How To Become a Respiratory Therapist

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More.

What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

Associate’s Degree

We did a survey to ask other Respiratory Therapists what degree they had when they became a Respiratory Therapist. Here are the results.
Associate’s Degree
82.75%


Bachelor’s Degree
11.69%


a Post-Secondary Certificate
5.15%


One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Respiratory Therapists or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Respiratory Therapists what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Respiratory Care Therapy

Respiratory therapists need at least an associate’s degree, but employers may prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. Respiratory therapy programs include courses in human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, pharmacology, and mathematics. Other courses deal with therapeutic and diagnostic procedures and tests, equipment, patient assessment, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).



Featured Respiratory Therapist Schools

How hard is it

Difficulty
Not Too Hard

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Respiratory Therapist. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.


Related work experience required
6 months to 1 year

6 months to 1 year
30.87%


None
23.42%


1 to 2 years
20.18%


Job training
1 to 3 months

1 to 3 months
38.17%


3 to 6 months
24.23%


6 months to 1 year
9.64%



License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
All states require a license except Alaska

Respiratory therapists are licensed in all states except Alaska, although requirements vary by state. Licensure requirements in most states include completing a state or professional certification exam. For specific state requirements, contact the state’s health board.


Skills required

We asked other Respiratory Therapists if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Active Listening what does this mean
2.Critical Thinking what does this mean
3.Monitoring what does this mean
4.Speaking what does this mean
5.Reading Comprehension what does this mean

= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for


Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Respiratory Therapists are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
2.Medicine and Dentistry what does this mean
3.English Language what does this mean
4.Education and Training what does this mean
5.Psychology what does this mean



Learn more about Respiratory Therapists

Summary
Job Description
Salary
Requirements (You are here)
Is This Right For Me

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Related to Respiratory Therapists Requirements

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