Respiratory Care - Associate's Degree

Respiratory Care - Associate's Degree

The field of respiratory care is one of the most important and rewarding in healthcare. Respiratory therapists provide care for patients who have trouble breathing. They also teach breathing techniques to patients in rehabilitation centers and conduct asthma and smoking cessation programs. In addition, respiratory therapists provide home care to patients who cannot travel to a medical site by demonstrating the operation of ventilators and other life-support systems.

Virginia College: Your First Step to a Respiratory Therapist Career

The 24-month Respiratory Care associate's degree program from Virginia College is taught by experienced instructors are experts in the field of respiratory care. They can help prepare you for a career as a respiratory therapist with a combination of clinical knowledge and hands-on training using industry-current laboratory equipment.

What You Will Learn for Your Respiratory Therapist Career

This intense hands-on program will help you gain real-world experience in the respiratory therapy field while learning the skills and techniques you need to be successful in your career. Upon graduation from this program, graduates should be able to:

  • Describe the methodology utilized by the respiratory care practitioner
  • Articulate the fundamentals of respiratory care
  • Recognize the medical components of the human body by thorough study of anatomy and physiology
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of diagnostics, treatments and rehabilitation in respiratory care
  • Analyze the workings of ventilator therapy and other artificial breathing apparatus
  • Differentiate among the various components of effective respiratory care
  • Be recommended to the National Board for Respiratory Care to be allowed to sit for the appropriate credentialing examination*
  • Coordinate a job search

Getting On-the-job Training as a Respiratory Therapist

The final year of the Respiratory Care program is comprised of clinicals, where you will work at a variety of medical sites. During this on-the-job experience, you will practice your clinical skills and build confidence in your training.

Respiratory Therapist Accreditation and Certifications

For information about program accreditation, certification exams and specific class requirements at the campus nearest you, please click "Download Curriculum" below.

Start Now.

Take the first step toward a fulfilling career that makes a difference in the lives of others. Complete the Request More Information form now and learn more about the Respiratory Care associate's degree program at Virginia College.

* Note: The College makes no representation, promise or guarantee that completion of this program either assures passage of any certification examination or acceptance by any state board. Prospective and current students, as well as graduates, are responsible for researching and understanding all examination, registration or licensure requirements in any state in which they seek to become registered, licensed or employed.

This program is available at the following campuses:

NOTE: Program details subject to change. See the official campus catalog and appropriate addenda for the latest information.

The Respiratory Care Associate of Science degree program (CRT-level program) offered at the Birmingham, Alabama campus of Virginia College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) ( The program has been placed on Probationary Accreditation as of November 9, 2013.

The Associate of Science in Respiratory Care Program at Virginia College - Austin holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( This status signifies that a program that has been granted an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance to initiate a program in accordance with the Standards through the completion and submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self Study Report (PSSR), completion of an initial on-site visit, and other documentation required by the CoARC. The conferral of Provisional Accreditation denotes a new program that has made significant progress towards meeting the Standards of Accreditation. The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until achieving Initial Accreditation. It is recognized by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) toward eligibility to the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). Enrolled students completing the program under Provisional Accreditation are considered graduates of a CoARC accredited program.

Commission on Accreditation
for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas 76021-4244
(817) 283-2835

Click here for Commission on Accreditation (CoARC) for Respiratory Care Programmatic Outcomes Data

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