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Respiratory Therapy Schools and Training Programs

Breathe fresh life into your career by considering a position as a respiratory therapist or respiratory therapy technician. These medical professionals help people who have breathing problems, and play a vital role in the health-care industry.

Respiratory Therapist Jobs and Career Paths

Respiratory therapists and respiratory technicians have overlapping roles -- both work with a physician to provide therapy and respiratory care procedures to ailing patients. However, the respiratory therapist has more responsibility, will perform slightly more complex procedures, and will consult more often with doctors.

Respiratory therapists and technicians conduct diagnostic tests to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood and the lung capacity of the patient. Once a course of treatment has been determined by a physician, they administer medications, which may be aerosols or oxygen mixtures. They may also apply physical therapy to the chest, or use a ventilator to provide oxygen to the lungs.

Respiratory therapists or technicians may also have responsibilities in the operating room, monitoring the lung function of patients during surgery. They may work as part of a rapid response team treating critically injured patients as they are being transported to the hospital prior to admittance. They may also specialize in specific disease treatments, including sleep apnea or cystic fibrosis.

Working Conditions for Respiratory Therapists and Technicians

Respiratory therapy professionals generally have a traditional 40-hour week, but for those who work in a hospital, those hours often include nights and weekends rather than the normal 9-to-5. Providing care for patients at home may come with less stress, but may also require a longer commute.

Employment and Advancement for Respiratory Therapists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2011) there were 105,700 respiratory therapists working in the U.S. in 2010, and that number is expected to increase by 28 percent by 2020 – much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging population and advances in treatment of patients who also require breathing assistance are major factors in the increasing demand for respiratory therapists.

Respiratory therapy technicians, on the other hand, will see little to no employment growth between 2008 and 2018, from a base figure of 16,500. In part because of this, competition for jobs will be intense.

Due to a growing elderly population, increases are expected in respiratory conditions, such as emphysema and pneumonia. To address these conditions, job openings are projected in hospitals and nursing homes, according to bls.gov (2011).

Respiratory Therapist Salary

The average annual salary for a respiratory therapist in 2010 was $54,280 (bls.gov, 2011). The highest average salary was earned by respiratory therapists working in home health care services.

Additional Resources for Professionals Enrolling in a Respiratory Therapist School
A Job Description for Respiratory Therapists
Salary Information for Respiratory Therapists

Campus and Online Respiratory Therapy Schools

 
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Platt College

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Certified Nurse Assistant
Quick Summary: Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

California College San Diego

[Campus]
Locations:
  • San Diego
Programs:
  • Respiratory Therapy (AS)
Quick Summary:

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started


Brightwood College

[Campus]
Locations:
  • San Diego
Programs:
  • Patient Care Technician
Quick Summary:

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.


San Joaquin Valley College

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Degree - Respiratory Therapy
Quick Summary:

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.


Logan University

[Online]
Programs:
  • Master of Science - Sports Science & Rehabilitation
Quick Summary:

Logan is a non-profit university founded in 1935. Logan University has remained grounded in chiropractic education, while continuously enriching academic options with degree offerings in health sciences since 2012.


Milan Institute

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Visalia
Programs:
  • Nursing Assistant
Quick Summary: Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.

Grand Canyon University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Phoenix
Programs:
  • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Grief and Bereavement
  • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Christian Ministry
  • M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Family Dynamics
  • More
Quick Summary: Develop your knowledge of human behavior and earn your bachelor's or master's in psychology degree online with GCU.

Southern California Health Institute

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Reseda
Programs:
  • Advanced Professional Massage Therapy Program
  • Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
Quick Summary: Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

Blake Austin College Beauty Academy

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Vacaville
Programs:
  • Massage Therapy
  • Esthetician / Massage Therapy
Quick Summary: Start your career with training from Blake Austin College - Beauty Academy.

Mayfield College

[Campus]
Programs:
  • Massage Therapy
Quick Summary: Give your career a boost with an education from Mayfield College.

Capella University

[Online]
Programs:
  • MS - Mental Health Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
Quick Summary: An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

North-West College

[Campus]
Locations:
  • West Covina
Programs:
  • Massage Therapy
Quick Summary:

Liberty University

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Lynchburg
Programs:
  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Doctor of Philosophy: Counselor Education and Supervision
  • MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
  • More
Quick Summary:

100% Online & No Standardized Testing


Alameda Beauty College

[Campus]
Locations:
  • Alameda
Programs:
  • Cosmetology
Quick Summary: Start your career with training from Alameda Beauty College.

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