Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory Therapy

About the Program

The two-year Respiratory Therapist (RSPT) program is designed to prepare individuals for career entry into respiratory care. Respiratory Care Practitioners evaluate, treat, and manage patients of all ages with respiratory illnesses and other cardiopulmonary disorders. Upon completion of the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in respiratory care, the graduate will be eligible to apply for the credentialing exams administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), 10801 Mastin Street, Suite 300, Overland Park, KS 66210. Toll-Free 888.341.4811. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (COARC), 264 Precision Blvd Telford, TN 37690 USA, Telephone: 817-283-2835

AWARD TYPES: Associate of Applied Science

AREA OF STUDY: Health Sciences

Degrees and Certificates

Learn more about the Degrees and Certificates offered by this program by visiting the HCC Catalog.

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Meet Gia Tran

Student Testimonial

Meet Gia Tran

HCC Coleman College continues to transform the lives of countless students every day. Meet Gia Tran, Respiratory Therapy, Class of 2024, and get inspired to start your own rewarding career in healthcare!

Program Information

A Career in Respiratory Therapy

For thousands of Americans who suffer from breathing problems, each breath is a major accomplishment. These people include patients with chronic lung problems, such as emphysema, asthma, and bronchitis, but they also include heart attack and accident victims; premature infants; and people with cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, or AIDS. In each case, the person will most likely receive treatment from a Respiratory therapist under the direction of a physician. Respiratory therapists work to evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing disorders.

Diagnostic procedures performed by respiratory therapists include: obtaining and analyzing sputum specimens; obtaining and analyzing blood specimens to determine acid base balance and levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide; measuring the capacity of a patient’s lungs to determine the level of impairment and studying disruptive sleep disorders.Therapeutic procedures performed by respiratory therapists include: administration of supplemental oxygen, initiating and maintaining mechanical ventilation; monitoring and managing therapy that will help a patient recover lung function; administering medications in aerosol form and monitoring patient’s response to therapy; maintaining a patient’s artificial airway; and conducting smoking cessation programs.

The need for respiratory therapists is expected to grow in the coming years due to the large increase in the elderly population; the impact of environmental problems that have already contributed to the yearly rise in number of reported asthma cases; and technological advances in the treatment of heart attack, cancer, and accident victims, as well as premature babies.

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!
With demand for Respiratory Therapists on the rise, salaries are following suit. According to the 2005 Human Resources study from the AARC, the projected average annual earnings of Respiratory Therapists working in the U.S. is $56,222. In this study, therapists just beginning their careers reported average annual earnings of $41,538.



The Associate Degree Respiratory Therapist Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( 264 Precision Blvd, Telford, TN, 37690 Telephone 817-283-2835.


CoARC website:
Houston Community College CoARC Program Number: 200095


Where do Respiratory Therapists Work?

  • 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.



CoARC Programmatic Outcomes Data

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.

Click here to view the latest programmatic outcomes data.


Licensure/Certification Exam Results

The Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist program graduates credentials are recognized by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Licensure to practice Respiratory Care is issued by the Texas Medical Board (TMB). Licensure to practice is only recognized by the state where it is issued. Moving out of state would require obtaining a license from the new state of residence.

If you have any questions or encounter problems contacting the appropriate licensing board, please contact your Program Director at 713.718.7385


2021-2022 Third-Party Licensure/Certification Exam Results 

Occupational licensure and/or certification pass rates reported by academic calendar year (Sept. 1–Aug. 31). Results for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years are provided for comparison. 

Program/ Aligned Award

Agency Standard

HCC Standard


Pass Rate
(# Passed)


Pass Rate
(# Passed)


Pass Rate



Respiratory Therapist AAS



100% (11)  100% (16)  100% (8) 

Exceeds Expectation




There are 2,597 Respiratory Therapists employed in the Greater Houston Area. This number is expected to increase by 13.4% over the next four years.

  • The estimated annual job openings is 139 jobs a year.
  • Median Wages - $37.23 hourly, $77,430 annuall


Texas Education Association (TEA) Industry Based Certification Resource

Certification NameTEA Resource Link Third-Party Certification AgencyThird-Party Certification Agency Website

Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist

National Board for Respiratory Carewww.NBRC.ORG 


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Marketable Skills

Learn more about the marketable skills—skills valued by employers that can be applied in variety of work settings—so you can communicate these to potential employers. Click on the relevant award title below to see descriptions of marketable skills for that area.

Respiratory Therapist, A.A.S.

Career Opportunities

Explore real-time labor market data on occupations you may pursue post-graduation, offering insight into career opportunities, potential earnings, and job demand in the Greater Houston region.

For more in-depth information about this career and other career pathways, visit Career Coach.

Respiratory Therapy Information Session

Learn more about the Respiratory Therapy Program by completing an online information session.

The online information session is a mandatory requirement of the admission process.

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Search for a Respiratory Therapist Professor or request more information

Respiratory Therapy Program

Teodoro Tovar

Program Director