Workforce West Virginia’s Economic & Labor Market Information designated respiratory therapy to be one of its 33 high demand occupations for the period between 2010 and 2020. This is based on estimates of a relatively large number of annual openings and growth in the field.
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This agency predicts that the need for West Virginia respiratory therapists will increase 46.8% greater than the national average. The projected growth rate for this period is 27.6%.
Workforce West Virginia projects 41 positions to become available each year between 2010 and 2020. 58.5% of these jobs are projected to come from growth in the field of respiratory therapy with the remaining positions coming from the need to replace professionals who will leave the workforce.
The average 3rd quarter 2013 respiratory therapist salary in West Virginia was $47,769 a year for the 830 licensed RTs employed in the state. The median salary was very similar at $46,743 a year.
West Virginia respiratory therapist salaries varied a great deal depending on the professionals’ level of experience. Entry-level respiratory therapists made $37,790, while those with experience averaged $52,787 annually.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Morgantown area had the seventh highest concentration of respiratory therapy jobs of any city in the county in 2013.
Many respiratory therapists work in hospitals. Four of West Virginia’s hospitals were among the top 100 largest private employers in the state in 2012. This includes the following hospitals:
- Charleston Area Medical Center, Inc. – #3
- St. Mary’s Medical Center – #10
- Wheeling Hospital, Inc. – #11
- Cabell Hunting Hospital, Inc. – #12
The BLS provides a detailed breakdown of 2013 West Virginia respiratory therapist salaries throughout the state. This is shown in the following table: