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Top 10 alternate career paths for respiratory therapists That Will Change Your Life

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ative Careers for Respiratory Therapists in 2022

Respiratory therapists are medical professionals who treat patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. As the COVID-19 pandemic quickly brought to light, RTs are essential members of the healthcare team.

While a career in respiratory therapy can be gratifying and rewarding, it’s certainly not for everyone. But the good news is that respiratory therapists receive training and develop skills transferable to several other professions.

This article will explore some of the top alternative career options for respiratory therapists and healthcare professionals looking for a similar job in the medical field.

Alternative Careers for Respiratory Therapists

If you’re a respiratory therapist who is looking for a change, here are some alternative career options to consider:

  1. Nurse
  2. Radiologic Technologist
  3. Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
  4. Medical Lab Technologist (MLT)
  5. Polysomnographic Technologist
  6. Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist
  7. Personal trainer
  8. Athletic trainer
  9. Physician Assistant (PA)
  10. Clinical educator

Nurse

As a respiratory therapist, you’re already well-versed in caring for patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Therefore, you could become a registered nurse (RN) with some additional training and education.

This is actually more common than you might think.

I know several RTs who decided to make the switch. Of course, this requires going back to school and taking the NCLEX exam. But if you’re up for the challenge, it can be a great way to switch things up and advance your career.

I’ve met several RN-RRTs who are licensed and carry credentials for both professions. This offers more career options and stability and allows you to be a vital part of the care team in two different capacities.

Radiologic Technologist

Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers or radiology technicians, use diagnostic equipment to produce images of the body that physicians use to diagnose and treat diseases.

They specialize in imaging techniques such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and mammography.

While a radiologic technologist’s job duties differ from those of an RT, the two professions have a lot in common. Both require the use of sophisticated medical equipment, and both have a focus on patient care.

Physical Therapist Assistant

A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a physical therapist to provide rehabilitative services to patients.

PTAs help patients recover from injuries and illnesses, regain movement and function, and manage pain. They also provide education and support to patients and their families.

While PTAs are not directly responsible for treating patients with lung disorders, they are familiar with the respiratory system and the types of treatment used to improve cardiopulmonary function.

Therefore, the knowledge and skills you have as a respiratory therapist would likely transfer well to this profession. If you’re interested in becoming a PTA, you must complete an accredited physical therapy assistant program.

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Medical Lab Technologist

A medical lab technologist (MLT) is a healthcare professional who performs laboratory tests to help diagnose and treat diseases.

MLTs work in hospitals, clinics, and reference laboratories. They use various sophisticated equipment to perform their duties, including analyzing blood, tissues, and other body fluids.

Respiratory therapists often communicate with MLTs on the job, as they are involved in the analysis of blood and mucus samples. Therefore, RTs have a good understanding of the types of tests that MLTs perform and their results.

Polysomnographic Technologist

A polysomnographic technologist is a healthcare professional who specializes in sleep medicine. They use diagnostic equipment to evaluate patients with sleep disorders.

Polysomnographic technologists work in hospitals, sleep clinics, and research laboratories. They are trained in using specialized equipment, such as EEG machines and sleep monitors.

Polysomnography and respiratory therapy are very closely related, as both involve diagnosing and treating sleep disorders (e.g., sleep apnea). Respiratory therapists can even specialize and earn a credential in sleep medicine (RRT-SDS).

Therefore, if you’re interested in pursuing a career that exclusively works with sleep-disorder patients, this could be a seamless transition.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

A cardiac rehabilitation specialist is a healthcare professional who works with patients who have heart conditions. They help patients recover from heart attacks, heart surgery, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiac rehabilitation specialists work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They may also work in corporate wellness programs and fitness centers.

While a cardiac rehabilitation specialist’s job duties differ from those of an RT, the two professions have a lot in common. Both require extensive knowledge of the cardiovascular system, and both have a focus on patient education and lifestyle modification.

Personal Trainer

A personal trainer is a fitness professional who helps people reach their health and fitness goals. They design exercise programs, provide instruction and motivation, and monitor their clients’ progress.

Personal trainers work in gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs. They may also be self-employed or work for corporate wellness programs.

Breathing is an important component of physical activity, and respiratory therapists (obviously) have a lot of expertise in this area. RTs often work with patients with breathing disorders, so they know how to modify exercise programs to accommodate these conditions.

In addition, many personal trainers are certified in CPR and first aid. As a respiratory therapist, you likely have CPR certification, making you even more qualified for this profession.

Athletic Trainer

An athletic trainer is a licensed healthcare professional who specializes in the field of sports medicine. They work with athletes of all levels to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries.

Athletic trainers work in various settings, including schools, colleges, universities, and professional sports teams. They may also be self-employed or work in hospitals or clinics.

Athletic trainers and respiratory therapists also have a lot in common.

