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15 Hottest Healthcare Fields of 2009

Georgia Price / AllHealthcare

Respiratory Therapists

As the population ages, the demand for respiratory therapists will increase. Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat, and care for patients with cadiopulmonary disorders. Therapists consult with physicians to determine the best course of action for a patient. They also may care of a patient on life support or other ICU patients.

Relevant Statistics

  • Projected Need: 38,000

    Projected Growth: 18-26%

    Median Wage: $24/hr

An associate degree is required for entry-level jobs, but a bachelor’s degree is needed to advance. A license is required in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. A master’s degree can help a respiratory therapist advance to taking care of critically ill patients will heart or kidney problems, or holding an administrative position.

Job opportunities should be very good, and employment is predicted to grow faster than average. Roles of respiratory therapists are expected to expand along with an increased demand for respiratory care.

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