Respiratory Therapist Degree Programs

Respiratory therapists usually hold either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree from an accredited respiratory therapist school. Associate’s degree programs provide the minimum education needed to become a licensed respiratory therapist, and those with bachelor’s degrees may advance higher or earn a higher salary.

What type of respiratory therapist degree you choose to pursue should depend on your career goals, including where you intend to practice, the costs of the different types of program, and any certifications you plan to pursue after graduating. Browse the available respiratory therapy degree programs below to see which is the best fit for you.

Respiratory Therapist Degree Programs Enrolling Now

Associate’s Degree Programs

Brightwood Career Institute

At Brightwood Career Institute, we offer accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience focused on helping you gain skills for your chosen career.

We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood Career Institute focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.

Within the classroom, it is our mission to not only provide vocational training, but to help you develop the professional skills, values, attitudes and strategies that will enhance your potential for success on campus, in your career and through life.

The success of our students is our greatest success. Because when our students succeed, we’ve completed the job we set out to do: empower the courageous, and enable real and relevant change.

  • Franklin Mills
  • Respiratory Care - Associates

Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Unfortunately there are no Respiratory Therapist schools currently enrolling in this area. Please check again later, or click here to broaden your search.


Types of Respiratory Therapist Degree Program

In order to begin working, you must earn at least an Associate’s degree in  respiratory therapy. Although there are some diploma and certificate programs available, this option is quickly fading away leaving the Associate’s program the prevailing favorite. Many people also choose to seek a bachelor’s or master’s respiratory therapist degree. This can take twice as long to earn but it may open up the possibilities of more advanced career paths.

An Associate’s respiratory therapist degree program can take approximately two years and includes courses like:

  • Microbiology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Pharmacology

Your respiratory therapist degree program will also educate you about specific areas of the job, including:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Clinical practice procedures
  • Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Medical record-keeping and reimbursement
  • Medical equipment usage
  • Respiratory health promotion

After Earning a Respiratory Therapist Degree

After completing the respiratory therapist registration process, you must become licensed in order to begin working. Currently, a license is required to practice respiratory therapy in all states except Alaska. The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) determines the licensing procedures for respiratory therapists. They award this license—called the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential—based on two factors:

  • Your graduation from an entry-level (associate’s) or an advanced (bachelor’s or master’s) respiratory therapist degree program. Your training program must be accredited by either the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Your successful completion of a comprehensive licensing exam.

In addition to becoming licensed, you may also seek respiratory therapist certification. While becoming certified is not required to begin working, it may help you find more job opportunities.

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