Respiratory Therapy

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Average starting salary over $60,000



Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy

The Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy gives you the skills to evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. Practicing under the direction of a physician, respiratory therapists assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care therapeutic treatments and diagnostic procedures. Therapists also provide complex therapy requiring considerable independent judgment, such as caring for patients on life support in intensive-care units of hospitals.

An associate degree is earned with successful completion of 65 semester hours of coursework. Graduates are eligible to take national credentialing examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which include the Certified and Registered Respiratory Therapist credentials (CRT, RRT), Certified and Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (CPFT, RPFT) and Neonatal Pediatric Specialist (NPS).

About the Associate Degree in Respiratory Therapy Program

Course Information and Roadmap

Bachelor’s of Science in Respiratory Care (BSRC)

Building upon the foundation of an associate degree in respiratory therapy, Kent State University at Ashtabula’s Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care is the solution for both students completing an associate degree and working respiratory therapists that wish to expand their career options. Our accredited completer program is offered in an accelerated format that offers 7-week courses and is completely online. Applications are now being accepting and students may apply online for admission to Kent State Ashtabula.

A Bachelor’s degree is earned with successful completion of 45 semester hours of upper division course work. The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care degree program is designed to prepare qualified graduates of associate degree programs with the necessary knowledge and skills for a role in management, research, teaching, and more. In addition, the program uses best practices to teach leadership skills, disease management, and sleep medicine specializations to enhance students’ practice of respiratory care.  

About the Bachelor's Degree in Respiratory Care Program

Course Information & Road Map


Frequently Asked Questions

What Does a Respiratory Therapist Do?
Where do Respiratory Therapists Work?

Respiratory therapists provide hands-on care that helps people recover from a wide range of medical conditions. Therapists get to know their patients, and their patients’ families. Whenever breathing is an issue, they are there.

You’ll find RTs:

  • In hospitals giving breathing treatments to people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
  • In intensive care units managing ventilators that keep the critically ill alive.
  • In emergency rooms delivering life-saving treatments.
  • In newborn and pediatric units helping kids with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis.
  • In operating rooms working with anesthesiologists to monitor patients’ breathing during surgery.
  • In patient’s homes providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital.
  • In sleep laboratories helping to diagnose disorders like sleep apnea.
  • In skilled nursing facilities and pulmonary rehabilitation programs helping older people breathe easier and get more out of life.
  • In doctor’s offices conducting pulmonary function tests and providing patient education.
  • In asthma education programs helping kids and adults alike learn how to cope with the condition.
  • In smoking cessation programs assisting those who want to kick the habit for good.
  • In air transport and ambulance programs rushing to rescue people in need of immediate medical attention.
  • In case management programs helping devise long-term care plans for patients.

Information obtained from

Can the pre-requisites be taken at another school?

The answer is yes. Kent State University at Ashtabula is the program’s home university, but you may complete the general education and prerequisite courses at any regionally accredited college or university. All pre-requisite courses may be taken either online or face to face. If these classes are taken at an out-of-state university, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Yvonne George to  determine if your classes will be transferable.

When can I begin working as a Respiratory Therapist

Yes. When you complete the professional course year, you will graduate with an Associate Degree (AAS). Upon graduation, you are eligible to take the credentialing exams. After successful completion of the credentialing exams, you can receive a state license to practice.

Is the Bachelor's Degree required?

Currently, the BS degree is not required to practice as a Respiratory Therapist. It is recommended for advancement in the career. Our Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care degree is set up for working professionals. All of the courses are online and can be completed at your own pace.

Will I be able to find a job after graduation and what can I expect to earn?

The field of respiratory care provides excellent opportunities for those interested in a dynamic and exciting career in cardiopulmonary sciences. Salaries for respiratory therapists are excellent and compare favorably with other allied health fields. The median annual wage of respiratory therapists is $62,000. Job opportunities for new graduates are also very good. While U.S. employment in general is forecast to increase by 15 percent, the need for respiratory therapists will grow by up to 26 percent making respiratory care one of the fastest growing occupations!

Information obtained from



This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure  in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.

Mission Statement

The mission of Kent State University at Ashtabula’s Respiratory Therapy Program is to prepare competent practitioners with the skills, knowledge and ability to become qualified professionals that deliver high quality, culturally diverse care in a global society.


The AAS Degree Respiratory Therapy program at Kent State University at Ashtabula located in Ashtabula, OH, program number 200574, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

Programmatic Outcomes Data

The AAS Degree Respiratory Therapy program at Kent State University at Ashtabula located at Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, program number 300037, holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( 

This (Provisional Accreditation) status signifies that a program with an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the Standards (through submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self-Study Report (PSSR) and any other documentation required by the CoARC, as well as satisfactory completion of an initial on-site visit), to be allowed to admit students. It is recognized as an accredited program by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which provides enrolled students who complete the program with eligibility for the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until it achieves Continuing Accreditation.

Learn More at a Virtual Information Session

Attend a virtual information session During these sessions you can:

  • Ask questions about required coursework and clinicals
  • Learn about job opportunities and how you can start working before you graduate
  • Learn about tuition assistance programs
  • Ask questions about the Cleveland Clinic Program
  • See the Respiratory Therapy Lab
  • Get additional information about the program.

Sessions are held on each Wednesday of the month.

To register for a session go to:

Select either time:

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm or 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Sessions are held virtually on Microsoft Teams.