why become a respiratory therapist

Why Study Respiratory Therapy?

You want a great job in healthcare, and you want to make a real difference with your career. Respiratory therapy may be the perfect role for you. Across the country, the number of Respiratory Therapist (RT) positions is expected to increase 19 percent by the year 2029 — much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Respiratory therapy is a thriving field, full of opportunity and benefits. Still, like any prospective student, you may be asking, ‘Why study respiratory therapy?’ Read on, as we highlight some of the top reasons to study respiratory care and become a certified Respiratory Therapist today.

1. Helping Others is Important to You

You may find it personally rewarding to work with people in need. That is exactly what Respiratory Therapists do — they breathe new life into their patients (quite literally!). As a Respiratory Therapist, you will care for patients who have trouble breathing. This is an incredibly important job and patients depend on the work to be done right. When you can diagnose, assess, and treat patients suffering from lung conditions or other ailments, you will understand the value in your role.

2. You Can Work with All Types of Patients

If you consider a standard desk job to be boring, you will be happy to know that respiratory therapists enjoy a career with plenty of variety and excitement each day. No two patients are exactly alike, no two days are the same, and you will be working with a diversity of populations. Respiratory Therapists can work with adult, pediatric, and geriatric patients. You may work with seniors who have emphysema, or premature infants with cardio-pulmonary disorders. You may help those with asthma, chronic respiratory disease, and heart disease, too — as they all require the help of a Respiratory Therapist.

3. The Jobs are In-Demand

As noted above, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a big jump in employment of Respiratory Therapists nationwide. But this is just the start. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, Respiratory Therapists are among the fastest growing occupations in Connecticut. Why is the demand so high? It all comes down to the aging population in this country. Growth in the Baby Boomer generation is leading to an increase of respiratory conditions, such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • And other disorders that can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function (COVID-19 may be a new cause for such ailments)

This aging population will also lead to an increased demand for respiratory therapy services and treatments, particularly in hospitals.

Advancements in modern medicine are also causing growth for this role. Increased prevention and detection methods, improved medications, and more sophisticated treatments will also add to the demand for RTs.

4. High Earning Potential

Most employers only require their Respiratory Therapists to obtain an associate degree, but the pay for this educational level is substantial. According to the BLS, Respiratory Therapists nationwide earned a median annual pay of $61,330 in 2019. In Connecticut, the RT salary is even better. Respiratory Therapists earn an annual pay of $71,052, on average.

5. An Exciting Work Environment

In addition to working with a variety of patients, Respiratory Therapists benefit from an array of exciting workplace options. For example, graduates of Goodwin’s respiratory therapist school often find careers they love in acute care hospitals, home care settings, LIFE STAR air ambulance, and rehabilitation and long-term care facilities.

Most respiratory therapists work full time. Because they may work in medical facilities, such as hospitals that are always open, you may need to be there for your patients at various hours of the day and on the weekends, too. But the rewarding work makes it all worthwhile. RTs are on their feet for much of their workday, collaborating and working closely with registered nurses, doctors, and surgeons.

Respiratory Therapists are a critical part of the healthcare system, and your work will always have you facing a challenge, growing as a professional, and helping people who need it most. Why become a respiratory therapist? So you can enjoy an exciting career that makes a difference.

Before you jump into the field of respiratory therapy, you will need to have the required education, skills, and training. A career-focused school, like Goodwin University, can prepare you for this role. Not to mention, Goodwin’s respiratory care program offers flexibility. Respiratory therapy classes are offered at night, on-campus, and in a standard 15-week format. This way you can maintain your day job and still pursue your dreams.