Top Respiratory Therapist Schools, Respiratory Therapy Degrees, Best Accredited Respiratory Therapist Colleges & Universities

Respiratory Therapist – Top Schools & Degree Programs

Respiratory therapists specialize in working with patients with breathing and cardiovascular disorders. Working closely with primary physicians, respiratory therapists are responsible for treating the respiratory system of a patient through therapy, prescription drugs, administration of oxygen, and other related procedures. In the course of a normal day, a respiratory therapist might see any number of patients, ranging from pre-mature infants with underdeveloped lungs to elderly patients with lung cancer or other pulmonary disorders such as emphysema. Respiratory therapists must also be prepared to deal with unforeseen emergencies like asthma attacks. The overarching goal of a respiratory therapist is to alleviate suffering and treat diseases attacking any aspect of respiratory system.

Duties

The traditional role of the respiratory therapist has been to diagnose, treat, and monitor any breathing related illness. Therapists will evaluate patients by measuring the breathing capacity of the lungs and testing the levels of oxygen in the bloodstream. Depending on the severity of the illness, respiratory therapists will use a variety of techniques to treat a lung-related disease. A common tool is the use of oxygen through either the ingestion of mixtures into the lungs or the use ventilators to facilitate breathing.

Respiratory therapists also practice a form of physical therapy on the lungs, usually after a patient has undergone surgery. This therapy includes draining mucus from the lungs to make breathing easier. Methods of removing mucus involve positioning patients and tapping on the rib cage to stimulate the lungs. This technique is also used on patients with diseases that cause bodily substances such as mucus to pool in the lungs.

Respiratory therapists are responsible for maintaining ventilators and other respiratory machines used in their profession. When a patient is first hooked up to such a machine, the therapist will ensure the settings are correct for that patient’s individual needs.

Currently, respiratory therapists are finding new roles in anti-smoking advocacy groups, lung rehabilitation, and sleep disorders such as apnea.

Education and Licensing

The most common credential earned by respiratory therapists is an Associate’s degree, although many programs also offer Bachelor’s degrees in the discipline. Students of respiratory therapy take classes in anatomy, physiology, patholoy, and chemistry. Mathematics is an important subject for respiratory therapists to understand as the profession requires a good deal of calculation of volume and concentration. Students also learn the specifics of respiratory therapy such as diagnostic methods, assessment, resuscitation, patient care, pulmonary rehabilitation, and disease prevention.

It is required in 48 states for all respiratory therapists to be licensed before beginning practice. Licensing is based on possession of a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential, which is overseen by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Most employers also ask that respiratory therapists maintain cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.

Employment Opportunities

The employment outlook for respiratory therapists is very good. As the health care industry grows in size so does the demand for qualified respiratory therapists. The number of available positions is expected to grow 21% over the next ten years due to the increase in the elderly population. Most therapists find employment in hospitals, though it is possible to work in private clinics or in home health care services as well. Respiratory therapists earn on average between $44,490 and $61,720 per year depending on experience and level of expertise.

Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.

Featured Respiratory Therapist Programs

Platt College

Find out where the future can take you with an outstanding college education. At Platt College, you’ll find the career-specific programs and training for the careers you really want. Come explore a variety of career paths that fit your lifestyle in a positive learning environment that combines real-world experience with small, private college instruction. Classes are conveniently scheduled during morning or evening hours to work around outside employment commitments. For working adults, Platt’s curriculum offers a way to continue earning a living while studying for a new career.

Campus
  • Los Angeles
  • Ontario
  • Riverside
  • Anaheim
Programs
  • Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy
  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting

Southern Careers Institute

Train for a Career the Texas Way

Southern Careers Institute has been an established Texas institution for more than 50 years, providing students with the professional skills necessary to start a career – and later advance – in their chosen field.

At SCI, we realize and embrace that each student is different. We do our best to understand every student’s needs and goals, and create individual plans of action for success. From the moment you first step foot on campus through graduation and beyond, we dedicate ourselves to helping you reach further than you ever thought possible.

Are you ready to move forward? Do you want more for yourself and your family?

