Summary Report for:
29-2054.00 - Respiratory Therapy Technicians
Provide respiratory care under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
Sample of reported job titles: Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician (CRTT), Pulmonary Function Technician (PF Technician), Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT), Respiratory Care Assistant (RCA), Respiratory Director, Respiratory Supervisor, Respiratory Technician, Respiratory Therapy Assistant, Respiratory Therapy Technician (RTT)
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Work with patients in areas such as the emergency rooms, neonatal or pediatric intensive care, or surgical intensive care, treating conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, or pneumonia.
- Monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.
- Keep records of patients' therapy, completing all necessary forms.
- Use ventilators or various oxygen devices or aerosol and breathing treatments in the provision of respiratory therapy.
- Follow and enforce safety rules applying to equipment.
- Set equipment controls to regulate the flow of oxygen, gases, mists, or aerosols.
- Collect and analyze arterial blood gas samples.
- Read and evaluate physicians' orders and patients' chart information to determine patients' condition and treatment protocols.
- Assess patients' response to treatments and modify treatments according to protocol if necessary.
- Prepare or test devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, aerosol generators, or electrocardiogram (EKG) machines.
- Administer breathing or oxygen procedures, such as intermittent positive pressure breathing treatments, ultrasonic nebulizer treatments, or incentive spirometer treatments.
- Explain treatment procedures to patients.
- Interview or examine patients to collect clinical data.
- Provide respiratory care involving the application of well-defined therapeutic techniques under the supervision of a respiratory therapist and a physician.
- Perform diagnostic procedures to assess the severity of respiratory dysfunction in patients.
- Clean, sterilize, check, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment.
- Teach patients how to use respiratory equipment at home.
- Recommend or review bedside procedures, x-rays, or laboratory tests.
- Teach or oversee other workers who provide respiratory care services.
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Medical software — Omnicare Cypress Therapy Management; Patient electronic medical record EMR software; Ventilator operation software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Adult or pediatric intensive care ventilators — Portable volume ventilators
- Apnea monitors or accessories — Apnea monitors
- Bedside pulmonary function screeners — Bedside pulmonary function testing PFT equipment
- Blood collection syringes — Blood drawing syringes
- Blood gas analyzers — Arterial blood gas ABG machines
- Breathing circuit bags — Bag-valve masks
- Cardiac ultrasound or doppler or echo units or cardioscopes — Echocardiogram machines
- Chest cuirass products — Chest shell ventilators
- Chest percussors — Postural drainage percussors
- Desktop computers
- Electrocardiography EKG units — Electrocardiography EKG machines
- Electroencephalograph EEG or accessories — Electroencephalography EEG equipment
- Endotracheal tubes — Endotracheal ET tubes
- Flow sensors or regulators or components — Oxygen flowmeters
- Intermittent positive pressure breathing IPPB machines — Intermittent positive pressure breathing IPPB apparatus
- Long term continuous electrocardiography EKG or holter monitoring systems — Holter monitors
- Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory — Mechanical stethoscopes
- Medical aerosol tents — Oxygen tents
- Medical nasal cannulae
- Medical oxygen masks or parts — Adult oxygen masks; Oral nasal face masks; Pediatric oxygen masks; Venturi masks
- Medical suction or vacuum appliances — Endotracheal suction equipment; Nasal suctioning equipment; Oropharyngeal suction equipment
- Nebulizer or accessories — Aerosol masks; Electronic compressor nebulizers
- Non invasive bi level machines — Bilevel positive airway pressure BiPAP ventilators
- Non invasive continuous positive air pressure machines — Continuous positive airway pressure CPAP ventilators
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Oxygen concentrators
- Oxygen therapy delivery system products accessories or its supplies — Oxygen therapy equipment
- Pulmonary function calculators
- Respiratory humidifiers or vaporizers — Therapeutic humidifiers
- Respiratory therapy compressors — Respiratory therapy air compressors
- Sleep study monitors or accessories — Pneumogram equipment
- Spirometers or its accessories or its supplies — Handheld spirometers
- Sputum collection apparatus or containers — Sputum traps
- Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Steam sterilizers
- Treadmills — Stress treadmill machines
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Detailed Work Activities
- Treat chronic diseases or disorders.
- Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
- Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
- Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
- Follow protocols or regulations for healthcare activities.
- Verify that medical activities or operations meet standards.
- Adjust settings or positions of medical equipment.
- Analyze laboratory specimens to detect abnormalities or other problems.
- Collect biological specimens from patients.
- Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
- Evaluate patient outcomes to determine effectiveness of treatments.
- Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
- Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
- Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
- Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
- Test patient heart or lung functioning.
- Clean medical equipment or facilities.
- Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
- Sterilize medical equipment or instruments.
- Instruct patients in the use of assistive equipment.
- Prescribe treatments or therapies.
- Supervise patient care personnel.
- Train medical providers.
- Contact With Others — 100% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 95% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 90% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 85% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 79% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 78% responded “Very important results.”
- Consequence of Error — 80% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions
- Telephone — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “Some freedom.”
- Deal With External Customers — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 38% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 63% responded “More than half the time.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 25% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 33% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Radiation — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 28% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 36% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Interest code: SRI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Medical Dosimetrists, Medical Records Specialists, and Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other.
|Median wages (2019)||$20.50 hourly, $42,630 annual|
|Employment (2018)||9,300 employees|
|Projected growth (2018-2028)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2018-2028)|
|Top industries (2018)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
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