As a career, it’s a good choice to be a Respiratory Technician, because this specialization has huge employment prospects and a fantastic salary. In fact, this is one of the few occupations with a good demand, requiring only an associate degree. Therefore, once the candidate is certified as a Respiratory Technician, all he has to do is to gain some valuable experience while working as an assistant in a reputed hospital or care home. In about a year’s time the technician would have sharpened his skills and got familiar with the work setting, which would propel him into a fulfilling career and earning the max potential income. As of writing this, the average Respiratory Technician salary is $48k per year.

Average Respiratory Technician Salary by Percentile

On average, respiratory technician salaries are about $48k annually in the United States. The salary ranges from $32k in the lower percentile to $68k in the upper range.


Percentile10%25%50%75%90%
Hourly Wage$15.19$18.61$22.60$27.50$32.45
Weekly Wage$608$744$904$1,100$1,298
Monthly Salary$2,633$3,225$3,917$4,767$5,625
Annual Salary$31,600$38,700$47,000$57,200$67,500

Top Paying Industries for Respiratory Technicians

By far, the industry with the highest salary for Respiratory Technicians is Health and Personal Care Stores at $73k. This industry would be your best bet in terms of maximizing your earnings potential.

Second is Nursing Care Facilities at $61k per year, followed closely by Nursing and Residential Care Facilities at $60k. To increase your chances of a higher salary, target Respiratory Technician jobs in these industries first.

RankIndustriesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Health and Personal Care Stores$35.00$1,400$6,067$72,800200
2Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)$29.18$1,167$5,058$60,700100
3Nursing and Residential Care Facilities$29.04$1,162$5,033$60,400100
4Other Ambulatory Health Care Services$25.87$1,035$4,483$53,800N/A
5All Other Ambulatory Health Care Services$25.87$1,035$4,483$53,800N/A
6Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)$24.81$992$4,300$51,600300
7Specialty hospitals, Privately owned$24.81$992$4,300$51,600300
8Employment Services$23.85$954$4,133$49,60060
9Administrative and Support Services$23.85$954$4,133$49,60060
10Hospitals, Privately owned$23.80$952$4,125$49,500 9,000

Highest Paying States for Respiratory Technicians

Nevada was the only state to have an annual salary of over $70k. Maryland and Connecticut were distant second and third at $65k and $63k per year, respectively. In terms of average salary, these are the best states to work in.

Go see the respiratory technician salary by state chart for full details.

RankSalaries by StatesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Nevada$34.33$1,373$5,950$71,40050
2Maryland$31.20$1,248$5,408$64,900200
3Connecticut$30.10$1,204$5,217$62,600100
4New Jersey$29.09$1,163$5,042$60,500200
5Washington$28.22$1,129$4,892$58,700200
6New York$27.55$1,102$4,775$57,300400
7Hawaii$27.12$1,085$4,700$56,400200
8California$26.59$1,063$4,608$55,300600
9Arizona$25.82$1,033$4,475$53,700500
10Nebraska$25.43$1,017$4,408$52,90090

Lowest Respiratory Technician Paying States

As with any rankings list, there are the ones at the bottom. North Dakota was the lowest paying state for Respiratory Technicians at $35k, followed by Kentucky, Alabama, and Oklahoma, which were all under $40k annual wage. If your salary is a huge concern, stay clear of these states.

RankSalaries by StatesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1North Dakota$16.92$677$2,933$35,20040
2Kentucky$17.79$712$3,083$37,000300
3Alabama$18.70$748$3,242$38,900400
4Oklahoma$19.09$763$3,308$39,700300
5Utah$19.38$775$3,358$40,300100
6Mississippi$19.42$777$3,367$40,400300
7Kansas$19.42$777$3,367$40,400100
8Arkansas$19.52$781$3,383$40,600300
9North Carolina$19.66$787$3,408$40,900300
10Georgia$19.71$788$3,417$41,000300

Top Paying Metropolitan Cities for Respiratory Technicians

The major cities of Seattle, Bellevue, and Everett in Washington state had the top paying annual salary at $67k.

