Respiratory Therapy Technician Degree Programs and Schools

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Respiratory Therapy Technicians

Respiratory therapy technicians evaluate, monitor, treat and care for patients with breathing disorders, and provide specific respiratory procedures under the supervision of a doctor or health care professional. Based primarily on test results, a breathing treatment program could be created for a patient, for which a respiratory therapy technician may help by monitoring, overseeing and providing feedback during particular sessions.

Respiratory Therapy Technician

Respiratory Therapy Technician Schools

Students interested in respiratory therapy technician schools can look for programs at vo-tech schools, community colleges, and universities and learn how to provide technical care to patients with acute and chronic respiratory illnesses. An associate degree is typically necessary to gain entry-level skills while a bachelor's degree can help students to gain more advanced abilities. Respiratory therapy training programs are available at schools across the country, including:

  • St. Paul College: Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, this community and technical college in St. Paul, Minn., offers an associate of applied science degree in respiratory therapy and first-hand learning experiences from skilled professionals.
  • University of Cincinnati: This school, in Ohio, makes available a bachelor's of science degree in respiratory therapy that can be completed entirely online and with no need for student visits to campus at all. The program also can be completed in as little as 20 months.
  • Stevens-Henager College: With campus locations in Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho, the respiratory therapy program at this school leads to an associate degree. It can be completed in as little as 20 months, includes two clinical experiences and offers students the opportunity to go to school during the day, the evening or even online.
  • Gulf Coast State College: The program at this school, in Panama City, Fla., is aimed at helping students prepare to work toward their Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. Education leads to an associate degree, and includes five clinical experiences, four seminars in selected topics and five respiratory care labs.
  • Community College of Philadelphia: The respiratory therapy program at this community college, in Pennsylvania, includes classroom learning, lab experiences, and supervised training in a healthcare setting. It leads to an associate of applied science degree and prepares students to seek Certified Registered Therapist (CRTP) credentialing.

Whether you are working toward an associate or bachelor's degree in one of the respiratory therapy technician training programs, you should gain knowledge and skills in anatomy and physiology, mechanical ventilation, pulmonary, pharmacology and more. Completing a program that is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care also may be helpful to seeking licensure or certification.

Respiratory Therapy Courses

An associate degree is usually needed to enter the field, although some employers do prefer to hire individuals with a bachelor's degree, reports the BLS. Most programs include subject matters such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology
Other educational requirements for respiratory therapy technicians include: 
  • Courses in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Various types of diagnostic testing and equipment
  • Clinical experiences guided by a supervisor.

Certification and Licensing for Respiratory Therapy

Certification can be earned through the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). This organization offers two levels of certification:

  1. The Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT)
  2. The Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) -- This requires applicants to already be CRT certified. 
Completion of an academic program is necessary for certification in either one and students must also pass a testing exam.

Licensure is required for respiratory therapy technicians in all states except for Alaska, according to the BLS. Typically, a professional certification exam is necessary to get a license, although applicants may need to take a state exam as an alternative. A state board of health will have more information about the requirements for state licensure.

Resources for Respiratory Therapy Technicians

  • American Association for Respiratory Care
  • Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs
  • National Board for Respiratory Care
  • International Association of Respiratory Therapists (IART)


  1. About Us. International Association of Respiratory Therapists, no date. http://iaresp.com/aboutus.php
  2. Respiratory Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/respiratory-therapists.htm#tab-6
  3. Respiratory Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292054.htm
  4. Respiratory Therapy Technicians, CareerOneStop, 2015. http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=000110111&soccode=292054
  5. Projections Central, Long-Term Occupational Projections, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  6. Respiratory Therapy, St. Paul College. http://www.saintpaul.edu/programs/healthscience/Pages/Respiratory-Therapist.aspx
  7. Online Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy, University of Cincinnati. http://respiratorytherapy.uc.edu/lpppc-rt/?Access_Code=UC-BSHSRC-GOOGLEMOBILE&kwd=respiratory%20therapist%20degree%20programs&gclid=CIHmlsb4scoCFVJhfgodApsP9w
  8. Associate of Applied Science Respiratory Therapy. Stevens-Henager College. http://www.stevenshenager.edu/respiratory-therapy-as-aas
  9. Respiratory Therapy, Gulf Coast State College. https://www.gulfcoast.edu/health_sciences/respiratory/aas_degree_plan.htm
  10. Respiratory Care Technology, Community College of Philadelphia. http://www.ccp.edu/academic-offerings/all-offerings/health-care/degree-programs/respiratory-care-technology

The Top Cities tab shows employment statistics for Respiratory Therapy Technicians by major metro area.

