Your Question: Is respiratory therapy a good career?
My answer: Technically speaking, yes it's a good career, and it's been good to me. I think if you are in a position in life where you need a job as I was when I went to RT school, and you enjoy working with people as I do, and you enjoy a challenge, this is a good field.
However, while I see this profession as better than working in a factory, or flipping burgers, or stocking shelves at a Walmart, it is still considered a bottom feeder job in the hospital. I think if you are a person starting a family and you need a job with benefits, then this profession might be great for you for all eternity.
If you are a senior in high school thinking about going to respiratory therapy school, I would say "Go for it!" However, I would recommend that you not stop there. This profession will fill you mind with knowledge about respiratory therapy and healthcare in general that you will never receive by any other profession. So it's an ideal stepping stone job.
In the past I have had three coworkers who have used the RT profession as a stepping stone to better jobs. The first used it to become a hospital administrator, the second used it to become a nurse anesthetist, and the third is currently working on becoming a physician's assistant. Al three of these careers are well respected jobs that pay well.
For more information check out our RT Basics page.