RankMetropolitan CitiesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA$32.02$1,281$5,550$66,60090
2Nassau-Suffolk, NY$31.01$1,240$5,375$64,50030
3New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ$29.13$1,165$5,050$60,600300
4Newark-Union, NJ-PA$28.99$1,160$5,025$60,30070
5Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$27.88$1,115$4,833$58,000200
6Camden, NJ$26.44$1,058$4,583$55,00050
7Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX$26.44$1,058$4,583$55,000300
8Philadelphia, PA$25.48$1,019$4,417$53,000200
9Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA$25.43$1,017$4,408$52,900200
10Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$25.05$1,002$4,342$52,100N/A

Top Non-Metropolitan Areas for Respiratory Technician Pay

If you’re looking to work in a smaller town, these are the top paying non-metropolitan areas. Number one on the list is Maui and Kauai in the state of Hawaii with an annual Respiratory Technician salary of $56k. The other suburban towns to make this list are Southern Vermont, West Central Pennsylvania and Central Indiana.

RankNon-Metropolitan AreasHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Hawaii / Maui / Kauai$27.12$1,085$4,700$56,40060
2Southern Vermont$26.30$1,052$4,558$54,700N/A
3West Central Pennsylvania$24.09$963$4,175$50,10030
4Central Indiana$23.37$935$4,050$48,60030
5Southwest Maine$22.79$912$3,950$47,40040
6Southern Indiana$22.64$906$3,925$47,10030
7East Central Illinois$22.55$902$3,908$46,90060
8Northwestern Texas$22.40$896$3,883$46,600N/A
9Natchitoches$22.07$883$3,825$45,90080
10New Iberia$22.02$881$3,817$45,80060

Highest Respiratory Technician Employment Level by States

The #1 place to find Respiratory Technician jobs is in the state of Texas (over 1k professionals), followed by the #2 Florida with 800.

RankStatesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Texas$24.38$975$4,225$50,700 1,000
2Florida$20.96$838$3,633$43,600800
3Pennsylvania$22.93$917$3,975$47,700700
4California$26.59$1,063$4,608$55,300600
5Arizona$25.82$1,033$4,475$53,700500
6Missouri$23.51$940$4,075$48,900500
7Illinois$22.40$896$3,883$46,600500
8Louisiana$22.36$894$3,875$46,500500
9New York$27.55$1,102$4,775$57,300400
10Tennessee$19.86$794$3,442$41,300400

Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Job Description

respiratory technician salary dataThe job of a Respiratory Technician (RT), also known as Respiratory Therapist, is a crucial one, as the person treats and provides support to people with cardiopulmonary difficulties.

While most of the patients are known to have some kind of a breathing difficulty, an RT may also have to handle emergency cases when someone is going through an acute respiratory situation due to an accident, an allergic reaction, a heart attack, or even a shock.

Some of the patients may include premature babies with underdeveloped lungs, and people with lung diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. The treatment plan sometimes includes removing mucus from the lungs and/or inserting a tube into the windpipe, which is connected to a device called ventilator, so that the lungs may get oxygen.

A home care Respiratory Technician may have to set up ventilators and guide the family members on how to use them. Respiratory Technicians also team up with other specialists in surgical cases. They make sure the patient receives proper respiration during and post surgery, which becomes part of a complete recovery plan.

Respiratory Therapist Requirements

salaries of respiratory techniciansAs with most other medical or its allied tasks, the work of a Respiratory Technician requires one to have some special characteristics. One needs a tremendous amount of patience while handling long term patients and their family members.

A caring nature and the ability to be polite all the time go a long way in establishing good rapport with the patients and their families. In the case of an emergency, the RT has to depend on his or her presence of mind and swiftness, as often their decisions and efficiency is the difference between life and death. The RT must have excellent communication skills, so as to be able to team up effectively with other medical professionals.

Because of their important role in health care, skilled RTs are in great demand. Also, because of the criticalities involved, the job needs specialized training.  If you find this work interesting and would like to become a Respiratory Technician, you must get an associate degree in the subject.

Many colleges, medical schools, and vocational training institutes offer these programs. As a part of the training, the student would have to develop a good understanding of human anatomy in addition to getting a good comprehension of how various diagnostic procedures are done. The more the person understands the medical concepts and different methods of treatment, the better he will be in giving proper care to a patient.

Understanding the challenges and requirements of becoming an RT is important in deciding if this is the right career for you. That combined with a lucrative Respiratory Technician salary makes this career quite appealing. Not only that, you will feel great knowing that you’re helping people overcome their respiratory issues.