Nationally, the field of respiratory therapy is a growing field. This is partly due to the aging of the U.S. population and the subsequent increase in respiratory problems. Another factor is the increasing survival rates of premature babies and accident victims who require respiratory care.
Based on a combination of salary levels and job availability, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDSE) designated respiratory therapy as number 38 on its 2012 list of the top 50 hottest jobs.
The MDSE projects job growth of 25.8% throughout Mississippi between 2010 and 2020. Growth is expected to be even greater in these areas:
- Pascagoula – 33.3%
- Hattiesburg – 30%
- Jackson – 26.8%
The 2014 average respiratory therapist salary in Mississippi was $48,920 according to the MDSE. Entry-level respiratory therapists averaged $39,580, while those with experience made $53,580 a year. Salaries were particularly high in the Jackson area as shown below:
Mississippi has the second highest concentration of respiratory therapist jobs in the country in 2013 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The MDSE reported that 1,500 respiratory therapists practiced in Mississippi in 2014. Nearly 30% of them were located in the Jackson area, while 10% practiced in the Gulfport-Biloxi area.
The 2012 graduates from the five respiratory therapy training programs in Mississippi were successful in getting their basic respiratory therapy credential and finding jobs. According to the Commission on the Accreditation for Respiratory Care, about 95% of them obtained a Certified Respiratory Therapy (CRT) credential. 96.7% of them found employment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed breakdown of Mississippi’s respiratory therapist salaries. Salary data from 2013 for major regions in the state is shown in the following table: