How To Become A Respiratory Therapist At Ease

Before going into the main topic (How To Become A Respiratory Therapist). We would treat some background studies. We will also look into the following sub-headings: Respiratory therapist Degree, Respiratory Therapist Similar Professions, Respiratory Therapist Programs, Respiratory Therapist Salary. Now let’us get started.

A patient’s lungs and airways must be examined and treated by a respiratory therapist. We’ll mostly talk about what respiratory therapy is in this article, as well as how to become one. We’ll also go over the typical wage for respiratory therapists and the various educational courses you may take to get started in the field, such as earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy. Before treating How To Become A Respiratory Therapist, let’s define what Respiratory Therapy is.

Respiratory Therapy?

The technique of assessing people who have breathing problems is known as respiratory therapy. A respiratory therapist is in charge of conducting chest exams and formulating a therapy plan to manage conditions affecting the lungs. Respiratory therapists prioritize diagnosing lung conditions and breathing issues over managing breathing apparatus and monitoring blood oxygen levels.

The medical team must include respiratory therapists. They assist those who have breathing difficulties at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

These specialists assist people with breathing and airway issues of all ages, from newborn infants to elderly people receiving hospice care. These illnesses can include infectious diseases like COVID-19 or chronic lung diseases like asthma and emphysema.

They offer medical care, supplies, and support for patients alongside doctors and nurses. Additionally, respiratory therapists instruct patients on breathing strategies that can enhance their quality of life and how to modify their lifestyle to help manage their disease.

This article discusses the many forms of respiratory treatment and provides information on how to locate one.

How to Become a Respiratory Therapist

To become a respiratory therapist, follow to following steps:

Complete Your Degree in Respiratory Care

Professor Bill Galvin facilitates the practical training of respiratory care students.
Obtaining a degree in respiratory care is the first step in learning how to become a respiratory therapist. You want to think about effectively completing the curriculum necessary in a bachelor’s degree program in respiratory care to offer the best employment chances. Clinical respiratory care, procedures, pharmacology, pathophysiology, mechanical ventilation, and advanced respiratory theory are often covered in the bachelor’s degree program.

A competence evaluation that validates the acquisition of the abilities and traits necessary for success in the respiratory care industry is often needed by programs. In order to get expertise in this crucial medical profession, you will also need to complete clinical hours.

Most employment prospects will be available to you once you have completed your respiratory therapist education if you choose a university program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care. Following graduation, respiratory therapists are qualified to work in hospitals and other alternative care facilities as bedside clinicians, patient educators and advocates, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists, neonatal/pediatric/adult critical care specialists, and in management roles.

Keep in mind that continued expertise and high-quality care for individuals seeking treatment for respiratory problems in a medical setting are frequently ensured by continuing education requirements.

pass the credentialing tests

The next stage on your path to becoming a respiratory therapist is often to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist. The exam needed to obtain this certification is administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). This multiple-choice exam gauges your general knowledge and provides routes to certification at the entry-level and advanced levels:

You must first take the NBRC Therapist Multiple Choice Examination. If you pass with a score below the cutoff, you will receive the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) certificate, which is an entry-level credential.

You can take the Clinical Simulation Examination if you pass the Multiple Choice Exam with a score above the cutoff.

You will receive the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) certificate, which is the highest level credential of professional practice in this discipline, after passing the Clinical Simulation Examination.

The Registered Respiratory Therapist certificate is unquestionably necessary for higher-level work in the medical industry, even though all of the aforementioned qualifications can be used to show eligibility for licensure.

Apply for a State License and Get One

Except for Alaska, every state in the U.S. requires that practitioners of respiratory care hold a license. For licensing in these 49 states, students must have earned at least an associate’s degree. The majority of states demand background checks from applicants seeking licenses, and some additionally grant trainee licenses to students enrolled in recognized respiratory care programs.

Start looking for a job!

Although starting a job search for a position in respiratory therapy may seem difficult, we have some advice that will help you be more successful. Prior to attending any interviews, you should give top importance to developing your resume. In your resume, be sure to list any academic honors you have received, any clinical experience you have had, and any community service you have performed. Additionally, you want to practice interviews so that you are ready to respond to inquiries regarding your expertise in respiratory therapy or prior experience.

Respiratory therapist Degree

Students who are thinking about pursuing a degree in respiratory therapy should have a general interest in the medical field, with a focus on patient care and medical technology.

Patients with respiratory conditions including emphysema and asthma receive care from respiratory therapists. These therapists must be familiar with using various kinds of breathing apparatus, and they should feel at ease instructing patients on how to utilize it.

Programs in respiratory therapy include a strong emphasis on patient education, disease management, and healthcare research. The abilities needed to function in critical care and emergency situations are developed in students. Additionally, they learn about cardiopulmonary pathology and diagnosis.


