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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)

Sources:

  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

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Respiratory Therapy Technicians

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Respiratory Therapy Technicians jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mobile 60 $45,250
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 250 $54,660
Scottsdale 250 $54,660
Mesa 250 $54,660
Kingman N/A $50,680
Lake Havasu City N/A $50,680
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 90 $38,330
North Little Rock 90 $38,330
Little Rock 90 $38,330
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 330 $73,150
Long Beach 330 $73,150
Los Angeles 330 $73,150
San Diego 70 $70,570
Carlsbad 70 $70,570
San Bernardino 40 $66,100
Ontario 40 $66,100
Riverside 40 $66,100
Santa Clara N/A $53,980
San Jose N/A $53,980
Sunnyvale N/A $53,980
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 420 $44,110
West Palm Beach 420 $44,110
Miami 420 $44,110
Sanford 40 $55,660
Kissimmee 40 $55,660
Orlando 40 $55,660
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell N/A $33,350
Sandy Springs N/A $33,350
Atlanta N/A $33,350
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu N/A $50,350
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 70 $39,700
Carmel 70 $39,700
Indianapolis 70 $39,700
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 30 $36,070
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 50 $29,800
Lexington 50 $29,800
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 150 $46,670
New Orleans 150 $46,670
Lafayette 60 $42,380
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 300 $58,560
Columbia 300 $58,560
Baltimore 300 $58,560
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 40 $45,490
Biloxi 40 $45,490
Gulfport 40 $45,490
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 40 $75,700
Henderson 40 $75,700
Las Vegas 40 $75,700
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 50 $38,080
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 120 $42,140
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 70 $45,810
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 340 $19,720
Carolina 340 $19,720
San Juan 340 $19,720
Mayag´┐Żez 60 $18,260
Ponce N/A $17,550
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 60 $39,750
Murfreesboro 60 $39,750
Davidson 60 $39,750
Nashville 60 $39,750
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 280 $52,970
The Woodlands 280 $52,970
Houston 280 $52,970
Arlington 280 $53,960
Fort Worth 280 $53,960
Dallas 280 $53,960
New Braunfels 120 $46,490
San Antonio 120 $46,490
Tyler 60 $48,810
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 40 $42,970

Most Popular Industries for :
Respiratory Therapy Technicians

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median 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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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

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.

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