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Western MA Fast Facts

  • Workers in Hampden County: 200
  • Entry Level Salary:$27/hour
  • Experienced Salary:$34/hour
  • Workers in Hampshire Franklin Counties: 130
  • Entry Level Salary:$28/hour
  • Experienced Salary:$37/hour
  • Education Needed: Associates’s Degree
  • Learn more at

Occupational Employment and Wages Statistics, May 2016, EOLWD

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat, and provide ongoing care for patients with these types of breathing or cardiopulmonary (lung and heart) disorders.

People are living longer and more active with chronic disease, which is increasing the demand for respiratory therapists. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) disorders like asthmabronchitis, and emphysema are also on the rise, and are now the 4th leading cause of death among adults.

Respiratory therapists

  • Help people live healthier and longer lives by treating conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema
  • Work with a care team under the supervision of a physician
  • Develop and implement care plans based on assessments, diagnostic evaluations and critical thinking

Employment opportunities can be found in

Education and training requirements

Respiratory therapists must hold a two-year associate’s degree or a bachelor of science degree. Many respiratory therapists take a voluntary certification exam to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT).

Respiratory therapists are also expected to have

  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • A high comfort level working with the elderly, as most growing job opportunities will be related to or include geriatric care

MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board

1441 Main Street, First Floor
Springfield, MA 01103

The MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program, auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities, Verizon Telephone Relay Service: TDD/TTY: 1-800-439-2370 Voice: 1-800-439-0183