Are you eager to become a respiratory therapist and help patients breathe easier? Follow these 7 steps on your journey to a rewarding career.
To become a respiratory therapist, there are several steps you need to follow. The first step is to complete a degree in respiratory care, preferably a bachelor’s degree. This will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills for the job. After completing your degree, you will need to pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam and then earn your Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. This credential is required by most states for licensure. Once you have obtained your credentials, you can apply for a state license. Every state, except for Alaska, requires licensure for respiratory care practitioners. After obtaining your license, you can start your job search and apply for positions as a respiratory therapist. The average salary for a respiratory therapist is $70,540. It is also important to continue your education and maintain your certification as a respiratory therapist.
- Complete a degree in respiratory care, preferably a bachelor’s degree.
- Pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam to obtain certification.
- Earn your Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential, required by most states for licensure.
- Obtain a state license, as licensure is required in every state except Alaska.
- Start your job search and apply for positions as a respiratory therapist.
Step 1: Complete a Degree in Respiratory Care
The first step in becoming a respiratory therapist is to complete a degree in respiratory care, preferably a bachelor’s degree, which will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills for the job. With a degree in respiratory care, you will learn about the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system, as well as how to diagnose and treat respiratory disorders. You will also gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations, where you will work directly with patients under the supervision of experienced respiratory therapists.
Having a bachelor’s degree in respiratory care can give you a competitive edge in the job market and open up more career opportunities. It is also important to note that some states require a bachelor’s degree for licensure as a respiratory therapist. By obtaining a degree in respiratory care, you will be well-prepared to enter this rewarding healthcare profession and make a positive impact on the lives of patients.
Table: Benefits of Completing a Degree in Respiratory Care
|Comprehensive Education||A degree program provides in-depth knowledge and skills required for respiratory therapy practice.|
|Hands-on Experience||Clinical rotations offer practical training and exposure to different healthcare settings.|
|Career Advancement||A bachelor’s degree can lead to higher-paying positions and opportunities for specialization.|
|State Licensure||Some states require a bachelor’s degree for respiratory therapist licensure.|
Completing a degree in respiratory care is the first step on your journey to becoming a respiratory therapist. It lays the foundation for your future career and equips you with the necessary skills to provide quality care to patients with respiratory conditions. So, if you have a passion for healthcare and helping patients breathe easier, consider pursuing a degree in respiratory care.
Step 2: Pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Exam
After completing your degree, you will need to pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam to obtain the necessary certification and demonstrate your knowledge and skills as a respiratory therapist. This exam is designed to assess your understanding of key respiratory care concepts and your ability to apply them in a clinical setting. It covers a range of topics, including patient assessment, treatment planning, and emergency response.
To prepare for the CRT exam, it is recommended to review your coursework materials, textbooks, and practice exams. You can also consider joining study groups or utilizing online resources that offer review materials and sample questions. Familiarizing yourself with the format and content of the exam will help you feel more confident on test day.
Once you feel prepared, you can register for the CRT exam through the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) website. The exam is typically administered at testing centers across the country, and you will have a set amount of time to complete the multiple-choice questions. Upon passing the exam, you will receive your CRT certification, which is an important credential for securing employment as a respiratory therapist.
|Exam Details:||Important Information|
|Exam Name||Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Exam|
|Exam Duration||Approximately 3 hours|
|Passing Score||Varies by state and institution|
“Passing the CRT exam was a significant milestone in my journey to becoming a respiratory therapist. It was challenging, but with dedicated study and preparation, I was able to succeed. The certification has opened doors for me in terms of career opportunities and professional growth.”
– John Doe, Registered Respiratory Therapist
Passing the CRT exam is an important step towards becoming a respiratory therapist. It demonstrates your commitment to the field and your ability to provide quality care to patients. With your certification in hand, you will be well-equipped to embark on a fulfilling career in respiratory therapy.
Once you have passed the CRT exam, you can proceed to earn your Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential, which is necessary for obtaining licensure as a respiratory therapist in most states. The RRT credential is the highest level of certification available for respiratory therapists and demonstrates your advanced knowledge and skills in the field.
To earn your RRT credential, you will need to complete additional education and training beyond the requirements for the CRT exam. This may include advanced coursework in respiratory care, clinical rotations, and hands-on experience working with patients. It is important to choose an accredited program that meets the requirements set forth by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).
After completing the necessary education and training, you will need to pass the RRT certification exam, which is administered by the NBRC. This exam assesses your competency in areas such as patient assessment, therapeutic procedures, and clinical data management. Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will be awarded your RRT credential, which will further enhance your career prospects and earning potential as a respiratory therapist.
Benefits of Earning Your RRT Credential
Earning your RRT credential offers numerous benefits for respiratory therapists. First and foremost, it allows you to meet the licensure requirements in most states, enabling you to practice legally and independently. Additionally, having the RRT credential demonstrates your commitment to professional development and continuous learning, which is highly valued in the healthcare industry.
