If you’re asking the question, is respiratory therapy a good career for you? We are here to answer. Being a registered respiratory therapist is a challenging but ultimately rewarding career. Of course, this hard work requires a certain amount of skill and dedication to the profession. Do you want to know if you have what it takes?

A yellow stethoscope wrapped around a paper heart.

Pros of Being a Registered Respiratory Therapist 

Job Security and Respect

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a demand for respiratory therapists now more than ever before. If you are to become a respiratory therapist, you are expected to find a position that can help you start a respiratory therapist career path. And not only do RTTs have job security, but this is also a job that is well respected in the medical field, and among your peers, you will be considered an expert in your profession, one that will help contribute to the conversation of improving a patient’s life. 


While the hours might be hectic (we’ll talk about that later), the respiratory therapist job outlook is one that comes with flexible hours that can work around your schedule. For example, while you might have to work longer hours, this results in you having to work only 12 days a month, compared to a conventional 9-5 job where you will be working around 20 days a month. 

Freedom to Work Anywhere

Becoming a traveling registered respiratory therapist is a great way to get autonomy and still have a fully formed career in the medical field. As a traveling respiratory therapist, you would be traveling across the United States and being a vital part of medical facilities while treating a wide variety of patients. 

Cons of Being a Registered Respiratory Therapist 

The Intensity of the Healthcare Field 

While the medical world is exciting, this type of excitement is subject to interpretation, depending on who you are. Working in a healthcare setting means that you hold a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, and every day will be filled with the unexpected. For some, this is a great opportunity to see every day as a new opportunity to challenge yourself and make a difference, but if you are somebody who loves routine, and thrives in low-intensity environments, take a moment to weigh out your options. 

Long Hours 

The flexible hours of a respiratory therapist’s career path can be a double-edged sword for some. While you might be working fewer days in a month, you will be working longer days to make up for this fact. Like many other medical professionals, expect to work long hours, anywhere from eight to thirteen hours per day. 

Certification Required 

Knowing if a respiratory therapist is a good career for you starts here, knowing that after receiving a degree, you still need to qualify for certification and licensure. After graduating, you must take the Therapist Multiple-Choice Exam, which if you pass will allow you to be eligible for the Clinical Simulation Exam. Taking these tests is a crucial step in being a registered respiratory therapist. 

How to Become A Registered Respiratory Therapist 

It starts off with a college education that works for you. At St Augustine College, our Associate of Applied Science Degree in Respiratory Therapy is the step that will get you on your feet and moving on the respiratory therapy career path. This program can be completed in only six semesters, and graduates of this program are eligible to take the registry examination. With classes that are flexible and work around your schedule, learn more about St. Augustine’s AAS degree program in respiratory therapy today, and see how you can build your future for tomorrow.