Some students pursuing a respiratory therapy bachelor’s degree already hold an associate degree and have previous work experience. These students might choose an online bachelor’s program over an on-campus one because they are already familiar with the fundamentals of respiratory care. On-campus courses, however, give first-time students the individualized attention they require to get through the program.

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Prospective students should investigate program delivery options and think about which format best suits their schedule and personal learning preferences. Examine the student services provided by each prospective institution in addition to the curriculum format.

In addition to holding workshops and job fairs, career centers in schools select counselors to offer students career guidance. Students can find internships and career placements by using these resources. After graduating, students join the alumni network and have access to networking functions where they can meet other business people who can provide them with insightful advice or serve as personal mentors. These services from the university should be available to both on-campus and online students.

What Can I Do With a Respiratory Therapy Bachelor’s Degree?

After earning a degree in respiratory therapy, graduates work in a wide range of professions. Some graduates also pursue occupational or physical therapy because many of the concepts taught in respiratory therapy are also prevalent in these fields of therapy.. Clinical care and advanced competencies are the main focus areas of a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.

Students who graduate with this knowledge and skill set may advance to positions as medical managers in healthcare facilities. Cardiovascular technologists are potential careers for students with an interest in anatomy and medical technology. The following is a list of popular career paths for someone with a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.

Respiratory Therapist School

Online respiratory therapy programs prepare students for careers in the field. Anatomy, physiology, and chemistry are all covered in the course material. Aspiring respiratory therapists take classes in pharmacology, mechanical ventilation, and clinical respiratory care. There are certain programs that require a prior job or volunteer service in a hospital or vent center.

Graduates may work with physicians in clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, and sleep facilities. Some respiratory therapists work for home health organizations and diagnostic labs. These professionals can proceed to staff therapist or managerial positions with more education and experience.

This page lists the advantages and disadvantages of online education for respiratory therapist programs.

Respiratory Therapist Education

Respiratory therapists must complete 4-year bachelor’s degree programs or 2-year associate’s degree programs.

You have the option to take the certification exam to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist after graduation (CRT). You can choose to take two further exams to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist after passing this one (RRT).

Most respiratory therapy colleges provide a four-year or higher degree that is accredited. However, you can start off with associate’s degrees and certificate programs. Respiratory therapists must acquire a license in order to practice in all states, with the exception of Alaska.

Respiratory Therapist Similar Professions

There are several alternative career paths that respiratory therapists can take if they want to change their line of work. These professions all entail work in the medical and healthcare industries and call for transferrable abilities.

These include professions like:

1. A healthcare assistant

$38,108 is the average yearly wage in the country.

A medical assistant’s main responsibilities include assisting other medical professionals with their routine paperwork, report-writing, and other administration-related tasks. As part of their duties, professionals in this position frequently analyze patient samples, write and mail prescription refills, respond to patient inquiries, complete medical forms, and perform other administrative tasks. Hospitals, clinics, and private practices are just a few of the venues where medical assistants work in the health industry. They interact directly with patients, nurses, doctors, and physician assistants.

2. Care Specialist

$44,023 annually is the average pay in the country.

Primary responsibilities: To facilitate the patient paperwork process, a care specialist is a health care expert who handles, arranges, and manages patient documentation. This can assist in ensuring that patients have the best experience possible throughout the entire procedure. Additionally, care experts process invoices and payments, respond to patients’ unique concerns, maintain oral and written communication with them, and assist patients in resolving any problems they may have. Care specialists’ roles involve tight collaboration with patients, insurers, and other healthcare professionals.

 3. Respiratory care practitioner

$53,083 is the average yearly wage in the country.

Primary responsibilities: A respiratory care practitioner’s job is similar to that of a respiratory therapist in that both aid patients with breathing problems by assessing their symptoms. Additionally, they assist in creating plans for treatment management, deciding on preventive care strategies, and developing remedies to ease patients’ breathing problems. Practitioners of respiratory care typically see 12 patients or more at once and may work in a hospital, private practice, or in-home settings.

4. Clinical Liaison

National average yearly salary: $68,818

Primary responsibilities: A clinical liaison is a practitioner who helps patients when they are at a clinic, hospital, or other medical facility. The primary responsibility of professionals in this position is to facilitate all interactions between patients and providers throughout the patient’s journey through the healthcare system.

This includes assisting patients with questions, navigating health insurance complications, and directing them through the patient experience. Clinical liaisons maintain close relationships with patients, physicians, insurance experts, and other healthcare professionals.

5 Medical Assistant

$73,644 is the average yearly wage in the country.

Primary responsibilities: Under the supervision of a licensed physician, a physician assistant diagnoses and assists in treating patients. In this capacity, specialists meet with sick patients, go over their symptoms, diagnose them, if necessary, and provide them with advice and treatment alternatives. Although they can work in various healthcare settings, physician assistants primarily work in hospitals and private practices.

