CRT & RRT Practice Test Review
Respiratory therapist, one of the allied health professions, is also of the youngest medical fields at just a little over 60 years old, is an increasingly popular career choice. Trained therapists are in demand and salaries are rising. This is largely due to the fact that the average age of Americans is getting higher. Every day over ten thousand people from the Baby Boomer generation reach retirement age, and this will continue for the next 12-15 years. Since the elderly are the biggest users of medical care, it's no surprise that this huge age wave is leading to more jobs and higher salaries for respiratory therapists.
Respiratory therapists must be certified in order to be employed in the profession. There are currently two levels of certification: Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT), and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), which is considered the "standard of excellence" in the field. The lower level certification is the CRT; possessing the CRT is one of the requirements before moving on to the RRT designation.
In order to be certified as a Certified Respiratory Therapist, a person must hold a college degree, at the associate's level or higher, in respiratory care. This generally requires at least two years of study (four for a bachelor's degree), although it's possible to shorten the time by taking extra courses, or going to school year-round, including summer sessions. In addition, the person must pass a rigorous examination to qualify for the CRT, and another, even more difficult exam in order to achieve RRT status. These tests must be passed within three years after graduating from respiratory care education programs.
Earnings for respiratory therapists are very good. The median wage for an RRT as of this writing is nearly $60,000 per year. Of course, some make less, and some make more than that. A CRT should expect to make somewhere between $45,000 and $50,000. Again, these are broad figures, but most CRT will earn something close to that range. Many jobs at both levels will offer opportunities for overtime, allowing a person to increase their income by a substantial amount. Given that the aging of America's population will lead to a huge increase in demand for health care services in the coming years, it's likely that salaries for respiratory therapists will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. In today's economic environment, earning the a CRT or RRT certification is an excellent investment in one's future.
NBRC - National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc.
Respiratory Therapist Test Self-Assessment Modules:
Last Updated: 09/30/2016