Highest Paying Jobs as Registered Respiratory Therapist

highest paying registered respiratory therapist jobs

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The highest-paying registered respiratory therapist position might change depending on a range of elements, including location, level of experience, and duties. Nonetheless, a few of the highest-paying positions in this industry are:

  1. Respiratory Therapy Manager/Director – around $117,000 
  2. Pulmonary Clinical Specialist – around $98,000
  3. Adult Critical Care Specialist – around $86,000
  4. Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapist – around $85,000
  5. Neonatal Respiratory Therapist – around $85,000
  6. Clinical Educator – around $80,000
  7. Sleep Disorder Specialist – around $78,000
  8. Travel Respiratory Therapist – around $76,000
  9. Pediatric Respiratory Therapist – around $62,000
  10. Pulmonary Function Technologist – around $56,000

1. Respiratory Therapist Manager

Respiratory therapist managers are responsible for supervising and coordinating the work of respiratory therapists in a hospital or other medical setting. They oversee patient care, staff schedules, and training programs. According to Payscale, the average salary for a respiratory therapist manager is around $117,000 per year.

2. Pulmonary Clinical Specialist

Healthcare practitioners that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory illnesses are known as pulmonary clinical experts. To assess breathing patterns, carry out pulmonary function tests, and create treatment programs, they collaborate closely with patients. The average salary is $98,000 per year.

3. Critical Care Respiratory Therapist

Critical care respiratory therapists work in intensive care units (ICU) and assist with critical care patients who have breathing difficulties. They monitor and manage mechanical ventilation, administer medications, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals. According to Indeed, the average salary for a critical care respiratory therapist is around $86,000 per year.

4. Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapist

Patients with long-term respiratory illnesses like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are treated by pulmonary rehabilitation therapists. To enhance their quality of life and lung function, they assist patients in creating and maintaining an exercise regimen. According to Salary.com, a pulmonary rehabilitation therapist typically earns around $85,000 per year.

To create individualized care plans for each patient, pulmonary rehabilitation therapists collaborate closely with respiratory therapists, doctors, and other medical experts. Also, they could instruct patients’ families on proper breathing methods and respiratory disease management. Strong knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system, as well as top-notch interpersonal and communication abilities, are requirements for this position.

5. Neonatal Respiratory Therapist

Neonatal respiratory therapists specialize in caring for premature infants and newborns with breathing difficulties. They work in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and assist with respiratory support and mechanical ventilation. According to Salary.com, the average annual salary for a neonatal respiratory therapist is approximately $85,000.

6. Respiratory Therapy Educator

Respiratory therapy educators work in academic settings, teaching respiratory therapy students about respiratory care and treatment techniques. They also develop course materials and assess student progress. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a respiratory therapy educator is approximately $80,000.

7. Sleep Disorder Respiratory Therapist

Sleep disorder respiratory therapists specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep-related breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea. They work in sleep clinics and may perform sleep studies to diagnose these disorders. According to Salary.com, the average annual salary for a sleep disorder respiratory therapist is approximately $78,000.

8. Travel Respiratory Therapist

Travel respiratory therapists work on a contract basis and travel to various healthcare facilities to provide respiratory therapy services. They may work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and rehabilitation centers. The average salary for a travel respiratory therapist is around $76,000 per year.

9. Pediatric Respiratory Therapist

Healthcare practitioners known as pediatric respiratory therapists are experts in identifying and treating breathing problems in infants, kids, and teenagers. They deal with a variety of illnesses, such as pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, and asthma. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for respiratory therapists was $61,830 as of May 2021. 

10. Pulmonary Function Technologist

Healthcare specialists with a focus on the diagnosis and management of respiratory illnesses include pulmonary function technologists. To conduct pulmonary function tests, gauge lung capacity, and assess breathing patterns, they closely collaborate with patients. The average salary is around $56,000 per year. 


Respiratory therapy is a growing field with a range of job opportunities for registered respiratory therapists. With an increasing demand for respiratory therapy services, these jobs offer competitive salaries and the chance to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients with breathing difficulties.