5 ways Respiratory Therapists can make more money in 2016

Respiratory therapy salary

Let’s face it, most people are looking for additional ways to fill their pockets.  A lot of us have tried to boost our salaries by simply working more hours.  This may help you in the near term, but what about the long-term?  Checkout these 5 things you can do to fill your pockets in 2016!

1.  Grab some certifications – Sure this may cost some money initially, however, the payoff can be rewarding for years to come in the future.  Some hospitals have clinical ladders in which they pay you more for the certifications you get.  Some of the certifications most often compensated for by employers include: ACLS, PALS, NRP, NPS, AE-C, CPFT, RPFT.

2.  Start working towards your B.S. degree – The bottom line here is education opens doors.  When opportunity presents itself  in the future, you need to be ready to seize it.  Having a bachelor’s degree is a hotly debated topic in the Respiratory community.  People often disagree on the type of degree an RRT should pursue.  However, most agree that it will open doors for you.  Check out some of these totally online degrees.

3.  Consider a specialty – A recent salary survey revealed neonatal/pediatric RRT’s are the top paid (non-managerial) Respiratory Therapists.

4.  Be a leader – Leadership also pays well! The first step to climbing the management ladder usually begins by gaining experience as a lead or charge therapist.  This is the proving ground for future leaders as you will often take an assignment as well as be responsible for running the daily activities of the department.

Check out these median annual pay rates according to Salary.com:

  • RRT’s                      $61, 414
  • RT Supervisors    $71, 929
  • RT Directors         $95,553 (not including their cherished bonuses)

5.  Talk to your manager!!! – I don’t mean simply ask for a raise (unless you think that will work).  What I mean is formulate a plan for next year’s raise by letting them know you are interested in their ideas for how you can contribute more to the department.  This can sometimes be intimidating, however, letting your manager know you are interested in contributing more to the department will only raise their regard for you.  The more they rely on you, the more they will want to keep you happy.

A lot of therapists just don’t get the reality that when annual reviews come around, your managers may have no idea how awesome you are!  Managers simply don’t recognize us for our great bedside skills and efforts because they never see what we do.  By talking to your manager and letting them decide how you can contribute more to the department, they will know exactly how awesome you are when it’s time for your review.  Having been a mid-level manager myself, I can tell you that achieving a goal your manager and you have decided on together, will get you more money when it’s time for your review.  Things you can do to make your manager’s life easier (and be remembered for) could include:  updating the department’s policies and procedures; organizing the arterial blood gas lab for its CAP inspection; helping prepare for a JCAHO inspection; or coordinating Respiratory Care week.

You can do this!  The impact on your wallet may seem small at first, but when you look at the cumulative impact of these actions over the long-term, they made lead to tens of thousands of more dollars in your pocket!  The important thing is to just take the first step.  Check out an online college, talk to your boss, look into leadership opportunities or obtaining a specialty certification.  Start somewhere, and stop making average pay.  Now go ahead and take the first step!

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Respiratory Therapist

1 Comment

  1. Great post! Some of these are very simple that all RT’s could do, but most won’t, lol. I would like to get more certifications; I just wish the hospital I worked at compensated us for extra credentials.

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