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Associate's Degree in Respiratory Therapy

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Respiratory therapists treat patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. Therapists are expected to have college degrees. An associate's degree typically is required to work in the field. However, for advancement, you may want to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree.

Respiratory Therapy Associate's Degrees

Coursework in respiratory therapy programs should provide the practical and technical training you need to work as a respiratory therapist in numerous health settings. Coursework is typically weighted heavily toward the natural sciences. You may take numerous courses in biology and anatomy, as well as basic courses in chemistry. Programs often blend lab and lecture components with hands-on clinical apprenticeships. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that respiratory therapists should continue to see job growth into the future.

Career Outlook

  • Typical workweek: 35 to 40 hours
  • Respiratory ailments that most often affect older Americans:
    • Chronic bronchitis
    • Pneumonia
    • Heart disease
    • Emphysema
  • Only states that do not require licenses for respiratory therapists: Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Areas of study include:
    • Human anatomy & physiology
    • Chemistry
    • Pathophysiology
    • Physics

Associate's Degree in Respiratory Therapy