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

female student at respiratory machine

Have you thought about a career in health care but aren’t sure what direction to choose? Perhaps a career in respiratory therapy is for you!

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. The career has come to the forefront in the COVID-19 pandemic, treating those with the respiratory virus. 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.

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.  This growth is much faster than the average for all other occupations. Respiratory care graduates who have passed their credentialing exams have been entering the job market with median wages of $61,330 a year.

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.