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Respiratory Care (200358)

Degree: Associate in Applied Science, AAS


Respiratory therapists work closely with physicians and nurses in the treatment and diagnosis of various breathing disorders. Respiratory therapists, practicing under a physician's direction, assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care therapeutic treatments and diagnostic procedures, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Respiratory therapists are also more likely to provide complex therapy requiring considerable independent judgment, such as caring for patients on life support in hospital intensive care units. Respiratory therapists are required to have an in-depth knowledge of heart-lung physiology, effective communication skills, problem solving skills, integrity, compassion, tolerance, ethics, and effective stress coping skills.

Respiratory therapists are employed in health care facilities including acute care hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home care. 

This program, CoARC Number 200358, has been accredited by the  Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC):

CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.

CoARC Website

Programmatic Outcomes

Statistics and Facts

100%Licensure Pass Rate (2020)
100%Licensure Pass Rate (2019)
33.3%Attrition Rate (2020)
14 GraduatesProgram Graduates (2019)
100%Job Placement Rates (2019)
17.6%Attrition Rate (2019)
100%Job Placement Rates (2020)
8 GraduatesProgram Graduates (2020)

Program Video

The video describes the profession of respiratory care. Watch the video to get a general idea of what a career in respiratory care can be. You’ll hear from respiratory therapists working in the profession today and learn about all of the work settings and exciting jobs a respiratory therapist might have. Then explore the Be-an-RT website ( for more information about the profession.

In the Real World

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to increase faster than average over the next decade, primarily because the aging baby boom generation will increase the number of older people, who tend to suffer the most from respiratory conditions like pneumonia and COPD and who often have respiratory complications due to heart disease and other common diseases of aging.While U.S. employment in general is forecast to increase by 5 percent, the need for RTs will grow by up to 19 percent!

With demand for RTs on the rise, salaries are following suit. According to the 2020 Human Resources study from the AARC, the projected average annual earnings of RTs working in the U.S. is greater than $62,000. In this study, and depending on the area of the country, therapists just beginning their careers reported average annual earnings of approximately $62,019. For more information on the profession, go to

Graduates are also eligible to apply for a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program at a senior college. If you are interested in the BS track, please let your advisor know so that you may be properly guided through the transfer process. Francis Marion University(FMU ) offers a leadership track for a BS in Healthcare Administration and will accept up to 60 semester hours from the FDTC respiratory care program. 

Career Placement

At FDTC, we believe that education deserves results - that’s why we want to watch our students succeed in the real world. Florence-Darlington Technical College works diligently to match students with relevant jobs in our community so that they can put their hard-earned education to work. We partner with successful alumni and local businesses to ensure our students get the best possible career upon graduation. Our Career Services Office offers a variety of services to help students succeed including: resume coaching, on-campus recruiting & career fairs, online job postings, professional development workshops, personality evaluations, internship placement assistance, and other online career building resources. We encourage all students to schedule a meeting with a Career Services Coach at (843) 661-8075 to explore their post-graduation opportunities. Find out about what Career Services can do for you. What does your future look like?

Learning Goals/Objectives

  1. Lifelong Learning: Respiratory graduates will demonstrate the ability to self-assess the knowledge that is required for life-long learning.
  2. Communication: Respiratory graduates will be able to communicate effectively and professionally with a variety of patients from diverse backgrounds, in addition to peers and other health care providers.
  3. Critical Thinking: Respiratory graduates will be able to integrate technical and conceptual knowledge to assess, plan, implement, evaluate, adapt, and document treatments to benefit individual patient needs.
  4. Quality and Safety: Graduates will provide evidence-based, preventive and therapeutic respiratory care in a safe manner.
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