Career Highlight: Respiratory Therapist

Students learning how to be a respiratory therapist

Have you ever thought about a career as a respiratory therapist?

This career is often overlooked because it is unfamiliar to many.  In fact, respiratory therapists serve as vital healthcare team members treating patients with breathing issues related to conditions such as asthma, emphysema, cancer, and premature births. They are also an integral part of the emergency response team caring for patients suffering from heart attacks, strokes, drownings, or shock.  In addition, they are responsible for running life support systems.

The job market outlook is very bright. The Bureau of Labors Statistics projects employment to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than average for all occupations. This demand can be attributed to our growing aging population with increased respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia.  The average wage is strong for Respiratory Therapists at 59,710.

Here are some facts about our Respiratory Care Program:

  • The program starts each fall and runs for 23 months
  • Classes are 2 -3 days per week
  • GPA requirement is 2.0 to apply and no Pinellas County preference
  • Employment rates are nearly 100 percent
  • Our graduates perform higher than average on the board licensure exam
  • Degree transfers to the first and only online bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration in Respiratory Care in Florida here at SPC
Where does a respiratory therapist work?
  • 81 percent work in hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Offices of physicians
  • Home care
  • Medical sales
What makes a good Respiratory Care student?
  • Excellent people skills
  • Work ethic
  • Computer and tech savvy
Learn more at the Health Sciences and Veterinary Technology Open House

Tour the facility and meet the program director to see if this is the right career fit for you at our  open house on Nov. 15 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Health Education Center.

This event is FREE and open to the public. RSVP today and sign up for an event reminder. 

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