Respiratory Care

Respiratory Care

Respiratory Care student

What's the starting pay?

  • Lane County average hourly - $26.67; average annual - $55,465
  • Oregon average hourly - $28.10; average annual - $58,448

Career Overview
The Respiratory Care Program prepares students for a career as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. Respiratory therapists, or respiratory care practitioners, treat patients with abnormalities associated with the cardiopulmonary system—or breathing disorders— under the direction of a licensed physician and as part of a health care team. Respiratory therapists administer therapeutic or diagnostic drugs to patients as part of a physician-prescribed treatment plan, implement a physician's orders for respiratory treatments, observe and monitor patient symptoms, and assist with administering medical gases (including hyperbaric or standard oxygen, vapor therapies and ventilation support). Administration of anesthesia falls outside the scope of practice of a respiratory therapist. Detailed information is available at the American Association for Respiratory Care website: Be an RT.

The Respiratory Care Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( The student earns an Associate of Applied Science degree on completion of the program. The purpose of the program is to prepare graduates to pass the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Entry-Level Exam (CRT) and the Advanced Practitioner Examination to become competent Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT).

Licensure and Employment Outlook
Respiratory Care Practitioners are required to be licensed in the State of Oregon. Requirements for licensure include graduation from an accredited respiratory care program, and successful completion the national Entry Level Exam thereby earning the Certified Respiratory Therapist credential.

This occupation is expected to grow at a much faster rate than the regional average.  Average annual earnings in $54,566 in Oregon. More information is available online from the Oregon Labor Market Information System.

Further Information
Explore linked pages at the left to learn more about program requirements and guidelines.

This information is available in alternate formats upon request by contacting Disability Resources: (541) 463-5150 (voice), (541) 463-3079 (TTY), or email:

What's the Respiratory Care program at Lane like?
Get the scoop from students and faculty in this career preview video.