Saving lives one breath at a time, respiratory careers in demand

female student at respiratory machine

Respiratory therapists have become important health care heroes in during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Respiratory care practitioners (also known as respiratory therapists) work primarily in hospitals and assist in the evaluation, diagnosis, and care of patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary problems. Respiratory therapists are primary health care providers in the intensive care unit because they operate the life support equipment (or ventilator). They also provide care for premature infants, trauma patients, asthmatics, chronic lung patients and heart attack victims, as well as work for home care companies and in many other locations where patients need their expertise.

About the Program

JC offers an associate degree in respiratory care, which prepares students to sit for board exams in the field. An associate degree and licensure are required for entry into the profession. Respiratory care is a second-admit program, meaning students must take certain general studies and prerequisite classes and then apply for admission to the program. Students must have passed BIO 132 or BIO 253 & 254, MAT 130 (or higher) with at least a 3.0-grade point average, and have completed ENG 131 to be considered for admittance to the program. Taking the optional class RES 101 is recommended to begin your journey as a respiratory therapist.

Why Jackson College?

Train for this in-demand field with Jackson College:

  • JC’s respiratory care students have a job placement rate of 100 percent after passing their exams.
  • 85 percent of JC students pass the RRT exam on their first attempt, above the national average of 80 percent.
  • JC’s program retention rate is 87 percent, showing that students stick with and complete the program.
  • Nationally accredited program – successful students can work anywhere in the U.S. after graduation.
  • Hybrid learning program is accredited by CoARC, the Commission for Accreditation for Respiratory Care. The program includes much online learning with some synchronous lectures for a majority of courses. Simulation learning is embedded into the program.
  • The program allows for school-life balance. Once admitted, students are only on campus one day per week, and with clinical rotations two days a week for four of the six semesters, so students are still able to work.

Career in Demand

Currently, there is a shortage of therapists nationwide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to increase by 19 percent through 2029. In Michigan, growth is projected to be 22.5 percent. Respiratory care graduates who have passed their credentialing exams have been entering the job market at about $50,000 annually, with median wages of $61,280 a year.

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If you would like information on a career as a respiratory therapist, join us for a virtual information session.  You can find the offered dates and times plus more about the program on the web.