The need for respiratory therapists in the U.S. is increasing as the population ages and becomes more likely to develop respiratory problems. In addition, the increased survival rates for premature infants and accident victims provide an increasing demand for respiratory therapists who are specialized to help these types of patients.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the demand for respiratory therapists to be particularly acute in rural areas of Virginia. Virginia’s Labor Market Information (LMI) predicts that 9.02% more respiratory therapists will be needed in the state between 2012 and 2022.
The LMI reported that the 2012 median respiratory therapist salary in Virginia was $57,262 for the 2,330 professionals licensed in the state. Salaries ranged from $43,558 for entry-level respiratory therapists to $63,818 for those with experience.
The 2012 median Virginia respiratory salaries varied substantially in different metropolitan areas as shown below:
- Richmond – $57,701
- Charlottesville – $57,130
- Virginia Beach (VA part) – $56,908
- Roanoke – $50,094
- Blacksburg – $46,424
- Lynchburg – $46,220
The 2013 graduates of the seven accredited Virginia respiratory therapy training programs were well prepared to enter the field. According to the Commission on the Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 92.1% of them passed their exam to qualify for the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential. 82.3% of these graduates found jobs.
According to the LMI, 114 respiratory therapy jobs were advertised online in Virginia as of September 2014. Nearly half of them were in two cities. 28.1% were advertised in Norfolk, while 14% were in Richmond.
The BLS provides a detailed breakdown of 2013 Virginia respiratory therapist salaries by city. This information is found in the table below: