Respiratory Therapist | Western Technical College

Respiratory Therapist

Associate of Applied Science

Program Number: 



Financial Aid Eligible

Typical Start: 


Illness, injury, premature birth, and chronic respiratory conditions can rob people of their ability to breathe. A respiratory therapist is the person on the healthcare team who is involved with evaluating, diagnosing, and treating breathing disorders.

You’ll work closely with a physician to develop treatment plans to improve respiratory function, and will be responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the treatment. Treatment could include delivery of inhaled medications, use of therapeutic or life support equipment, or a combination of therapies. Your role will also include patient and family education.

Instruction takes place in a traditional classroom format, alternating with a total of five clinical rotations in a hospital setting. General education courses are taught in traditional, online, and blended formats.

After graduation, students are required to pass an exam issued by the National Board for Respiratory Care in order to earn the designation of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). After earning the CRT credential, graduates are eligible to apply for a license to practice respiratory care anywhere in the United States. They are also eligible to take the Clinical Simulation Examination to be designated a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

To view the Respiratory Therapist program’s required disclosure on professional licensure, please click here.

*Please note that the delivery method for courses may change as the COVID-19 situation proceeds. Our goal is to ensure that teaching and learning happens in a safe environment. We will communicate updates as quickly as possible.

Respiratory Therapist image
Estimated Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost

Respiratory Therapist

This program will cost about $11,400* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, visit the Tuition Page.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Graduation Employment Stats

Respiratory Therapist 2018-2019 Graduation Employment Stats

Graduates Responding5
Employed in Related Occupation5
Employed in Non-related Occupations0
Seeking Employment0
Continuing Education0
Not in Labor Market0

Salary Data - Related Employment

Part TimeFull Time
Average Hours Per Week38
Median Hourly Wage$28.84
Hourly Wage Range $23.21-$36.06
Median Annual Salary $56,863.00

Respondents in Related Occupations

  • Respiratory Therapist; Crossing Rivers Health, Prairie du Chien, WI
  • Respiratory Therapist; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (2)
  • Respiratory Therapist; Gundersen, La Crosse, WI
  • Respiratory Therapist; Children's Hospitals of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Career Opportunities

Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory Care Practitioner
Polysomnographic Technician

Program Outcomes

  • Living responsibly
  • Refining professionalism
  • Cultivating passion
  • Apply respiratory therapy concepts to patient care situations
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency required to fulfill the role of a Respiratory Therapist
  • Practice respiratory therapy according to established professional and ethical standards

Admission Requirements

College Requirements

$30 Application Fee
High School Transcript or GED/HSED

Program Requirements

Western Technical College uses ACCUPLACER, a computer-based, online assessment that measures your abilities in reading, sentence skills, and arithmetic. This information will be used to place you in courses that best fit your academic goals. Based on your scores, you may need to take additional general studies course(s) along with the general studies courses required for your program.

Several options for waiving the ACCUPLACER test are available; view the waivers here.

Learn more about placement tests and how they are used at Western: Placement Testing.

Additional Requirements:

To enroll in the Respiratory Therapist program, first apply for admission to the College, then read the program’s Essential Functions and complete a background check. You can find links to these documents below. In addition, you must complete General Anatomy and Physiology and its prerequisites with a grade of “C” or better.  Please see the details below.


After graduation, the student is qualified to take the Respiratory Therapist Multiple Choice Examination issued by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).  Successful completion of this exam earns the graduate the entry level designation of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) which is required for licensure in all  states except Alaska and Hawaii.  After earning the CRT credential students can go on to take the Clinical Simulation Examination which will earn them the title of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

The Respiratory Therapist program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, phone 817-283-2835.

Success rates for both exams, as well as data on job placement are reported annually by The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).


To compare Western Technical College to other colleges in the country, follow this link to the CoARC website:

Additional Information

Our Health and Public Safety programs are required to report additional information to prospective students, including certification exams, licensure, program completion rates, etc. You can find this information in the document below:

Program Contact

Kathy Nelson
Program Chair, Respiratory Therapist

Transfer Agreements

Grand Canyon University
University of WI - Oshkosh
Viterbo University

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