The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) predicts a 16.99% increase in the demand for respiratory therapists between 2012 and 2022.
It reported that 1,942 respiratory therapists practiced in Louisiana in 2012. The LWC analyzes labor market information such as salaries and employment levels for regions of Louisiana. These multi-county regions are designated as Regional Labor Market Areas (RLMAs). 88% of Louisiana’s respiratory therapists worked in the following RLMAs in 2012:
- New Orleans – 30%
- Baton Rouge – 19%
- Shreveport – 16.8%
- Alexandria – 12.5%
- Lafayette – 9.9%
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the city of Alexandria had the third highest concentration of respiratory therapy jobs of any city in the country in 2013.
According to the LWC, the median respiratory therapist salary in Louisiana was $51,470 in 2012. Entry-level salaries were $43,960 while experienced professionals averaged $58,460. Median 2012 respiratory therapist salaries for the top paying Louisiana RLMAs are shown below:
- New Orleans – $54,419
- Lafayette – $51,507
- Baton Rouge – $51,270
- Shreveport – $49,543
- Monroe – $49,395
- Alexandria – $49,137
Three quarters of the respiratory therapy jobs advertised online in Louisiana on August 27, 2014 required an associate’s degrees. Graduates of Louisiana’s respiratory therapy programs are highly successful in finding employment. According to the Commission on the Accreditation for Respiratory Care, over 90% of Louisiana’s 2012 respiratory therapy graduates found jobs.
The parishes with the highest number of job openings on August 27, 2014 were:
- East Baton Rouge
The BLS provides the 2013 salaries for respiratory therapists in Louisiana’s larger metropolitan areas. This information is presented in the following table: