According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the need for respiratory therapists is projected to increase by 10.99% between 2012 and 2022. The Department expects demand to be even greater in the multi-county Workforce Investment Areas (WIA) of Kansas City and Springfield. The Department projects the employment increase in these areas to be 11.6% and 11.13% respectively.
Forty percent or more of the jobs created during this period in Missouri overall and the St. Louis WIA are projected to be new ones. The remainder is expected to come from the need to replace respiratory therapists who will leave the workforce.
The average respiratory therapist salary in Missouri was $49,680 in 2012. Experienced professionals made $54,410 while entry-level respiratory therapists earned $40,200. The average and experienced respiratory therapist salaries were highest in the Columbia area as shown below:
Ninety percent of Missouri’s 2,830 respiratory therapists who practiced in 2012 were located in the Kansas City, Springfield, and St. Louis areas. The St. Louis area alone contained over 47% of these professionals in 2012.
Since Missouri has such a large demand for respiratory therapists, it has a number of accredited schools. Over 88% of the graduates from these twelve programs found jobs in 2012 according to the Commission on the Accreditation for Respiratory Care. 96.4% of them earned the basic credential required to practice in Missouri.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides 2013 Missouri respiratory therapist salaries for a range of areas in the state. This information is presented in the following table: