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Become A Respiratory Care Practitioner

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Working As A Respiratory Care Practitioner

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Stressful

  • Make Decisions

  • $57,790

    Average Salary

What Does A Respiratory Care Practitioner Do

A Respiratory Care Practitioner assesses and treats patients with pulmonary diseases. They diagnose lung and breathing disorders and recommend treatment methods.

How To Become A Respiratory Care Practitioner

Respiratory therapists typically need an associate’s degree, but some have bachelor’s degrees. Respiratory therapists are licensed in all states except Alaska; requirements vary by state.

Education

Respiratory therapists need at least an associate’s degree, but employers may prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. Educational programs are offered by colleges and universities, vocational–technical institutes, and the Armed Forces. Completion of a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care may be required for licensure.

Respiratory therapy programs typically include courses in human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, pharmacology, and math. Other courses deal with therapeutic and diagnostic procedures and tests, equipment, patient assessment, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In addition to coursework, programs have clinical components that allow therapists to gain supervised, practical experience in treating patients.

High school students interested in applying to respiratory therapy programs should take courses in health, biology, math, chemistry, and physics.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Respiratory therapists are licensed in all states except Alaska, although requirements vary by state. Licensure requirements in most states include passing a state or professional certification exam. For specific state requirements, contact the state’s health board.

The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) is the main certifying body for respiratory therapists. The Board offers two levels of certification: Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

CRT is the first-level certification. Applicants must have earned an associate’s degree from an accredited respiratory therapy program, or completed the equivalent coursework in a bachelor’s degree program, and pass an exam.

The second-level certification is RRT certification. Applicants must already have CRT certification, meet other education or experience requirements, and pass an exam.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Respiratory therapists should be able to provide emotional support to patients undergoing treatment and be sympathetic to their needs.

Detail oriented. Respiratory therapists must be detail oriented to ensure that patients are receiving the appropriate treatments and medications in a timely manner. They must also monitor and record various pieces of information related to patient care.

Interpersonal skills. Respiratory therapists interact with patients and often work as part of a team. They must be able to follow instructions from a supervising physician.

Patience. Respiratory therapists may work for long periods with patients who need special attention.

Problem-solving skills. Respiratory therapists need strong problem-solving skills. They must evaluate patients’ symptoms, consult with other healthcare professionals, and recommend and administer the appropriate treatments.

Science and math skills. Respiratory therapists must understand anatomy, physiology, and other sciences and be able to calculate the right dose of a patient’s medicine.

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Respiratory Care Practitioner jobs

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Top Skills for A Respiratory Care Practitioner

RespiratoryCareOxygenTherapyEmergencyRoomVentilatorManagementManagePatientCareCardiopulmonaryResuscitationBipap/CpapMechanicalVentilationRespiratoryTherapyAerosolTherapyEKGFloorCareArterialBloodGasesTraumaAirwayManagementCriticalCareNicuHighRiskDeliveriesNebulizerTreatmentsIntensiveCareUnits

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Top Respiratory Care Practitioner Skills

  1. Respiratory Care
  2. Oxygen Therapy
  3. Emergency Room
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed a Respiratory Care Protocol Program transitioning practitioner role into consultant.
  • Administered Oxygen therapy and nasal suctioning.
  • Provided patient care for in Sub Acute, Emergency Room, Medical / Surgical, and Medical and Pulmonary ICU.
  • Designated as ICU therapist specializing in ventilator management of Adult and Neonatal patients.
  • Work as part of a team of physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to manage patient care.

Top Respiratory Care Practitioner Employers

Respiratory Care Practitioner Videos

Cook Children's - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Life and Breath, Respiratory Care Overview

Respiratory Care Practitioner Program

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