The demand for respiratory therapists is increasing throughout the country. There are several reasons for this. As the U.S. population ages, a greater percentage develop respiratory problems and require respiratory care. Also, advances in technology have increased the survival rate of premature infants and trauma victims who frequently require the services of respiratory therapists.
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The Nebraska Department of Labor designated the field of respiratory therapy as a high skill, high wage, and high demand occupation in 2014. They projected a 13.67% increase in the number of respiratory therapy jobs between 2010 and 2020.
An employment analysis for the fourth quarter of 2013 indicated that 810 respiratory therapists practiced in Nebraska at that time. Five hundred of them were in the Omaha area, while 140 practiced in the Lincoln area.
The median respiratory therapist salary in Nebraska at that time was $51,877. Experienced respiratory therapists had average salaries of $57,365, while the entry-level salary averaged $43,445. Respiratory therapist salaries for Nebraska’s major cities are shown below:
More than three quarters of the 67 respiratory therapy jobs advertised online on August 29, 2014 were found in three counties:
- Douglas County – 47.8%
- Sarpy County – 16.4%
- Lancaster County – 11.9%
The graduates of Nebraska’s four accredited respiratory care programs have been highly successful in finding employment. According to the Commission on the Accreditation for Respiratory Care, more than 86% of Nebraska’s 2012 respiratory therapy degree program graduates found jobs. 94.4% of the 2012 graduates succeeded in obtaining their Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides additional information on Nebraska’s respiratory therapist salaries for 2013. A detailed salary breakdown by region is show in the following table: