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 (2015-2016)*|
|Highline College||4-year, Public||Des Moines, WA||Associate, Bachelor||$3,846 in-state, $4,253 out-of-state|
|Bunker Hill Community College||Boston, MA||2-year, Public||Associate||$3,576 in-state, $8,520 out-of-state|
|Baker College||Flint, MI||4-year, Private||Associate||$8,640|
|Kettering College||Kettering, OH||4-year, Private||Associate||$10,944|
|Middle Georgia State University||Macon, GA||4-year, Public||Bachelor||$3,890 in-state, $10,919 out-of-state|
|Andrew College||2-year, Private||Cuthbert, GA||Associate||$14,924|
|Vermont Technical College||Randolph, VT||4-year, Public||Associate||$13,490 in-state, $24,866 out-of-state|
|University of Rio Grande||Rio Grande, OH||4-year, Private||Associate||$23,860|
|Seattle Central College||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Associate||$3,891 in-state, $9,083 out-of-state|
|Rhode Island College||Providence, RI||4-year, Public||Bachelor||$8,197 in-state, $19,858 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.