Frequently Asked Questions

How much money do respiratory therapists make?

$42,078-$47,297.per year base salary starting. According to the 2009 Human Resources study from the AARC, the projected average annual earnings of RTs working in the U.S. is $62,223.

What do respiratory therapists do?

RTs have many responsibilities which include:

  • Assessing lung and breathing disorders and recommending treatment methods.
  • Interviewing patients and doing chest physical exams to determine what kind of therapy is best for their condition.
  • Consulting with physicians to recommend a change in therapy, based on your evaluation of the patient.
  • Analyzing blood specimens to determine levels of oxygen and other gases.
  • Managing ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who can’t breathe normally on their own.
  • Responding to Code Blue or other urgent calls for care.
  • Educating patients and families about lung disease so they can maximize their recovery.

Where Do Respiratory Therapists Work?

RTs can work in many different hospitals in the emergency department, intensive care units, and general care areas. They can also work in rehabilitation programs and in administering and monitoring home health care; as well as in sleep laboratories helping to diagnose disorders like sleep apnea.

Do respiratory therapists find employment easily?

Yes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to increase faster than average over the next decade, primarily because the aging baby boom generation will increase the number of older people, who tend to suffer the most from respiratory conditions like pneumonia and COPD and who often have respiratory complications due to heart disease and other common diseases of aging.

While U.S. employment in general is forecast to increase by 15 percent, the need for RTs will grow by up to 26 percent!

What will I have when I graduate from the Respiratory Therapy program?

Associate of Applied Science Degree and you will be eligible to attempt the Certified Respiratory Therapist exam and the Registered Respiratory Therapist exam administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

How long does it take to finish the Respiratory Therapy program?

Once accepted into the program, the length of program about fifteen (15) months.

Does the Respiratory Therapy program qualify for financial aid?


What should I do first if I am interested in enrolling in the Respiratory Therapy program?

Obtain a copy of your transcript (official or unofficial) and provide it to either Mr. Reed or Mr. Gilmore for review. They will advise you regarding classes you need to apply to the RT program. These transcripts will only be used for the purpose of advising and will not replace the requirement for official transcripts to be sent to BPCC's Admissions Office. You will also need to complete an application to BPCC, if you are not already a BPCC student, and obtain an application packet to the Respiratory Therapy Program. The completed application packet must be received no later than April 15 of the application year to be considered for the program. Enrollment is selective and is based upon GPA and interview score.