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Carrington College Blog

Career Spotlight – Respiratory Care

July 5, 2013

Respiratory CareIf you know someone who is considering a health care career, but has yet to make their final choice of profession, ask them if they’ve considered the growing field of respiratory care?

What does a respiratory care practitioner do?

As a respiratory care practitioner (known as a respiratory therapist) you use your expertise to bring relief to patients of all ages who either can’t breathe on their own or are having a difficult time breathing.

You could use your skills to help patients suffering with conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, sleep apnea, and birth defects to name just a few. You could also bring relief to trauma victims and surgery patients.

Where could I work as a respiratory therapist?

Respiratory therapists work in a variety of places such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, labs, assisted living facilities, and even patients’ homes. You could also perform specialized functions such as polysomnography (sleep study), become an Asthma Educator, work in a hyperbaric oxygen unit or on a medical transport team.

Is respiratory care a growing career?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 28% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations*. Just imagine yourself being able to apply for one of those respiratory therapy positions in a couple of years – this is an exciting time.

What does the program cover?

The Respiratory Care Program at Carrington College mixes formal classroom instruction with hands-on laboratory exercises, and clinical experience. The curriculum begins with general education and basic medical courses. You then move on to cover more advanced material to gain an understanding of processes of the human body, as well as the principals of pharmacology. You could complete this program in as few as 2 years**, and upon successful completion, you’ll be awarded an Associate of Science degree.

Does a respiratory therapist need to be certified?

Yes – you will need to be certified and licensed by the state. This program is your first step on the path to qualification; it is designed to help you meet the stringent standards set by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)^.

Our faculty will help you prepare for the next step to qualification and licensure required after graduation. Successful completion of a National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exam^, such as the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam or the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exam, is needed to be able to apply for state licensure. CRT is the entry-level credential.

Where can I find out more about this career and the program?

Respiratory Care classes are enrolling soon at our Carrington College Mesa, Phoenix Westside and Las Vegas campuses. If you, or someone you know, would like to learn more about joining this growing health care field, talk to a Carrington College California Enrollment Services Representative at 1.877.206.2106.

You can also find out more at or by using the Live Chat feature on our website.

For comprehensive consumer information, visit

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Ed.).

**Not including breaks

^Carrington College prepares students to take appropriate certification and licensure exams related to their individual majors. The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program.

Program availability varies by location.