6. Nurse

National average yearly salary: $82,175

A nurse’s main responsibilities include assisting doctors with their patients by gathering vital information, such as symptoms. They assist with patient monitoring, treatment distribution, and other supportive tasks. Depending on the medical environment they operate in and their level of competence, nurses may also offer support to their patients and do a range of other tasks. Typically, nurses work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, residential care institutions, therapy facilities, and private practices.

Respiratory Therapist Programs

Make sure the program you chose is accredited to ensure that you can practice respiratory therapy once you graduate.

A least associate degree from a recognized respiratory therapy education program is required for respiratory therapists. Respiratory therapy schools are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Visit the CoARC website to have access to a current list of recognized respiratory therapist programs. There, you can look for programs by name, state, degree (such as an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or certificate in polysomnography), or category (RRT, satellite, degree advancement, polysomnography, etc).

These programs equip students with the clinical knowledge and abilities necessary to work effectively as respiratory therapists, even if they have no prior recognized expertise in respiratory care.

Looking to compare recognized programs? Compare programs based on their dropout rates, the success of their graduates in landing a job, and the success of their graduates in acquiring a professional certificate.

The agency in charge of accrediting respiratory therapy educational programs is called the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Each program’s accreditation status is updated often.

Respiratory Therapist Training

Each person has a different path to becoming a respiratory therapist. However, in order to find work, all respiratory therapists follow the procedures indicated below. For more information about how to become a respiratory therapist, continue reading.

Step 1

Obtain a degree

The first step toward a career in respiratory therapy in college. Prospective respiratory therapists must possess a least an associate’s degree in the field. A lot of students complete a bachelor’s degree in pulmonary science or respiratory therapy. The criteria for clinical experience in a program give students hands-on instruction and aid in their understanding of the moral and legal obligations associated with respiratory care and treatment.

Step 2

Pass the National Board for Respiratory Care’s Credentialing Exam.

Employers frequently favor new workers who possess National Board for Respiratory Care qualifications (NBRC). To become a certified respiratory therapist (CRT) or a registered respiratory therapist, respiratory therapists must pass multiple-choice exams (RRT). Graduates who have earned an associate degree must pass the CRT exam. Graduates take a clinical exam and, if they pass, receive the RRT certification. For further details on the tests, go to the NBRC website.

Step 3

Obtain a state license

Respiratory therapists must be licensed in most states in order to practice their profession. A respiratory therapy associate degree from an authorized college is required for licensing. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs must accredit the respiratory therapy program. Candidates may occasionally be exempt from the licensing education requirements if they have relevant work experience, a license from another state, or military service. To obtain a license, aspiring respiratory therapists must pass either the state licensure examinations or the NBRC certification examination.

Step 4

Keep Certification

There are three options for respiratory therapists to keep their NBRC certifications current. They can choose to first take a quarterly evaluation and finish 30 hours of continuing education. Workshops, seminars, or online courses on respiratory therapy or pulmonary function technology are acceptable forms of continuing education. The same credential exam can be retaken, second. The final option is for respiratory therapists to complete a fresh credential exam, which is then valid for an additional five years.

Respiratory Therapist Salary Texas

In Texas, a respiratory therapist makes an average salary of $68,806 a year. In case you need a quick pay estimator, that comes out to about $33.08 per hour. This amounts to $5,733 a month or $1,323 per week.

While earnings for respiratory therapists range from $45,813 (25th percentile) to $72,609 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $105,888 per year in Texas, only reports salaries as high as $136,576 and as low as $31,983.

As a result of the wide range in average compensation for respiratory therapists (up to $26,796), there may be numerous prospects for income increases and development based on experience, location, and skill level.

According to recent job posting activity on, there aren’t many employers hiring right now, making Texas’ job market for respiratory therapists not very active.

Texas has the 23rd-highest salary for respiratory therapists out of all 50 states.

As millions of current jobs are advertised locally across America, regularly checks its database to determine the most precise annual salary range for Respiratory Therapist positions.

Respiratory Therapist Requirements

Education and Training Requirements

High School

Take scientific and health classes in high schools, such as biology, chemistry, and physics, to get ready for a job in this profession. You’ll also benefit from taking statistics and math classes because a lot of this work requires working with numbers and performing calculations. Take computer science courses to learn how to use sophisticated tools and to become familiar with the software you can use to keep track of your work. Take English classes to enhance your communication abilities since some of your duties may involve working directly with patients to teach them remedies. Learning a second language could be beneficial as well.

Postsecondary Training

For admittance into this industry, formal training is required. Hospitals, medical institutions, colleges and universities, trade schools, vocational-technical institutes, and the military forces all provide training at the postsecondary level. You must have completed high school to be qualified for a respiratory therapy program. For a list of respiratory therapy educational programs that are accredited, go to Hospitals and other non-college settings also offer formal training in this area. Information on training opportunities can be found in the neighborhood hospitals.

