Respiratory Care Therapy
Types of Degrees Respiratory Care Therapy Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many respiratory care therapy/therapist graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Respiratory Care Therapy Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to respiratory care therapy/therapist and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Skills for Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist Majors
A major in respiratory care therapy/therapist prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Abilities for Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist Majors
As you progress with your respiratory care therapy/therapist degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Care Therapy?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of respiratory care therapy/therapist majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||718|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,043|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist. About 0.8% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Respiratory Care Therapy Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $51,380 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to respiratory care therapy/therapist. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Respiratory Care Therapy
Some degrees associated with respiratory care therapy/therapist may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for respiratory care therapy/therapist careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||3.2%|
|Some College Courses||0.1%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||60.8%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||2.5%|
Online Respiratory Care Therapy Programs
In 2020-2021, 408 schools offered a respiratory care therapy/therapist program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||8||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||8||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Respiratory Care Therapy Worth It?
The median salary for a respiratory care therapy/therapist grad is $62,500 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 57% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $452,000 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Trades Related to Respiratory Care Therapy
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to respiratory care therapy/therapist.
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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