Schools for Aspiring Respiratory Therapy Technicians

Dec 09, 2019

Respiratory therapists have increasingly taken on the job duties of respiratory therapy technicians; programs providing training for the technician profession aren't commonly available. However, relevant programs preparing graduates for entry-level positions as respiratory therapists are offered at the associate's degree level.

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.

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