Respiratory Technician Education Requirements and Career Info
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a respiratory technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties, and licensing and certification to find out if this is the career for you.
Respiratory technicians work under the supervision of respiratory therapists to help care for patients with breathing problems. Individuals interested in this profession generally need an associate's degree, and respiratory technicians can earn voluntary professional certification. Some states require a license.
|Required Education||Associate's degree|
|Other Requirements||On-the-job training; license (in some states) and professional certification might be required|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||17%|
|Average Annual Salary (2013)*||$47,850|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aspiring respiratory technicians are likely to need an associate's degree (www.bls.gov). Students can choose from programs such as respiratory therapy, respiratory care or a related major. These programs include scientific requirements outside the respiratory track in anatomy, physiology, and microbiology.
The respiratory track includes coursework and labs in pathology and cardiopulmonary anatomy. Students might have to complete clinical experiences in a hospital, which allow them to practice diagnostic and therapeutic testing under the supervision of licensed medical personnel.
Respiratory technicians administer oxygen and breathing treatments to ensure that patients are breathing properly. They prepare and test equipment prior to beginning procedures, analyze samples, and maintain records. Respiratory technicians typically work under respiratory therapists and physicians and might interact with other health professionals and family members of a patient.
According to the BLS, much work in respiratory care is being performed by respiratory therapists, but respiratory therapy technicians often provide care under their supervision. The BLS predicted faster than average growth of 17% for respiratory therapy technicians between 2012 and 2022.
In May 2013, the BLS noted that respiratory therapy technicians' pay averaged $47,850 annually. The top-paying industries for these technicians were nursing care facilities, specialty hospitals and other ambulatory health care services.
Because there isn't a national policy for the licensing of respiratory technicians, requirements vary by state. Many states require individuals to have a clean criminal record with no substance abuse problems.
Employers might require individuals to take the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (www.nbrc.org). To take the CRT exam, individuals must have graduated from or be enrolled in a program that's accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.
Related to Respiratory Technician
- Recently Updated
Learn about Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy degree programs. Get information on prerequisites, curriculum,...
Get a program overview for the aspiring respiratory technician. See educational prerequisites, program coursework, employment...
Through this degree program, students learn how the lungs and respiratory system work by studying the procedures and tools used...
Find out how to become a respiratory therapy technician. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you...
- Schools for Aspiring Respiratory Therapy Technicians
- Respiratory Care Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
- Respiratory Assistant Schools and Colleges: How to Choose
- Loan Underwriter: Career Profile
- Salary and Career Info for Professional Scuba Divers
- Medical Front Desk Coordinator: Education Requirements and Career Info
- Boat Engineer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements