Free Therapist Degree Program with Certificate

Free Therapist Degree Program with Certificate

As health concerns continue to increase, so does the need for respiratory therapists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for respiratory therapists is good, with employment growing at a faster than average rate. This means that by studying online respiratory therapist courses, you will have more employment opportunities and room for development. At the same time, the salary level of respiratory therapists is relatively high, with an average annual salary of more than 60,000 US dollars, and the annual salary of senior respiratory therapists can reach more than 80,000 US dollars. By studying a respiratory therapist course online, you will have the opportunity to enter this high-paying industry with great compensation and career development opportunities.

Read on to learn about their responsibilities, certification process, and earnings details

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How to Choose an Online Respiratory Therapy Program

Not sure where to start researching online courses? Here are some factors that can help you find the best respiratory specialist certification course.

Program Type

Are you already a respiratory therapist, or are you new to the field? The answer will help you determine the right program type. Registered respiratory therapists can enroll in a degree completion program to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Often known as an RRT-to-BS in Respiratory Care, these programs offer flexibility and career specialization options. You can also earn a bachelor's in respiratory therapy without prior training. These programs may include in-person requirements.

Program Format

Many online respiratory therapy programs offer asynchronous learning, which provides additional flexibility by eliminating all live, scheduled course sessions. Some programs also offer a choice between full-time and part-time enrollment if you have significant professional or personal commitments.

Cost

Researching the cost of online college can help you compare the cost of respiratory therapy programs. Tuition is highly variable, but in-state programs at public colleges are often the most affordable. Some online programs offer the same tuition rate for out-of-state learners.

If you're already a registered respiratory therapist, check with your employer — some offer tuition reimbursement programs. You can also apply for financial aid to cover costs.

Accreditation

Getting a degree from an accredited institution is incredibly important. CoARC awards programmatic accreditation in the field. You should also attend a regionally accredited school, as you can only receive federal financial aid if you do.

Student Support

As an online student, it's important to look for programs that offer robust student support services. This can include services like career support, academic advising, and tutoring.

Some programs also provide networking and internship opportunities and may even have direct relationships with local hospitals and facilities that hire program graduates.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy Degree?

As specialists in breathing and cardiopulmonary disorders, respiratory therapists help patients improve their breathing. With a bachelor’s degree, respiratory therapists can move into specialized roles and increase their job opportunities. Some employers only hire respiratory therapists who hold a bachelor’s degree.

Respiratory therapists specialize in several areas, including working with premature infants in neonatal facilities or treating patients in the ICU. They may also specialize in treating sleep apnea or helping patients recover lung functioning after quitting smoking.

Common respiratory therapist job titles include:

•Neonatal respiratory therapist

•Pulmonary rehabilitation specialist

•Sleep technologist

•Intensive care unit respiratory therapist

How Much Do Respiratory Therapists Make?

According to the BLS, respiratory therapists earned a median annual salary of $70,540 as of May 2022. Between 2022 and 2032, the BLS projects 13% job growth for these professionals.

Below are the different industries you can find work as a respiratory therapist.

Respiratory Therapist Work Settings

Work Setting Mean Annual Wage (May 2023)

Hospitals (State, Local, and Private) $80,030

Nursing Care Facilities $76,690

Offices of Physicians $75,650

Why Get a Bachelor's Degree in Respiratory Therapy?

Respiratory therapists can enter the profession with an associate degree. So why should you consider earning a bachelor’s degree?

Advancing your degree can mean new opportunities and a higher earning potential, according to the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). In their most recent survey of respiratory therapists, AARC found that professionals who advanced their education saw a boost in their annual earnings of at least $3,000.

You’ll also qualify for more opportunities, including as a clinical specialist or manager, by advancing your education. For many respiratory therapists, investing in a bachelor’s degree can pay off.

Is respiratory therapy a good career?

Yes, respiratory therapy can be a great career option if you are passionate about healthcare. These allied health professionals earn a median pay of over $70,000 per year (BLS, May 2022), with much faster than average projected job growth from 2022-2032.

You can launch a career in respiratory therapy with a two-year associate degree. Earning your bachelor’s degree in respiratory care can open new career doors and translate into a higher earning potential.