CareerGPS

Respiratory Therapists
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Respiratory Therapists
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
834 897 62 7.48% 12 40 53 $44.85 $93,291 Associate's degree
Description: Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Set up and operate devices such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, and aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
  • Provide emergency care, including artificial respiration, external cardiac massage and assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Determine requirements for treatment, such as type, method and duration of therapy, precautions to be taken, and medication and dosages, compatible with physicians' orders.
  • Monitor patient's physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, and blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
  • Read prescription, measure arterial blood gases, and review patient information to assess patient condition.
  • Enforce safety rules and ensure careful adherence to physicians' orders.
  • Maintain charts that contain patients' pertinent identification and therapy information.
  • Inspect, clean, test and maintain respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, ordering repairs when necessary.
  • Educate patients and their families about their conditions and teach appropriate disease management techniques, such as breathing exercises and the use of medications and respiratory equipment.
  • Explain treatment procedures to patients to gain cooperation and allay fears.
  • Relay blood analysis results to a physician.
  • Perform pulmonary function and adjust equipment to obtain optimum results in therapy.
  • Perform bronchopulmonary drainage and assist or instruct patients in performance of breathing exercises.
  • Demonstrate respiratory care procedures to trainees and other health care personnel.
  • Teach, train, supervise, and utilize the assistance of students, respiratory therapy technicians, and assistants.
  • Use a variety of testing techniques to assist doctors in cardiac and pulmonary research and to diagnose disorders.
  • Make emergency visits to resolve equipment problems.
  • Conduct tests, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress testing, and lung capacity tests, to evaluate patients' cardiopulmonary functions.
  • Work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures and related duties.

Knowledge

91%
Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
88%
Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
73%
Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
67%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
66%
Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
62%
Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
60%
Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
57%
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
55%
Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
54%
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
54%
Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal m
53%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills

75%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
75%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
75%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
75%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
65%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
65%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
65%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
62%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
62%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
62%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
62%
Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
62%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
60%
Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
60%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
56%
Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
56%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
53%
Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
53%
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
53%
Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
50%
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
50%
Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Abilities

81%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
78%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
78%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
69%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
69%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
65%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
65%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
65%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
62%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
62%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
60%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
60%
Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
56%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
56%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
56%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
53%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
53%
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
53%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
53%
Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
50%
Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
50%
Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
50%
Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
50%
Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
50%
Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Work Activities

94%
Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
90%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
87%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
86%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
85%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
85%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
83%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
82%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
79%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
77%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
75%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
74%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
71%
Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
71%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
71%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
69%
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
69%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
67%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
67%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
65%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
64%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
63%
Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
63%
Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
63%
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
61%
Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
60%
Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
56%
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
56%
Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
55%
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
55%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
54%
Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
53%
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
53%
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
53%
Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Interests

Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi

Work Styles

Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.