Both professions require knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, and both involve preventing, diagnosing, and treating injuries. In addition, both athletic trainers and respiratory therapists must be certified in CPR and first aid.

Athletic trainers typically have a bachelor’s degree in athletic training; therefore, this is something to consider if you’re interested in this profession.

Physician Assistant

A physician assistant (PA) is a healthcare professional who works with a physician to provide patient care. PAs are highly-trained to examine patients, diagnose illnesses, and prescribe medications.

They often work in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare facilities.

The education requirements for becoming a PA involve acquiring both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Most programs also require extensive clinical experience working in a healthcare setting.

This is an excellent option for respiratory therapists interested in advancing their career and scope of practice, especially those who don’t want to go through the rigors of medical school. It also provides an opportunity to earn a much higher salary.

Clinical Educator

A clinical educator is a healthcare professional who works with students and staff in a healthcare setting. They provide instruction, support, and guidance to help students learn and be successful in their careers.

Clinical educators work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They are often directly employed by universities and respiratory therapy programs.

Becoming a clinical educator is a great way for respiratory therapists to leverage their knowledge and skills to train and educate future RTs.

So, if you need a break from direct patient care but still want to work in the field of respiratory care, this could be the perfect career path for you.

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Final Thoughts

Respiratory therapists provide diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients with breathing problems, such as asthma, COPD, and lung cancer. They also play an essential role in the management of critical care patients.

Although a career in respiratory care can be enriching, as previously mentioned, it’s not for everyone.

If you’re a respiratory therapist considering a change, the good news is that several alternative career options are available to you.

The options listed above are just a few of the many possibilities.

So, if you’re ready for a change, be sure to research and explore all of the different (but similar) career paths that are available. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Extra Information About alternate career paths for respiratory therapists That You May Find Interested

If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.

10 Alternative Careers for Respiratory Therapists in 2022

10 Alternative Careers for Respiratory Therapists in 2022

  • Author: respiratorytherapyzone.com

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  • Sumary: Being a respiratory therapist is rewarding, but it’s not for everyone. This article explores similar jobs and alternative career options.

  • Matching Result: Alternative Careers for Respiratory Therapists · Nurse · Radiologic Technologist · Physical Therapist Assistant · Medical Lab Technologist.

  • Intro: 10 Alternative Careers for Respiratory Therapists in 2022Respiratory therapists are medical professionals who treat patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. As the COVID-19 pandemic quickly brought to light, RTs are essential members of the healthcare team. While a career in respiratory therapy can be gratifying and rewarding, it’s certainly not for everyone….
  • Source: https://www.respiratorytherapyzone.com/alternative-careers/

The Different Career Paths of a Respiratory Therapist

The Different Career Paths of a Respiratory Therapist

  • Author: concorde.edu

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  • Sumary: More than 20 years ago, Gretchen Keys watched the pilot episode of what would turn out to be a favorite TV show – ER. Only, what Keys noticed actually made her angry at first.

  • Matching Result: RTs also can work in more laid back atmospheres, such as skilled nursing facilities or rehabilitation centers, Keys said. Or, for the RT who …

  • Intro: The Different Career Paths of a Respiratory TherapistMore than 20 years ago, Gretchen Keys watched the pilot episode of what would turn out to be a favorite TV show – ER. Only, what Keys noticed actually made her angry at first.”While I was a fan of the show, it was…
  • Source: https://www.concorde.edu/blog/different-career-paths-respiratory-therapist

What Can You Do with a Respiratory Therapy Degree?

What Can You Do with a Respiratory Therapy Degree?

  • Author: goodwin.edu

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  • Sumary: With a respiratory therapy degree, you can work in a variety of environments, pursue specialized credentials, and explore alternative careers. Learn more.

  • Matching Result: Alternative Careers for Respiratory Therapists · 1. Polysomnographic Technologist · 2. Pulmonary Function Technologist · 3. Respiratory Care Sales.

  • Intro: What Can You Do With a Respiratory Therapy Degree? + Alternative Careers for Respiratory Therapists Respiratory therapy is dedicated to saving lives and improving people’s quality of life. Each day, respiratory therapists help patients who have trouble breathing—from infants in the neonatal unit to older adults with lung disease. As…
  • Source: https://www.goodwin.edu/enews/what-can-you-do-respiratory-therapy-degree/

Patient Care Career Alternatives: Respiratory Therapy

Patient Care Career Alternatives: Respiratory Therapy

  • Author: thepaplatform.com

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  • Sumary: Sponsored by Jacksonville University  One of the best parts of working in medicine is collaborating with other healthcare professionals to provide the best patient care possible! As future medical professionals, we often have the same end…

  • Matching Result: If you’ve been in the hospital for any reason, you’ve likely seen an RT at work without knowing it. Respiratory therapists perform a range of …

  • Intro: Patient Care Career Alternatives: Respiratory Therapy — The PA Platform Sponsored by Jacksonville University One of the best parts of working in medicine is collaborating with other healthcare professionals to provide the best patient care possible! As future medical professionals, we often have the same end goal – helping people. It…
  • Source: https://www.thepaplatform.com/blog-2/patient-care-career-alternatives-respiratory-therapy

Career Options for Respiratory Therapists | Cleveland Clinic

Career Options for Respiratory Therapists | Cleveland Clinic

  • Author: my.clevelandclinic.org

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  • Sumary: Learn more about some of the career options for a Respiratory Therapist. Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Health Education Sciences can help you achieve your career goals.