The Top Industries tab shows which industries have the most jobs for Respiratory Therapy Technicians, along with salary data by industry.

The Browse Schools tab lets you search for schools by field of study, degree level, and location.

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Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Respiratory Therapy Technicians

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Respiratory Therapy Technicians relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Metro Area Jobs Salary


Mobile 60 $45250 4.85


Phoenix 250 $54660 1.83
Mesa 250 $54660 1.83
Scottsdale 250 $54660 1.83
Lake Havasu City 0 $50680 0
Kingman 0 $50680 0


Little Rock 90 $38330 3.73
North Little Rock 90 $38330 3.73
Conway 90 $38330 3.73


Riverside 40 $66100 0.39
San Bernardino 40 $66100 0.39
Ontario 40 $66100 0.39
San Diego 70 $70570 0.68
Carlsbad 70 $70570 0.68
Los Angeles 330 $73150 0.81
Long Beach 330 $73150 0.81
Anaheim 330 $73150 0.81
San Jose 0 $53980 0
Sunnyvale 0 $53980 0
Santa Clara 0 $53980 0


Orlando 40 $55660 0.47
Kissimmee 40 $55660 0.47
Sanford 40 $55660 0.47
Miami 420 $44110 2.38
Fort Lauderdale 420 $44110 2.38
West Palm Beach 420 $44110 2.38


Atlanta 0 $33350 0
Sandy Springs 0 $33350 0
Roswell 0 $33350 0


Urban Honolulu 0 $50350 0


Indianapolis 70 $39700 0.95
Carmel 70 $39700 0.95
Anderson 70 $39700 0.95


Wichita 30 $36070 1.51


Lexington 50 $29800 2.38
Fayette 50 $29800 2.38


Lafayette 60 $42380 4.12
New Orleans 150 $46670 3.68
Metairie 150 $46670 3.68


Baltimore 300 $58560 3.19
Columbia 300 $58560 3.19
Towson 300 $58560 3.19


Gulfport 40 $45490 3.92
Biloxi 40 $45490 3.92
Pascagoula 40 $45490 3.92


Las Vegas 40 $75700 0.58
Henderson 40 $75700 0.58
Paradise 40 $75700 0.58


Columbus 50 $38080 0.65


Oklahoma City 120 $42140 2.62


Pittsburgh 70 $45810 0.81

Puerto Rico

Ponce 0 $17550 0
Mayag´┐Żez 60 $18260 27.11
San Juan 340 $19720 6.89
Carolina 340 $19720 6.89
Caguas 340 $19720 6.89


Nashville 60 $39750 0.92
Davidson 60 $39750 0.92
Murfreesboro 60 $39750 0.92
Franklin 60 $39750 0.92


Houston 280 $52970 1.3
The Woodlands 280 $52970 1.3
Sugar Land 280 $52970 1.3
Dallas 280 $53960 1.18
Fort Worth 280 $53960 1.18
Arlington 280 $53960 1.18
San Antonio 120 $46490 1.78
New Braunfels 120 $46490 1.78
Tyler 60 $48810 8.46

West Virginia

Morgantown 40 $42970 8.81
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Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Respiratory Therapy Technicians

We currently do not have any stories for this career in our database.

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Most Popular Industries (as of 2008) for:
Respiratory Therapy Technicians

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry Jobs Percent Salary
Hospital 14,270 88% $42,700
Medical Office 950 5% $37,730
Office Services And Staffing 250 1% $55,790
Rental And Lease 240 1% $29,930
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quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

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Platt College
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Schools by State

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Respiratory Therapy Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.