS reports that the highest-paid made more than $75,430, and the lowest-paid earned less than $40,980. Although hospitals are the top employers, they don’t pay the best: Colleges, universities and professional schools actually pay therapists in the upper 60s. If you really want the best compensation, job hunt in California. The top-paying metropolitan areas are all in the Golden State.

Job Salary Year
2004 $44,180.00
2006 $48,550.00
2008 $53,070.00
2010 $55,180.00
2012 $57,200.00

Average Respiratory Therapist Pay vs. All Health Care Jobs

With an average annual take-home pay of $57,200, respiratory therapists earn a salary comparable to other hospital workers. Radiologic technologists and physical therapist assistants make similar salaries. However, registered nurses and diagnostic medical sonographers make roughly $10,000 more. Clinical laboratory technicians and nursing aides make significantly less, earning $39,340 and $25,620, respectively.

Job Name Salary
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer $65,860.00
Registered Nurse $65,470.00
Respiratory Therapist $55,870.00
Radiologic Technologist $54,340.00
Physical Therapist Assistant $52,160.00
Clinical Laboratory Technician $37,240.00

Best Paying Cities for Respiratory Therapists

The highest paid in the respiratory therapist profession work in the metropolitan areas of San Jose, California, Salinas, California, and Vallejo, California. The Oakland, California area also pays well, as does the city of San Francisco.

San Jose, California

Average Salary: $88,520 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a respiratory therapist working in San Jose, California is $88,520, which is $32,650 more than the average pay in the profession.

Salinas, California

Average Salary: $84,290 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a respiratory therapist working in Salinas, California is $84,290, which is $28,420 more than the average pay in the profession.

Vallejo, California

Average Salary: $84,290 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a respiratory therapist working in Vallejo, California is $84,290, which is $28,420 more than the average pay in the profession.

Oakland, California

Average Salary: $84,120 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a respiratory therapist working in Oakland, California is $84,120, which is $28,250 more than the average pay in the profession.

San Francisco

Average Salary: $83,970 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a respiratory therapist working in San Francisco is $83,970, which is $28,100 more than the average pay in the profession.

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Last updated by Stephanie Steinberg.


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