Occupational Outlook (as of January 8, 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and other disorders that can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function. These factors will in turn lead to an increased demand for respiratory therapy services and treatments, mostly in hospitals and nursing homes. In addition, advances in preventing and detecting disease, improved medications, and more sophisticated treatments will increase the demand for respiratory therapists. Other conditions affecting the general population, such as smoking, air pollution, and respiratory emergencies, will continue to create demand for respiratory therapists.
All States, except Alaska and Hawaii, require respiratory therapists to be licensed.
You can find the full Bureau of Labor Statistics report HERE.