Most people take breathing for granted, but for thousands of people who suffer from breathing problems, each breath is a major accomplishment. Respiratory care practitioners treat patients of all ages from infants to adults. They provide relief, though temporary, to patients with chronic lung disease. They also provide emergency care to people who have suffered from heart attacks, strokes, drowning and shock. They teach patients and their families how to use breathing equipment and how to get the most out of their daily lives. Respiratory therapists mostly work in hospitals but they also work with home health agencies, respiratory therapy clinics, and extended care facilities. 

Educational Qualifications

To receive the BS in Respiratory Care, you need to complete 4 years of college after high school. The first two years are spent taking prerequisites and the last two years are spent at Loma Linda University taking the prescribed coursework leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. Upon completion of the program, the student is eligible to sit for the license to practice respiratory care. The license is offered through the National Board for Respiratory Care. 

Job Outlook

Jobs in the field of respiratory therapy are expected to grow by 28% through the year 2020.

Entering Salary

The national average income is $57,200. The average income for California is $73,320.

Career information adapted from:

  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from