Respiratory Therapy Technicians
SOC: 29-2054.00


Provide respiratory care under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
10,700 employed

Projected (2024):
8,700 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT)
  • Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician (CRTT)
  • Life Support Technician
  • Medical Technician
  • Oxygen Equipment Technician
  • Oxygen Therapy Technician
  • Pulmonary Function Technician (PF Technician)
  • Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT)
  • Registered Respiratory Technician
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (Staff)
  • Respiratory Care Assistant (RCA)
  • Respiratory Care Technician
  • Respiratory Director
  • Respiratory Supervisor
  • Respiratory Support Technician
  • Respiratory Technician
  • Respiratory Therapist Assistant
  • Respiratory Therapy Assistant
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician (RTT)

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Use ventilators or various oxygen devices or aerosol and breathing treatments in the provision of respiratory therapy.
  • Work with patients in areas such as the emergency rooms, neonatal or pediatric intensive care, or surgical intensive care, treating conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, or pneumonia.
  • Read and evaluate physicians' orders and patients' chart information to determine patients' condition and treatment protocols.
  • Keep records of patients' therapy, completing all necessary forms.
  • Set equipment controls to regulate the flow of oxygen, gases, mists, or aerosols.
  • Provide respiratory care involving the application of well-defined therapeutic techniques under the supervision of a respiratory therapist and a physician.
  • Assess patients' response to treatments and modify treatments according to protocol if necessary.
  • Prepare or test devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, aerosol generators, or electrocardiogram (EKG) machines.
  • Monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.
  • Explain treatment procedures to patients.
  • Clean, sterilize, check, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment.
  • Perform diagnostic procedures to assess the severity of respiratory dysfunction in patients.
  • Follow and enforce safety rules applying to equipment.
  • Administer breathing or oxygen procedures, such as intermittent positive pressure breathing treatments, ultrasonic nebulizer treatments, or incentive spirometer treatments.
  • Recommend or review bedside procedures, x-rays, or laboratory tests.
  • Interview or examine patients to collect clinical data.
  • Teach patients how to use respiratory equipment at home.
  • Teach or oversee other workers who provide respiratory care services.
  • Collect and analyze arterial blood gas samples.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Adult oxygen masks
  • Aerosol masks
  • Apnea monitors
  • Arterial blood gas ABG machines
  • Bag-valve masks
  • Bedside pulmonary function testing PFT equipment
  • Bilevel positive airway pressure BiPAP ventilators
  • Blood drawing syringes
  • Blood gas analyzers
  • Calorimeters
  • Chest shell ventilators
  • Continuous positive airway pressure CPAP ventilators
  • Desktop computers
  • Echocardiogram machines
  • Electrocardiography EKG machines
  • Electroencephalography EEG equipment
  • Electronic compressor nebulizers
  • Endotracheal ET tubes
  • Endotracheal suction equipment
  • Handheld spirometers
  • Holter monitors
  • Intermittent positive pressure breathing IPPB apparatus
  • Laptop computers
  • Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical aerosol tents
  • Medical nasal cannulae
  • Nasal suctioning equipment
  • Oral nasal face masks
  • Oropharyngeal suction equipment
  • Oxygen concentrators
  • Oxygen flowmeters
  • Oxygen tents
  • Oxygen therapy equipment
  • Pediatric oxygen masks
  • Pneumogram equipment
  • Portable volume ventilators
  • Postural drainage percussors
  • Pulmonary function calculators
  • Respirators
  • Respiratory therapy air compressors
  • Sputum traps
  • Steam sterilizers
  • Stress treadmill machines
  • Therapeutic humidifiers
  • Venturi masks
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Omnicare Cypress Therapy Management
  • Patient electronic medical record EMR software
  • Ventilator operation software

  • healthcare practitioners and technical

    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800