  • Matching Result: Respiratory Therapist ; Giving medication and aerosol therapy; Pulmonary function tests; Oxygen therapy; Blood gas determinations; Airway management; Mechanical …

  • Intro: Career Options for Respiratory Therapists Respiratory Therapists (RTs), also known as Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP), are trained to aid physicians in the evaluation, diagnosis, and care of patients with cardiopulmonary problems. Such patients include those with emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, cardiac failure, and chest trauma. The focus is in the…
  • Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/health-sciences-education/careers/career-options/respiratory-therapist

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5 Career Opportunities in the Respiratory Therapy Field

5 Career Opportunities in the Respiratory Therapy Field

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  • Matching Result: Opportunities and Alternative Careers for Respiratory Therapists · 1. Registered Respiratory Therapist, RRT · 2. Adult Critical Care Specialty, …

  • Intro: 5 Career Opportunities in the Respiratory Therapy Field – Florida National University Students considering a degree in respiratory therapy might be interested in the various career paths available with this degree. The field is becoming more specialized, and demand is growing for those professionals who have earned the National Certification-Registered…
  • Source: https://www.fnu.edu/5-career-opportunities-respiratory-therapy-field/

The Advancement Possibilities for a Respiratory Therapist

The Advancement Possibilities for a Respiratory Therapist

  • Author: work.chron.com

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  • Sumary: The Advancement Possibilities for a Respiratory Therapist. Respiratory therapists test patients for breathing problems and, in consultation with physicians, develop treatment plans, using methods such as breathable medications and physiotherapy. The career requires at least an associate degree in respiratory therapy, …

  • Matching Result: Experienced respiratory therapists can also advance to supervisor, department head or even hospital administrator. For example, a therapist can become …

  • Intro: The Advancement Possibilities for a Respiratory Therapist According to the Mayo Clinic, respiratory therapists test patients for breathing problems and, in consultation with physicians, develop treatment plans, using methods such as breathable medications and physiotherapy. The career requires at least an associate degree in respiratory therapy, but many employers prefer…
  • Source: https://work.chron.com/advancement-possibilities-respiratory-therapist-27732.html

Frequently Asked Questions About alternate career paths for respiratory therapists

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic alternate career paths for respiratory therapists, then this section may help you solve it.

What other jobs are available for respiratory therapists?

Some Alternative Careers in Respiratory Therapy

  • Adult Critical Care Specialty (ACCS).
  • Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT).
  • Pulmonary Function Technician.
  • Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT).
  • Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist (NPS).
  • Registered Sleep Center Technologist (RST).

What source of revenue does RRT have?

As you can see, California offers the highest salaries for respiratory therapists, with higher salaries on average also available in New York, Hawaii, Nevada, and Massachusetts.

What kind of company can a respiratory therapist start?

The option exists for respiratory therapists with a focus on home care to start their own respiratory home care businesses where they can offer equipment and clinical services as well as respiratory diagnostic services and patient care.

How much money can a respiratory therapist make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), respiratory therapists made a median annual wage of 1,830 as of May 2021, which is about 6,000 more than the typical American worker.

Are respiratory therapists on par with nurses in importance?

Compared to RTs, RNs typically earn more money, have more specialization options, work in a wider variety of environments, and have more opportunities for clinical care advancement.

Which career earns more money: respiratory therapy or nursing?

The breakdown of average annual salary is as follows: Registered Nurses: $8,450; Respiratory Therapists: $8,670. Registered Nurses enjoy a higher average pay than respiratory therapists.

Is RRT more profitable than CRT?

The pay scale for RRT positions will frequently fall in the range of 3 to 7 per hour, providing a respectable wage increase for those who choose to advance their credentials. Traveling CRT salary offers can vary, but the majority pay around 5 to 2 per hour.

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The typical age of a respiratory therapist is what?

An employed respiratory therapist is 45 years old on average.

Which career path is more difficult, nursing or respiratory therapy?

Speaking with medical professionals who have completed both programs, the majority of them assert that nursing school was more difficult than the respiratory therapy program for them.

Do people respect respiratory therapists?

You will be viewed as a smart and necessary member of the healthcare team because, as you are aware, not everyone can do what you do. Being a respiratory therapist is a career that is well-respected both within the medical community and in society.

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