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Is respiratory therapy a good career reddit

In the table below, you will see the prerequisite classes and credit hours. We have also listed how they meet the KU Core requirements. A minimum 2.5 overall GPA is required, with a grade of “C” or better on each course. Though we list University of Kansas course numbers below, equivalent courses from other institutions may be accepted pending transcript evaluation. Visit CredTran to how your credits transfer to KU.

KU Core Curriculum

As courses are constantly being evaluated and approved for inclusion in the KU Core Curriculum, please check for the most up-to-date course listings which meet each goal. KU Core goals 1.1, 5 and 6 will be fulfilled through courses taken during the last two years of the respiratory care program at KU Medical Center.

Anatomy and Physiology Requirement

Students having completed a single combined anatomy and physiology course will need to complete either a second, higher-level anatomy and physiology course, or otherwise take a separate course in physiology only.


Prerequisite Course
Minimum 2.5 overall GPA is required, with a grade of “C” or better on each course. 

KU Course


Basic Sciences

Fundamentals of Human Anatomy w/ lab

BIOL 240 and 241

4-5 hrs*


Principles of Human Physiology w/ lab

BIOL 246 and 247

4-5 hrs*


Basic Microbiology w/ lab  **

BIOL 200 and 203

5 hrs


Introduction to Chemistry

CHEM 110

3 hrs


Course to fulfill KU Core goal 3.2 (Physics 114 preferred)

PHSX 114

3 hrs


College Algebra

MATH 101

3 hrs


Elementary Statistics (meets goal 1.2)

MATH 365

3 hrs


English Composition (meets goal 2.1a)

ENGL 101

3 hrs


Critical Reading & Writing (meets goal 2.1b)
or Business Writing

ENGL 102
or BUS 305

3 hrs


Speaker-Audience Communication (meets goal 2.2)

COMS 130

3 hrs


Course to fulfill Goal 4.2


3 hrs


Intro to Philosophy or course (meets goal 3.1)

PHIL 140 or PHIL 160

3 hrs

Social Sciences

General Psychology (meets goal 3.3)

PSYC 104

3 hrs


Course to fulfill Goal 4.1 (Elements of Sociology preferred)

SOC 104

3 hrs


Medical Terminology

HEIM 230

3 hrs


Introduction to Respiratory Care

RESP 200

1 hr

* To be eligible for graduation, you must have completed 120 credit hours.

** Course MCRB 200/203 also accepted for this requirement.

CCAC Respiratory Therapy students in lab

CCAC Respiratory Therapy students in lab

UPMC Will Pay Half the Tuition and Offer Guaranteed Positions to Graduates


The Community College of Allegheny County’s Respiratory Therapy Associate of Science Degree program is teaming up with UPMC in a commitment to bring more skilled respiratory therapists to the region. Participants will have an opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the community while receiving tuition assistance of $6,000, as well as paid work opportunities while completing the program and a guaranteed job at UPMC upon successful completion. UPMC is also currently offering a generous sign-on bonus. Classes begin May 23, and participants can complete their degree in 18 months. 

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CCAC’s Respiratory Therapy program is ideal for individuals who are seeking a rewarding career that offers 100% job placement – the demand for skilled therapists in Pittsburgh is at an “all-time high,” according to CCAC Professor and Program Director Richard Laurent. Local hospitals are expanding respiratory therapy services, and the first group of therapists in the relatively young field is nearing retirement age. The demand across the country is also high, and it is projected to continue to grow by 23 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.*

“The job market for new graduates has never been better,” said Laurent. “In Pittsburgh, the hospitals fight over our graduates. I tell all of my students, if they graduate, they will definitely have a good job, and probably at the hospital of their choice.”

CCAC graduates routinely secure jobs prior to graduation. The median level salary of a respiratory therapist nationally is $62,810*, and graduates in the Pittsburgh region can expect a starting salary of around $50,000 with excellent benefits, as well as a large signing bonus at some local hospitals, according to Laurent. 

CCAC and UPMC have developed numerous mutually beneficial partnerships over the years, which include continuing education and workforce training for UPMC staff, clinical experiences at UPMC facilities for CCAC nursing and allied health students, and job placement for CCAC graduates.

Applications for the Respiratory Therapy program must be received before the program start date of May 23, 2022. Prerequisite courses include Human Biology in Health and Disease, Introduction to Chemistry and Intermediate Algebra. For more information or to submit an application, contact Program Director Richard Laurent: [email protected] or 412.237.2704; or Clinical Director Jason Trautman at [email protected] or 412.237.2665.


As COVID-19 continues its devastation around the nation, respiratory therapist travelers remain in high demand.  

“Jobs are crazy,” said Tara K., manager of recruiting at Club Staffing, a leader in allied health staffing. “This is the biggest time. And I think it will be consistent longer. Respiratory therapists are very much in demand.”

The National Board for Respiratory Care reported in 2021 that during the pandemic, traveling and contracted respiratory therapists (RTs) have become more popular and that trend has showed “signs of staying power.”

