Currently, more than 25 million people in the United States have asthma, six million being children. Nearly 15 million adults have been diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), but even more are living with it. Over three million adults suffer from emphysema, while more than 8.5 million walk around with chronic bronchitis. Everywhere we turn, the need for respiratory care exists.
This is (and will always be) a great need, which is why the respiratory therapist job outlook is so bright. Across the United States, employment of respiratory therapists (RTs) is projected to grow 23 percent by the year 2026 – more than three times as fast as the average occupation. More specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 30,500 RT jobs will be added nationwide within the next seven years.
If you are looking to become a respiratory therapist in Connecticut, you can breathe easy. The respiratory therapist job outlook is also exceptional in the Nutmeg State. Respiratory therapists are among the top thirty in-demand careers in Connecticut, expecting 19 percent growth by 2026 – more than what’s expected for other important healthcare careers, such as Dentists, Nurse Midwives, and Physical Therapists. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, more than 1,500 respiratory therapist jobs will exist across the state in 2026.
The greatest demand for respiratory therapists will be in hospitals, experts predict, as more than 80 percent of RTs are employed in a hospital setting (in emergency rooms, anesthesiology, respiratory care departments, and more). However, as hospitals attempt to reduce re-admissions, demand for respiratory therapists may also increase in nursing homes and doctors’ offices. Respiratory therapist careers, nevertheless, can be found in a range of care settings, including outpatient programs and pulmonary rehab centers.
Why is the Respiratory Therapist Job Outlook Growing?
Respiratory therapists are essential healthcare practitioners, helping patients to fulfill one of the most basic and vital necessities in life – the ability to breathe. On a daily basis, these professionals care for patients who have respiratory diseases, disorders, or general troubles breathing. An RT’s role is very specialized in the greater healthcare system, as they work exclusively with oxygen and lung diagnostics, and respiratory treatments where other practitioners may not be well-versed.
Beyond the specialized nature of their career, there are several other reasons the respiratory therapist job outlook is on the rise. According to the BLS, demand for respiratory therapists is growing as the baby boomer population is aging. Middle-aged and older demographics will inevitably lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions like pneumonia, COPD, and other lung disorders. This will, in turn, lead to a larger need for respiratory therapy services, monitoring, and treatment.
Advances in technology, research, and medication may also contribute to the bright respiratory therapist job outlook. As more methods for preventing and detecting lung disease arise, and as more sophisticated treatments for respiratory disorders are unveiled, more trained respiratory therapists will be needed to step in and step up.
And, as federal sources explain, “Other conditions affecting the general population, such as respiratory problems due to smoking and air pollution, along with respiratory emergencies, will continue to create demand for respiratory therapists.”
Now is the Time to Become a Respiratory Therapist
If you dream of a rewarding and impactful career, becoming a respiratory therapist may be at the top of your list. Without a doubt, now is the time to pursue this fast-growing career. The best part is, you can launch your respiratory career relatively fast, as well. Unlike many medical careers today, respiratory therapists only require a two-year degree and a license to practice.
In every state including Connecticut, respiratory therapists must:
- Earn an associate degree from an accredited respiratory therapist school, like Goodwin College
- Pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) licensing examination administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care
The proper RT training program will prepare you to take both entry-level and advanced practitioner examinations, and to earn your credentials as a licensed and competent Respiratory Care Practitioner.
Breathe new life into your career, and get started in the thriving field of respiratory therapy. Contact Goodwin College at 800-889-3282, or learn more about our respiratory therapist program online.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.