Respiratory Therapy | Western Technical College

Respiratory Therapy

Associate Degree

Program Number: 



Financial Aid Eligible

Typical Start: 


Illness, injury, premature birth, and chronic respiratory conditions can impact individuals' ability to breathe, making respiratory therapists an invaluable part of the healthcare team. In this critical role, you'll be evaluating, diagnosing, and treating various breathing disorders.

Collaborating closely with physicians, you'll contribute to the development of treatment plans aimed at improving respiratory function, and your responsibilities will extend to monitoring the effectiveness of these treatments. Your treatment strategies may involve administering inhaled medications, utilizing therapeutic or life support equipment, or implementing a combination of therapies to address respiratory issues. Additionally, you'll play a vital role in patient and family education, providing crucial information on managing respiratory conditions.

Western's program offers a variety of instructional formats, including traditional, online, and blended courses, ensuring flexibility in your education. Graduates are required to pass an examination administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, leading to the designation of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). With the CRT credential, you become eligible to apply for a license to practice respiratory care throughout the United States. You can also pursue the Clinical Simulation Examination to achieve the designation of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), further enhancing your qualifications and career prospects in the field of respiratory therapy.

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

Respiratory Therapy Image
Estimated Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost

Respiratory Therapy

This program will cost about $10,506* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, view the Tuition page or Cost of Attendance document.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Graduation Employment Stats

Graduation Employment Stats

Western conducts a follow-up survey of all grads six months after graduation to find out if they are employed in a job related to their program, how much they are making, and where they are employed.

Survey information is not currently available for this program. Please contact an Admissions Coach or call 606-785-9200 for more information.

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 or GED/HSED Transcript

Additional Requirements

To enroll in the Respiratory Therapy 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.

  • Respiratory Therapy Technical Standards
  • Respiratory Therapy Background Check form
  • Complete one year of High School or one term of Developmental or College Biology
  • Complete one year of High School or one term of Developmental or College Chemistry
  • General Anatomy and Physiology (10806177)
  • Contact the Welcome Center to make an appointment to complete your Intent to Enroll Form. Prospective or returning students should meet with an Admissions Coach. Current students should meet with a Health and Public Safety College Advisor.
  • If COVID vaccines are required by a clinical partner, you will be notified.

Software and Technology

Most of Western’s classes require the use of a personal computer or laptop, standard software, internet access, and other technology-related items.

If you do not have a personal computer or laptop, or if the one you have does not meet the following criteria, resources may be available. Submit a Student Resource Request using our online form.

Computer/Laptop Hardware

  • Smartphones are not recommended for completing assignments.
  • Chromebooks are not recommended due to issues with installing software that is needed for classes, such as Office 365.
  • Web camera with microphone (usually built into newer laptops or can be purchased separately) is necessary for online participation.

Software Needs

For detailed specifications, please review Technology and Software Recommendations for Most Classes on Western’s IT Knowledgebase.

Campus Resources

Need Assistance?

  • Contact the Learning Commons! The staff are happy to answer questions, provide individualized assistance, and direct you to other supports as needed.


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 Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (, 264 Precision Blvd, Telford, TN 37690, 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).


Program Number: 200365

CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented. 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

Franz Schuttenhelm
Program Chair, Respiratory Therapy

Transfer Agreements

Grand Canyon University
University of WI - Oshkosh
Viterbo University

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