Accredited respiratory therapy programs mix classroom instruction with clinical experience. Program length varies according to the degree granted. An associate’s degree program typically lasts two years to finish, an undergraduate program takes four years on average, and a certificate program typically lasts one year. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that certain entry-level programs will prepare you for becoming a certified respiratory therapist, whereas some advanced-level programs will prepare you for becoming a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) (CRT). Once certified, graduates with RRT training will be qualified for positions as respiratory therapists. On the other hand, graduates with CRT preparation are only qualified for positions as respiratory technicians following certification. Human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, and mathematics are the subject areas of study for both therapists and technicians. Courses on patient evaluation, respiratory care pharmacology, pulmonary disorders, and care methods are examples of technical studies.

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Other Training or Education

The American Association for Respiratory Care provides workshops, lectures, and webinars for continuing education. Previously offered subjects included “Respiratory Therapists of the Future,” “Pulmonary Rehabilitation,” “Asthma Self-Management,” “Dealing with Difficult People,” and “Ethical Decisions Encountered in Respiratory Therapy.”. For further details, get in touch with the organization.

Special requirements, licensing, and certification

Licensing or Certification

Graduates of programs accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs are eligible for the voluntary certifications of the certified respiratory therapist (CRT) and registered respiratory therapist (RRT) from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). To take the CRT exam, you must possess at least an associate’s degree. Anyone interested in certification must first pass the CRT exam. Those who are qualified can take the RRT exam after passing this exam. CRTs who satisfy the additional education and experience criteria may be eligible for the RRT credential. Certification is strongly encouraged because the majority of employers want this qualification. Employers of respiratory therapists, those in positions of responsibility, and those with a specialty in intensive care frequently want RRT certification (or RRT eligibility).

In addition, the NBRC offers certification tests in adult critical care, pulmonary function technology, neonatal/pediatric respiratory care, and sleep disorders.

All states, with the exception of Alaska, require a license in order to practice as a respiratory therapist. The majority of businesses also demand that therapists keep their cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification current. You should check with your state’s regulatory body for precise information because requirements differ by state. The NBRC website,, offers important contact details for state licensing organizations.

Knowledge, abilities, and character traits

Aspiring respiratory therapists will benefit from working as respiratory therapy assistants and taking part in internships while in college.

Working with individuals must be enjoyable for respiratory therapists. You will be working with people who may be in pain or who may be scared, so you must be sensitive to their physical and psychological needs. The work of respiratory professionals is very important. Respiratory therapists frequently have the lives and welfare of patients who are already in critical condition in their hands. You must pay close attention to detail, have the ability to follow directions and collaborate with others, and maintain composure under pressure. Much of the respiratory equipment requires manual dexterity and mechanical aptitude to operate.

Respiratory Therapist Salary

In the US, a registered respiratory therapist makes an average salary of $93,632 a year.

If you need a quick pay estimator, that comes out to be about $45.02 per hour. This amounts to $1,800 a week or $7,802 per month.

The majority of Registered Respiratory Therapist’s salaries currently range between $61,500 (25th percentile) and $114,500 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $166,500 annually across the United States, according to, which reports annual salaries as high as $185,000 and as low as $42,000.

The wide range of Registered Respiratory Therapists’ average salaries—up to $53,000—indicates that there may be numerous prospects for income increases and promotion based on experience, location, and skill level.

According to recent job posting activity on, there aren’t many openings for Registered Respiratory Therapists in Lagos, Nigeria, or the entire state as a whole. In your region, the average yearly wage for a registered respiratory therapist is $93,803, which is $171 (0.0%) more than the $93,632 national average. the highest paying state for Registered Respiratory Therapist salaries out of all 50 states.

Continually scanning our database of millions of active jobs posted locally across America, calculates the most precise annual salary range for Registered Respiratory Therapist positions.

Respiratory Therapist Salary Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, a respiratory therapist makes an average salary of $84,963 a year. That comes out to about $40.85 an hour, in case you need a quick pay calculator. This amounts to $7,080 per month or $1,633 each week.

The bulk of Respiratory Therapist’s salaries is currently in the range of $55,710 (25th percentile) to $88,296 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) in Los Angeles getting $128,765 annually. has wages as high as $166,082 and as low as $38,892.

Given the wide range of average salaries for respiratory therapists (up to $32,586), there may be numerous prospects for development and higher income dependent on experience level, location, and skill level.

The job market for respiratory therapists in Los Angeles, California, and the surrounding region is quite busy, according to recent job posts on continuously reviews its database to establish the most accurate annual salary range for Respiratory Therapist Jobs as millions of current opportunities are listed locally around America.

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