Students who want to become respiratory therapy technicians can find appropriate programs at community colleges, technical schools and 4-year colleges and universities. Some of these programs prepare graduates for the entry-level Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential, conferred by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).
Schools with Respiratory Therapy Programs
Students can enroll in a respiratory therapy program at the following schools:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2018-2019)*|
|Mercyhurst University - North East Campus||North East, PA||2-Year Private, not-for-profit||Associate||$19,120|
|Northern Michigan University||Marquette, MI||4-Year, Public||Associate||$10,729 in-state, $16,225 out-of-state|
|Bunker Hill Community College||Boston, MA||2-Year Public||Associate||$4,464 in-state, $9,408 out-of-state|
|CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College||New York, NY||2-Year Public||Associate||$5,170 in-state, $8,050 out-of-state|
|Dalton State College||Dalton, GA||4-Year, primarily Associate's, Public||Associate||$4,246 in-state, $12,668 out-of-state|
|Delaware Technical Community College-Terry||Dover, DE||2-Year Public||Associate||$4,904 in-state, $11,632 out-of-state|
|Highline College||Des Moines, WA||4-Year, primarily Associate's, Public||Associate, Bachelor's||$4,026 in-state, $4,462 out-of-state|
|Kansas City Kansas Community College||Kansas City, KS||2-Year, Public||Associate||$3,300 in-state, $6,510 out-of-state|
|Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale||Fort Lauderdale, FL||4-Year, Primarily Associate's, Private||Associate||$20,208|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
These are some considerations for students choosing a school in this field:
- Since licensure in most states is tied to successful NBRC certification, students applying to a respiratory therapy program should ensure a given school's program meets the organization's accreditation requirements.
- Applicants may try to find a program that provides diverse off-campus opportunities in multiple settings for exposure to a variety of patients and procedures.
- Students who think they might want to continue their studies in the field upon completion of an entry-level program can look for schools that offer advanced-level training in preparation for the NBRC's Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential, or schools that offer accelerated CRT-to-RRT bridge options.
Associate's Degree in Respiratory Care - CRT
Typical coursework for a CRT-level associate's degree covers the fundamentals of equipment usage, patient care and respiratory procedures as well as health science courses. Programs consist of both didactic and clinical training.
Students who continue on to pursue advanced-level respiratory therapy training following completion of a CRT curriculum may study topics in home care and pediatric respiratory care. Elective options are available in areas like asthma management or sleep disorders, and additional lab classes and clinical rotations are included. Completion of supplementary RRT-track study may result in a certificate.
Associate's degree and certificate programs in respiratory therapy can prepare students for several different professional designations, and they typically require students to get real-world clinical experience in the field.