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Virginia Respiratory Therapy Salaries

Health care is a profitable career field and that is true of those in respiratory therapy too. The health care industry is relatively stable as we all need health care, making this a smart career choice. Many factors can come into play when looking at salary ranges: experience, education, specialization, the size and type of the organization hiring. So what can you expect in terms of salary in Virginia as a respiratory therapist?

Basic Salary Range

Every job has a salary range with a low, a high and a median salary In Virginia, the range for a respiratory therapist runs from about $48,700 to an impressive high of $65,100. Even at the low end, that is an above average income. Even better is the median salary of $56,700 most Virginians can expect to make in this field.

The Low End

Starting out with a salary of $48,000, freshly out of school and before you have even seen your first patient as a licensed respiratory therapist, is no small thing. This salary range is typically given to those just getting started, probably working in a hospital environment. While the starting salary is great, the good news is it is just the starting point. It can only go up from here.

The Median

The vast majority of Virginia's respiratory therapists will make in the neighborhood of $56,000. These are people who have been working for a few years. They might have advanced degrees or specialized training. This group of people probably works in special facilities like nursing homes, long term acute care facilities or even as teachers. Some may have reached low to middle management status.

The High End

Those earning the salary of $65,000 have put in their time. They have advanced degrees, many years of service and are in positions of great responsibility. Often they work in specialized situation like neonatal care units or intensive care units. They are often middle to upper management.

Work Setting Influences

State and community run hospitals and clinics run on tight budgets. While practitioners may get to see more patients at these facilities, they may not make as much as their counterparts in privately run hospitals or industries. A successful physician's office may be able to afford paying a higher salary than one who is just starting out. Take the setting into account when evaluating a salary offer.

Economic Influences

The history of the salary range for any job in a given geographical location will come into play when setting salaries. If other career centers are paying $50,000 for respiratory therapists in a particular community, there is no need for one employer to offer substantially higher salaries. However, geographic history aside, the field of respiratory therapy is relatively insulated from fluctuations in the overall economy. Health care is always in demand and is expected to increase in coming years. As such, the field provides some job security and stability where salary is involved.

Improving Salaries

Take advantage of your requirements for continuing education. Improving your knowledge base and j9ob skills can open doors. Go back to school and specialize if you want to improve your salary potential. Another way to boost your salary may be to look into another work setting, ideally one that can afford to pay more than your current position. Higher education, experience and specialization are the keys to boosting your salary in Virginia.

All Salaries from BLS