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Respiratory Therapists

Also called: Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT), Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP), Respiratory Therapist (RT)

What they do:
Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.
On the job, you would:
  • Provide emergency care, such as artificial respiration, external cardiac massage, or assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Monitor patient's physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
  • Set up and operate devices such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.


  • customer service
  • medicine and dentistry
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design


Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
  • looking for ways to help people
  • understanding people's reactions


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • notice when problems happen
Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • put together small parts with your fingers
  • pay attention to something without being distracted


People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Self Control


You might use software like this on the job:

Medical software
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • HMS software
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
Electronic mail software
  • Microsoft Outlook


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
associate's degree or
bachelor's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Average Outlook
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about respiratory therapists.