Respiratory Therapist

Associate of Applied Science

Program Number: 



Financial Aid Available

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).

Respiratory Therapist image
Estimated Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost

Respiratory Therapist

This program will cost about $10,600* 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 2014-2015 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 Week2536
Median Hourly Wage$21.38 $20.50
Hourly Wage Range$21.00 - $21.75$20.10 - $21.00
Median Annual Salary$27,885.00 $38,376.00

Respondents in Related Occupations

  • Registered Respiratory Therapist; Reedsburg Area Medical Center, Reedsburg, WI
  • Respiratory Therapist; Mayo Clinic Health System, La Crosse, WI
  • Respiratory Therapist; Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital, Schofield, WI
  • Respiratory Therapist; Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
  • Respiratory Therapist; Winona Health, Winona, MN

Career Opportunities

Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory Care Practitioner
Polysomnographic Technician

Program Outcomes

  • Use effective communication skills
  • Apply mathematical concepts
  • Transfer social and natural science theories into practical applications
  • Demonstrate ability to think critically
  • Demonstrate ability to value self and work ethically with others in a diverse population
  • Use technology effectively
  • Make decisions that incorporate the importance of sustainability
  • Apply advanced-level respiratory therapy concepts to patient care situations (KNOWLEDGE)
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency required to fulfill the role of an advanced-level RT (SKILLS)
  • Practice respiratory care according to established professional and ethical standards (BEHAVIORS)

Admission Requirements

College Requirements

$30 Application Fee

Program Specific Requirements


ACT: 19


ACT: 20


ACT: 17
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. The last step for admission to the program will be to complete an Intent to Enroll form. 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

Program Contact

Kathy Nelson
Program Chair, Respiratory Therapist

Transfer Agreements

Grand Canyon University
University of WI - Oshkosh

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