Respiratory therapy trends

Demand for respiratory therapists picked up dramatically in March 2020, as COVID-19 cases began happening in the United States.

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“They are considered to be working in a crisis situation, being exposed daily to patients (with COVID) puts their [health] at risk,” Tara said. “It has slowed down a little with the overall cases, but the jobs are still there.”

Additionally, more respiratory therapists are considering travel positions with all of their benefits.

“They see opportunities to pick where they go and the adventure of it,” Tara added. “They like the flexibility. They can go for three months and so much more money, and then take longer periods of time off.”

Some respiratory therapist travelers are working up to 60 hours per week and then taking extended days away from practicing to decompress.

“The ability to do that is a benefit of traveling,” Tara noted. “With contracts, they can work really hard and then take a nice vacation.”

Some respiratory therapists have experienced burnout, anxiety and moral injury during the COVID-19 pandemic. A Boston Scientific and American Association for Respiratory Care report indicated a survey found 79 percent of RTs reporting burnout. Still most plan to stay in the field. In fact, 87 percent of those surveyed plan to remain an RT for the next three years at a minimum. Even so, 67 precent indicated they did not have enough or the right talent on their team, presenting challenges to delivering the best patient care.  

Club Staffing offers an employee assistance program, including available counseling by a mental health professional for clinicians in the field.

Respiratory therapist jobs in 2022

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a strong job outlook for respiratory therapists, with a 23 percent increase in the number of jobs by 2030. As of 2020, 135,100 respiratory therapist jobs existed in this country. RTs earn a median annual wage of $62,810. Each year, on average, the bureau estimates 10,100 new openings for RTs, including some to replace therapists exiting the labor force due to retirement or other reasons.

The National Board for Respiratory Care reported that 92,474 RTs are expected to leave the profession by 2030.  

The American Association for Respiratory Care indicates that strong growth in job prospects is due to the aging of America, as older people are more likely to suffer from respiratory conditions or as complications related to heart disease or other conditions associated with aging.

Club Staffing currently has hundreds of travel respiratory therapist jobs all across the United States. Nearly all of the positions are in acute-care settings, both rural and urban. Most facilities want travelers to have at least one year of experience after completing school.

In many places, hospitals are still paying higher crisis rates for RTs. Those facilities expect travelers to be flexible. Besides hourly pay rates, RT travelers receive housing and meal stipends. Assignments can last from 4 to 13 weeks. Travelers working 30 or more hours per week are eligible for health insurance and other benefits.

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Some respiratory therapists will work one or two travel contracts a year, while others decide to travel full time, moving from one assignment to the next. Others continue to stay per-diem where they had worked, to remain in the health system, as a “safety net,” Tara said.

“Some who had tip-toed into [travel], prior to the job increases, have seen this is an opportunity to do it full time,” she said.

Considering increased assignment opportunities in 2022, this is an excellent time to travel, see the country and earn good money as a travel respiratory therapist.

To learn more about travel respiratory therapy positions, contact a Club Staffing career advisor.

APPLY TODAY to get started.



ELAC Respiratory Therapy Alumni, Andrew Ta, Recognized on ABC7 Health Care Heroes

ELAC Respiratory Therapy Alumni, Andrew Ta, Recognized on ABC7 Health Care Heroes

Monterey Park, CA – On August 4th at 5:00 p.m., ABC7 aired a video showing local Health Care Heroes featuring an alumnus of the East Los Angeles College Respiratory Therapy program, Mr. Andrew Ta. ABC7 Eyewitness News features individuals and groups who make SoCal strong every week.

Andy was nominated for this recognition by his Nurse Case Manager at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, where he currently works. Andy attended ELAC from the Summer of 2014 through the Fall of 2017, graduating with an AS degree in Respiratory Therapy. When asked what he enjoyed most about attending ELAC, Andy said, “It was a very engaging and fun environment to learn the field of respiratory therapy.” After he graduated from ELAC, it took Andy about three months to find a job in the field that he studied for. “It’s all about consistency,” he said, referring to his job placement skills.

“Like so many of our students, Andy struggled at the beginning of the program, but he had a terrific work ethic that helped him persevere,” said ELAC Respiratory Therapy Program Director and Professor, Ms. Kevin M. Booth. “Once he entered the clinical environment, he really ‘got’ it. Andy was very personable with and considerate of both his peers and instructors, but the most distinguishing factor for me was his smile, which unfortunately because of the COVID crisis, isn’t visible in the ABC7 photo. I’m betting that it’s there, though: a big, contagious grin that just makes everyone who sees it want to start smiling, too.”

“It is truly rewarding to see one of our former students doing great work in our community, especially during these unprecedented times,” said ELAC Interim President, Dr. Alberto J. Román.

Andy has been working at Torrance Memorial Medical Center for close to three years now, and is also currently enrolled at Boise State University to earn a BS degree in Respiratory Therapy.

The ABC7 Health Care Heroes video segment can be viewed below.