The Arizona State Board of Respiratory Care Examiners issues Respiratory Care Practitioner licenses to individuals who have earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 2,610 actively employed respiratory therapists (RTs) in Arizona earning an annual mean salary of $53,350.
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RTs care for patients with cardiopulmonary diseases like asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. These diseases are adversely affected by both extreme cold and hot humid weather. As a result, many pulmonary disease patients move to central Arizona for the dry, warm weather, increasing the need for respiratory therapists.
Minimum requirements for an Arizona Respiratory Care Practitioner license are:
- Successful completion of a Board-approved respiratory therapy training program (usually two years)
- Pass the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) certification exam(CRT)
CRTs who have been employed in Arizona over two years and continued their education, RTs with a bachelor’s or master’s degree and CRTs transferring from another state may take the NBRC Registered Respiratory Therapist exam (RTT). The higher certification generally results in increased salaries and promotions.
Job availability and salaries are impacted by location:
- Arizona cities with the highest percentage of RT jobs in relation to the population are Phoenix and Tucson.
- Arizona cities with the lowest percentage of RT jobs in relation to the population are Tucson and Yuma.
- Arizona cities with the absolute highest number of RT jobs are Phoenix and Kingman.
- Arizona metro areas with the highest median salaries are Kingman and Yuma.
The annual median salaries for RTTs in different Arizona cities are shown here:
- Avondale – $59,914
- Chandler – $59,915
- Flagstaff – $52,164
- Gilbert – $59,515
- Glendale – $59,914
- Goodyear – $59,914
- Lake Havasu City – $48,825
- Mesa – $59,915
- Phoenix – $59,914
- Prescott – $59,515
- Scottsdale – $59,515
- Sierra Vista – $46,442
- Sun City – $59,914
- Tempe – $59,915
- Tucson – $52,164
- Yuma – $62,726
The table below provides 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary information for respiratory therapists in Arizona’s largest cities.