Respiratory Assistant Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Dec 07, 2019

Working under the direction of respiratory therapists, respiratory assistants provide respiratory rehabilitation for individuals who have damaged lung functions. Programs for aspiring respiratory assistants are typically available as associate's or bachelor's degrees.

10 Schools with Respiratory Therapy Programs

At these schools, students can train to become respiratory therapy assistants:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
Highline College 4-year, Public Des Moines, WA Associate, Bachelor $4,026 in-state, $4,462 out-of-state
Bunker Hill Community College Boston, MA 2-year, Public Associate $4,464 in-state, $9,408 out-of-state
Baker College Flint, MI 4-year, Private Associate $9,800
Kettering College Kettering, OH 4-year, Private Associate $12,960
Middle Georgia State University Macon, GA 4-year, Public Bachelor $3,924 in-state, $11,092 out-of-state
Andrew College 2-year, Private Cuthbert, GA Associate $17,388
Vermont Technical College Randolph, VT 4-year, Public Associate $15,108 in-state, $27,780 out-of-state
University of Rio Grande Rio Grande, OH 4-year, Private Associate $27,481
Seattle Central College Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Associate $3,669
Rhode Island College Providence, RI 4-year, Public Bachelor $8,929 in-state, $21,692 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

These are some things to consider when choosing a respiratory therapy school:

  • If you want to study in a distance learning format, look for programs that offer some courses online and some in-person classes that provide hands-on experience with respiratory equipment and therapy procedures.
  • Those seeking to practice respiratory care will need to be licensed, so ensure that any potential program prepares students for exams.
  • Consider programs that emphasize life-saving methods, such as basic life support and advanced cardiac life support, since these skills can be especially beneficial when seeking employment.

Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy

Graduates of these programs are eligible for entry-level employment as respiratory therapy practitioners working under the supervision of a physician. Coursework in general education is combined with classes in therapeutic procedures and cardiopulmonary science.

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy

Some 4-year degree programs also allow students to work part-time as a respiratory assistant with a limited student permit. Students may wish to look for schools with a medical center on campus, so that they have access to state-of-the-art equipment.

A respiratory assistant job is often an entry-level position for aspiring respiratory therapists. To pursue a career in this field, students can enroll in undergraduate programs that provide general education, science-focused coursework and practical training in real-world settings.

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