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

Southern Careers Institute

REACH HIGHER, GET HIRED

Take the step to get a new career today

SPARK SUCCESS WITH SCI

Southern Careers Institute has maintained a tradition of career training for over 50 years in Texas with campuses in Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Pharr, San Antonio & Online courses available to anyone, anywhere.

At SCI, we have made it our mission to provide our students with the training they need to be successful in a new career. We offer career training in Medical, Business, Skilled Trades, Cosmetology, & Technology programs. These certification-based programs are designed to make our graduates some of the most marketable job candidates.

We are Texas born, Texas proud.

YOU’LL BE SAYING “I GOT THE JOB
1,306 SCI students did in 2016*

WHO IS SCI?

SCI is a career-training school in Texas that motivates & educates you to get the job. Our mission is to ensure the long-term success of our students.

ACCREDITED
We are accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE) and approved by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

BADGES & CERTIFICATIONS
Earn skill badges to showcase the hard & soft skills earned during your training to show employers your proficiency & prepare you for your state and national certification exams.

CAREER SERVICES
This is the A-Team! Career Services will help you build your resume & learn to answer those hard interview questions. We work with local employers & connect students to jobs.

KNOW YOUR PASSIONS & FIND A PROGRAM*
Who said your job had to be boring…

ALLIED HEALTH
Medical Assistant
Medical Billing & Coding
Medical Office Specialist
Nurse Aide
Pharmacy Technician

BUSINESS
Administrative Assistant
Business Accounting

SKILLED TRADES
Automotive Technician
Cosmetology
CMVO (CDL Driver)
HVAC
Welding

TECHNOLOGY
Computer Support
Full-Stack JavaScript
Software Developer

ONLINE
Business Accounting
Medical Billing & Coding
Virtual Workshops

“The instructors here at SCI, they are here for YOU. They were more than just my instructor. They’re like the mother, the father that you probably never had. They were that for me. Thank you for making me a better me.”
HARVEY
GRADUATE, AUSTIN CAMPUS

What are you waiting for?
Join the ranks of tens of thousands of SCI graduates.
Success starts at SCI. Let’s get there together.

*Based on graduates from July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 who were placed in their field or a related field in accordance with reporting guidelines for the Council on Occupational Education.

Campus
  • Pharr
  • Austin
  • Corpus Christi
Programs
  • Medical Assistant

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
  • Jacksonville
  • Tampa
  • Port St. Lucie
  • Miami
  • Daytona Beach
Programs
  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
  • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting (Hybrid)

Arizona College

Arizona College prepares students to work in the “real world” of medicine. With the use of lecture and laboratory teaching, we provide our students with hands on experience. Arizona College also provides job placement services including interview techniques and preparing resumes.

Students at Arizona College can take advantage of many benefits. Arizona College students can get their resumes updated and receive job placement assistance at no charge. Whether looking for a part-time “survival” job while going through school, hoping for the right externship or looking for placement upon graduation, career development is available to help students through their search.

Campus
  • Mesa
  • Glendale
Programs
  • Medical Assistant

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
  • Fife
Programs
  • Certificate - Medical Assistant