Career Opportunities in Respiratory Care
Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) provide services in a variety of settings, including hospitals, emergency and trauma centers, diagnostic laboratories, physician offices, pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation centers, and home care.
As the healthcare industry grows and changes, RCPs must grow and evolve as well. Opportunities are highly favorable for RCPs with neonatal and adult critical care skills. The aging population also will produce a substantial growth for RCPs. The demand for RCPs provided by the contract-care firms will continue and create a demand as well.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports "promising figures about growing demand for respiratory therapists." The report states that:
- Respiratory care will be one of the fastest growing occupations over the next 10 years.
- Opportunities will be the greatest for those with cardiopulmonary skills and those who work with infants.
- By 2016, the profession will grow from 36-45 percent.
Starting Salary: The average starting salary for RCPs is $40,000, and many employers offer tuition reimbursement opportunities. The national mean starting salary for RCPs is $46,000.