What is a Respiratory Therapist?
Therapists are health care professionals who evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing difficulties caused by such things as: Asthma, Pneumonia, Emphysema, Cystic Fibrosis, Lung Cancer, Premature Birth, and Heart Attack. Respiratory therapists perform both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
What is the expected job market for Respiratory Therapy?
Great! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for respiratory therapists is growing much faster than national average for all jobs. This is a result of advanced technology, aging population, and the ability to save the lives of premature babies, heart attack and accident victims. Respiratory Therapists can also use their medical background to go into other interesting fields.
For more information on the expected job market, you can visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics Report on the Job Prospects for Respiratory Therapists.
What is the average salary?
The starting salary is $30,000 - $38,000 per year. You can expect your salary to increase with years of experience, increased job responsibilities, and specialization.
Can I work as a student?
YES! Respiratory Therapy is the only allied health profession in Indiana that allows students to apply for a state permit allowing them to work in the profession before graduation.
How much education is needed to become a Respiratory Therapist?
A person may choose to get a two-year Associate and/or four-year Bachelor degree in Respiratory Therapy.
Associate Degree Programs
Ivy Tech Community College - Bloomington
Program Chair: Jennifer Purdue, MA, RRT-NPS, RN, AE-C, CLNC
Ivy Tech Community College - Central Indiana (Indianapolis)
Program Chair: Charity Bowling
Ivy Tech Community College - East Central (Anderson, Marion, Muncie, New Castle)
Program Chair: Darlisha Y Averitte
(800) 589-8324 ext. 1399
Ivy Tech Community College- Lafayette
Program Chair and Professor: Peggy James
Ivy Tech Community College- North Central (Elkhart, South Bend, Warsaw)
Program Chair: Susan Pearson, MPA, RRT
(574) 289-7001, ext. 6375
Ivy Tech Community College - Northeast (Fort Wayne)
Program Chair: Jennifer Brink
Ivy Tech Community College - Northwest (East Chicago, Gary, Michigan City, Valparaiso)
Program Chair: Sue Layhew, MA, RRT
Ivy Tech Community College Richmond (Connersville, Richmond)
Program Chair: Darlisha Averitte, MBA, RRT, RCP
(765) 599-2613, Ext. 225
Ivy Tech Community College Southern Indiana (Sellersburg)
Instructor/Program Chair: Susan Mayden
(812) 246-3301, ext 4289
Bachelor Degree Program and Degree Completion
Wesley Phy, MEd, RRT
University of Southern Indiana
Phone (812) 464-1751
Janice Johnson, MS, RRT-NPS, AE-C
Indiana Respiratory Therapy Education Consortium
Ball State University
University of Indianapolis
Are there Scholarships available?
YES! Several employers throughout Indiana offer scholarships. For more information contact the respiratory therapy school of your choice. The school will give you further information.
What types of high school or college courses are helpful?
Courses in science, math, and english are needed. Other helpful courses are medical terminology and computers.
Where do Respiratory Therapists work?
You will find respiratory therapists working in a variety of settings:
Home Care Education
Medical Sales Research
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Do Respiratory Therapists have credentials?
Yes! After graduation, individuals take the national certified and registered respiratory therapist exams. Upon passing, a therapist may use the CRT or RRT credential. There are also credentials for some specialized areas. In Indiana, therapists are licensed respiratory care practitioners.
Can I observe a Respiratory Therapist at work?
You are encouraged to shadow therapists during their workday. You should strive to see as many different areas of respiratory therapy as possible. To find out if a shadowing opportunity is available in your area contact your local hospital's Respiratory Therapy Department.
Where can I get more information?