Click here today, and let SCI help you unlock your true potential.

Choose from the following SCI certificate programs*:

  • Business Accounting Specialist
  • Business Administration Assistant
  • Cosmetology
  • HVAC Technician
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Pharmacy Technician

At SCI, our instructors and career services staff focus on preparing you for a career after graduation. Your goals become our goals – we don’t succeed until you do.

Need more reasons to choose Southern Careers Institute? At SCI, you’ll have access to:

  • Financial aid available for those who qualify
  • Interactive, hands-on training for the real world
  • Personalized attention from experienced instructors who know you by name and care about your success
  • Externship and on-the-job training opportunities
  • Career placement assistance
  • Programs approved for VA funding

Join a Texas tradition rooted in success. Click here today to become a member of the SCI family!

Campus
  • Brownsville
  • Pharr
Programs
  • Medical Assistant

Southern Technical College

Whether you need to upgrade your skills or change careers, Southern Technical College has the right program to fit your needs. Let us show you how to get the skills you need in a short amount of time so that you can get into a new career fast!

What makes Southern Technical College for you?

  • Convenient Locations
  • Financial Assistance For Those Who Qualify
  • Hands-On Training
  • Small Classes/Individualized Attention
  • Career Placement Assistance
  • Morning or Evening Classes Available

Why Choose Southern Technical College:

  • Industry Experienced Instructors
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Licensed by the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education

Financial Assistance and Availability

The financial aid team at Southern Technical College is committed to helping you find ways to finance your education. Our team is trained to help you overcome the financial obstacles that may be standing in the way of your education.

Southern Technical College participates in several of the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Financial Aid Programs, which are generally available to those who qualify. Visit www.studentaid.ed.gov for more information, learn more about the types of financial aid available, and consumer information, or contact your local campus to speak member of our financial aid team

Career Placement Assistance

Our career service advisors can help you with resume writing, interviewing skills, employer contacts, and the latest job search techniques. We have years of experience in helping graduates gain employment in great jobs with great companies, and we are ready to help you, too! We cannot guarantee your success, but STC has an excellent record of helping graduates find and keep jobs in their field of study. Success after graduation depends on many factors, and we are here to help you along the way!

Campus
  • Central Campus: Orlando
  • Central Campus: Sanford
Programs
  • Medical Assisting (diploma)

Keiser University

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.

At Keiser University, you will find a warm, friendly community with faculty and staff truly committed to your success. Our small class sizes, individualized attention, and one-class-at-a-time schedules create a positive learning environment where you can excel. Whether your goal is to prepare for a new career or to advance with your current employer, Keiser University is designed around your needs.

Keiser University Advantage

  • Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs
  • Day, Evening, and Online Classes
  • Financial Aid to Those Who Qualify
  • Job Placement Assistance Available
  • Military-friendly, scholarships for qualified active duty personnel, Veterans, and dependents. Yellow Ribbon program participant, approved for Veterans training Keiser University is a private, not-for-profit university.

Keiser University’s programs and curriculum remain in-line with technology and workforce trends, helping you develop the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in today’s job market. Our career-focused programs make it possible for you to graduate in less time than you may think.
Programs and delivery format vary by campus. Courses are subject to change.

Keiser University’s programs and curriculum remain in-line with technology and workforce trends, helping you develop the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in today’s job market. Our career-focused programs make it possible for you to graduate in less time than you may think.

Campus
  • Clearwater
  • Miami
Programs
  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting (Hybrid)

Charter College

Charter College is a private, independent institution of higher education that follows a new direction. Charter College is neither a liberal arts college, a university, nor a vocational school. Instead, Charter College borrows certain elements from each of those respected educational institutions to create a unique and innovative experience for our students.

We offer career training programs in the growing fields of health care, business, law, criminal justice, information technology, and select trade careers. We strive to provide our students with a career-focused education that is both relevant in today’s workspace and cutting-edge in technology and focus.

Campus
  • Anchorage
  • Missoula
  • Oxnard
  • East Wenatchee
  • Lacey
  • Vancouver
Programs
  • Certificate - Medical Assistant