Associate of Applied Science • 71 Credit Hours
Respiratory Therapy is an allied health program whose practitioners are employed under medical direction to provide treatment, management, diagnostic evaluation, and care to patients with problems associated with the cardiopulmonary system.
The Respiratory Therapy Program is a cooperative effort between Collins Career Technical Center and Mountwest Community & Technical College. Twenty-three semester credit hours are required from Mountwest. The student may either complete the Mountwest courses prior to application to the program or finish the courses while completing the Respiratory Therapy courses at Collins Career Technical Center.
What you’ll learn.
Respiratory Therapists administer oxygen, humidity, aerosols, and mechanical ventilation and use technologically sophisticated monitoring devices and treatment techniques to enhance the survival of patients in intensive care units. Respiratory therapists may also perform pulmonary function testing.
2019 Median Pay
$61,330 per year
Number of Jobs
134,000 in 2018
Much faster than average employment.
The college adheres to an open admission policy which means applications with a high school diploma or GED are eligible for admission. Applicants with neither a high school diploma nor GED may be admitted on a conditional basis.
Respiratory therapists will find employment opportunities in home health organizations, skilled nursing homes, skilled nursing units within an acute care hospital, outpatient centers, rehabilitation hospitals, acute care hospitals, and physicians’ offices.
Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and older population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other disorders that can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function. The aging population will in turn lead to an increased demand for respiratory therapy services and treatments, mostly in hospitals.
In addition, a growing emphasis on reducing readmissions in hospitals may result in more demand for respiratory therapists in nursing homes and in doctors’ offices.
Advances in preventing and detecting disease, improved medications, and more sophisticated treatments will also increase the demand for respiratory therapists. Other conditions affecting the general population, such as respiratory problems due to smoking and air pollution, along with respiratory emergencies, will continue to create demand for respiratory therapists.