As a respiratory therapist, you might feel like your income is capped within a certain range. However, there are plenty of ways to earn some extra cash. It’s all about being thorough and creative.
How Much Do Respiratory Therapists Make?
When it comes to differences in base earnings, there are a few factors that affect salary. Location is one of them. For example, RTs working in Texas, California, and Florida earn a much higher salary than those in other states. States like West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Iowa, and Mississippi report lower than average salaries.
Experience is another factor. Average salaries tend to increase once an RT has been in the industry for five years. There’s another bump around the 10-year mark. Predictably, those who are fresh out of school with no RT experience usually enter the industry making a baseline salary.
Practical Ways to Increase Your RT Income
While there are certainly parameters on a full-time RT salary, there are always options for increasing your income. Here are a few helpful thoughts:
1. Become the Best RT You Can Be
This might sound like the sort of over-simplistic advice that you’d hear from a commencement speaker at a graduation, but it’s true: Work on becoming the best possible RT you can be and you’ll be compensated accordingly.
Being the best doesn’t necessarily mean being the smartest. It means showing up on time, doing what you say you’re going to do, treating patients kindly, and being respecting superiors. It also means investing in yourself by taking online respiratory therapy CEUs and personal development courses.
2. Ask for a Raise
Why not ask for a raise? If you’ve been with the same employer for a couple of years and you’ve done a good job, now’s a great time to ask for a raise. Even if it’s just an extra $200 or $300 per month, every little bit counts. (And you’d be surprised how eager most employers are to keep their employees right now.)
3. Look Around for Higher-Paying Jobs
If your employer fails to give you a raise, you might consider looking around for higher-paying jobs. If you find one, great! You can either take the job and make a switch (which could re-energize you), or you can take that job offer and bring it to your current employer to use as leverage for getting a promotion.
4. Pick Up Extra Shifts
Are there extra shifts available? By picking up a few additional hours each month, you can gradually increase your income. And if you’re willing to work on holidays, you could make even more. This might not always be ideal, but it’s certainly one approach.
5. Add a Side Hustle
You aren’t going to make $150,000 or $200,000 as a respiratory therapist. That’s just the reality of the situation. However, there’s nothing preventing you from going out and launching a side hustle to increase your income. In fact, if you stumble upon the right side hustle, your combined earnings could definitely reach $150,000 or $200,000. It’s all about the right fit.
It all depends on your skillset, interests, and schedule, but here are some different options for side hustles:
- Freelance health writer. Do you have a knack for writing? Websites, blogs, and other publishing companies are always looking for talented writers who have a healthcare background. Once you get some experience, you could charge upwards of $100 per blog post. Write several per week and your income will soar.
- Driving for Uber. It sounds basic – and there’s only so much you can earn – but driving for Uber when you’re not on the clock can provide a small boost to your income. The best part is that you set your own hours and decide when you’ve had enough.
- Etsy or eBay store. If you want to let your inner entrepreneur shine, you could try creating your own Etsy or eBay store and selling items there.
These are just some simple examples. There are truly unlimited options. And if you hit the right one, you could eventually add thousands of dollars in additional monthly income.
Give Your Income a Boost
Whether it’s by getting a raise or finding some side hustle money to supplement your primary income, there are plenty of ways to earn more as a respiratory therapist. Use this article as a source for inspiration – and don’t be afraid to get creative!