Furthermore, respiratory therapists with the RRT credential often have access to more job opportunities and higher salaries. Many employers prefer to hire candidates with advanced certifications, and having the RRT credential can give you a competitive edge in the job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for respiratory therapists in 2020 was $61,330, with the highest 10% earning more than $87,780.
|Benefits of Earning Your RRT Credential|
|Meets licensure requirements in most states||✔|
|Enhances career prospects and earning potential||✔|
|Demonstrates commitment to professional development||✔|
|Access to more job opportunities||✔|
|Potential for higher salaries||✔|
Investing the time and effort to earn your RRT credential can greatly benefit your career as a respiratory therapist. Not only will it open doors to new opportunities, but it will also allow you to provide a higher level of care to your patients. So, if you are serious about advancing in this rewarding field, obtaining your RRT credential is a crucial step on your journey as a respiratory therapist.
Step 4: Obtain a State License
After earning your RRT credential, the next step is to apply for a state license, as every state, except for Alaska, requires licensure for respiratory care practitioners. The process of obtaining a state license may vary depending on the state you plan to practice in, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements and regulations.
To apply for a state license, you will typically need to submit an application, pay a fee, and provide documentation such as transcripts, proof of completion of a respiratory care program, and verification of your RRT credential. Some states may also require you to pass a state-specific examination or undergo a background check.
Once your application is approved and you have obtained your state license, you will be able to legally practice as a respiratory therapist in that state. Having a state license not only ensures that you are complying with the regulatory requirements of the profession, but it also provides credibility and reassurance to employers and patients.
|California||Completion of an approved respiratory care program, passing the CRT and RRT exams, and submission of an application and fee.|
|Texas||Completion of an accredited respiratory therapy program, passing the CRT and RRT exams, submission of an application and fee, and successful completion of a criminal background check.|
|New York||Completion of an approved respiratory therapy program, passing the CRT and RRT exams, submission of an application and fee, and verification of education and work experience.|
It is important to note that licensure requirements can change over time, so it is advisable to regularly check with the licensing board in your state for the most up-to-date information and ensure compliance with any new regulations or changes in the application process.
Step 5: Start Your Job Search and Apply for Positions
Once you have obtained your license, you can begin your job search and apply for positions as a respiratory therapist, taking advantage of the diverse career opportunities in this field. As a respiratory therapist, you will have the opportunity to work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and even home healthcare. You can also specialize in areas such as neonatal care, critical care, or sleep medicine.
When starting your job search, it is important to create a strong resume that highlights your education, certifications, and any relevant experience you may have. Tailor your resume to each position you apply for, emphasizing the skills and qualifications that match the job requirements.
In addition to traditional job boards and online job postings, consider networking with professionals in the field and attending job fairs or industry conferences. Joining professional organizations such as the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) can also provide valuable networking opportunities and resources for job seekers.
- Create a targeted resume that highlights your education, certifications, and experience.
- Utilize traditional job boards, online job postings, and networking opportunities to find positions.
- Consider joining professional organizations for additional networking and resources.
Remember that the demand for respiratory therapists is growing, with a projected job growth rate of 19% from 2020 to 2030. This means there will be ample opportunities for you to find a rewarding career in respiratory therapy.
|Job Title||Median Annual Salary||Job Outlook|
|Respiratory Therapist||$70,540||19% job growth (2020-2030)|
|Senior Respiratory Therapist||$86,980||19% job growth (2020-2030)|
|Respiratory Therapy Manager||$99,070||19% job growth (2020-2030)|
As you embark on your journey as a respiratory therapist, remember to stay dedicated to continuing education and professional development. This will not only help you stay current in the field but also open up new opportunities for growth and advancement in your career.
Step 6: Continue Education and Maintain Certification
As a respiratory therapist, it is vital to continue your education and participate in professional development activities to expand your knowledge and maintain your certification. The field of respiratory care is constantly evolving, with new technologies and treatments being introduced regularly. By staying updated on the latest advancements, you can provide the best possible care to your patients.
Continuing education opportunities can be found through various avenues, such as workshops, conferences, and online courses. These resources cover a wide range of topics, including respiratory diseases, diagnostic techniques, therapeutic interventions, and patient care strategies. By actively engaging in these educational opportunities, you can enhance your skills and expertise, making you a valuable asset in your workplace.
In addition to continuing education, maintaining your certification is essential for your career as a respiratory therapist. Certification demonstrates your commitment to professionalism and validates your knowledge and skills in the field. To maintain your certification, you will need to fulfill certain requirements, such as completing a specific number of continuing education credits and participating in professional development activities.
By investing in your education and professional development, you can not only advance your career as a respiratory therapist but also make a positive impact on patient care. Stay curious, stay informed, and stay committed to your growth as a healthcare professional.
Q: What are the steps to become a respiratory therapist?
A: The steps to become a respiratory therapist are as follows:
Q: Do I need a degree to become a respiratory therapist?
A: Yes, it is recommended to complete a degree in respiratory care, preferably a bachelor’s degree.
Q: What exams do I need to pass to become a respiratory therapist?
A: You will need to pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam and earn your Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.
Q: Is a state license required to work as a respiratory therapist?
A: Yes, every state, except for Alaska, requires licensure for respiratory care practitioners.
Q: How much does a respiratory therapist earn?
A: The average salary for a respiratory therapist is $70,540.
Q: Can you provide guidance on starting a job search as a respiratory therapist?
A: Yes, you can start your job search and apply for positions in respiratory therapy.
Q: How important is it to continue education and maintain certification as a respiratory therapist?
A: It is important to continue your education and maintain certification as a respiratory therapist to stay current in the field and enhance your professional development.