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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 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 300 $55,810
Mesa 300 $55,810
Phoenix 300 $55,810
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jonesboro 80 $39,090
Conway -2222 $45,520
Little Rock -2222 $45,520
North Little Rock -2222 $45,520
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 460 $57,340
Anaheim 460 $57,340
Long Beach 460 $57,340
San Diego 90 $71,180
Carlsbad 90 $71,180
Ontario 50 $63,660
San Bernardino 50 $63,660
Riverside 50 $63,660
Santa Clara -2222 $49,990
San Jose -2222 $49,990
Sunnyvale -2222 $49,990
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 60 $35,970
Aurora 60 $35,970
Denver 60 $35,970
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Deltona 50 $42,090
Ormond Beach 50 $42,090
Daytona Beach 50 $42,090
Kissimmee 40 $56,800
Sanford 40 $56,800
Orlando 40 $56,800
Fort Lauderdale -2222 $47,770
Miami -2222 $47,770
West Palm Beach -2222 $47,770
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 230 $41,690
Sandy Springs 230 $41,690
Atlanta 230 $41,690
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu -2222 $52,310
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield -2222 $56,730
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 70 $36,910
Carmel 70 $36,910
Indianapolis 70 $36,910
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 260 $50,160
New Orleans 260 $50,160
Lafayette 50 $42,440
Baton Rouge 50 $48,930
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 320 $59,660
Columbia 320 $59,660
Baltimore 320 $59,660
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 40 $48,210
Biloxi 40 $48,210
Gulfport 40 $48,210
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 40 $47,390
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 30 $74,950
Henderson 30 $74,950
Las Vegas 30 $74,950
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 70 $42,560
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 50 $46,190
Carlisle 30 $50,610
Harrisburg 30 $50,610
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 360 $20,950
Carolina 360 $20,950
San Juan 360 $20,950
Mayag�ez 50 $18,070
Ponce -2222 $18,170
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 70 $35,450
Murfreesboro 70 $35,450
Davidson 70 $35,450
Nashville 70 $35,450
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 300 $52,230
Houston 300 $52,230
The Woodlands 300 $52,230
Arlington 280 $53,520
Fort Worth 280 $53,520
Dallas 280 $53,520
New Braunfels 160 $52,160
San Antonio 160 $52,160
Tyler -2222 $49,470
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 30 $48,160
Tacoma 30 $48,160
Seattle 30 $48,160
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 40 $43,870
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 30 $40,230
West Allis -2222 $28,970
Milwaukee -2222 $28,970
Waukesha -2222 $28,970

Most Popular Industries for :
Respiratory Therapy Technicians

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

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

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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Results:  10
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Programs
  • Degree - Respiratory Therapy
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
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  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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Temecula
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Programs
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Programs
  • Respiratory Care - Associates
  • Therapy Health Technician

About Brightwood College

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Salida
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Programs
  • Respiratory Therapy (AS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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San Diego
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Programs
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
  • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
  • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
  • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
  • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
Programs
  • Rehabilitation Sciences (Master of Science) - Online
  • Rehabilitation Sciences (Certificate) - Online
  • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
  • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
  • CAL U online programs complete an annual assessment of student learning to ensure outcomes are focused on your success in career entry, advancement or enhancement!
Programs
  • Relaxation Therapist
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Programs
  • Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
  • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
  • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
  • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
  • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
Programs
  • Massage Therapy
  • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
  • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
  • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
  • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 2 locations in Cathedral City and Twentynine Palms, California.
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Cathedral City
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Programs
  • Massage Therapy/Therapist
  • One of the largest massage therapy schools in the nation teaching since 1979.
  • First massage school in California to be nationally accredited.
  • Has a successful job placement record— 86% of graduates get placed into work in massage therapy.
  • Provides massage therapist education with multiple methods to ensure every student learns the material.
  • Offers lifetime career placement assistance and holds partnerships with a variety of employers.

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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