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How long does it take to become an RT?
It depends on the particular educational program you attend, but most will require
45-55 credit hours in the actual coursework of Respiratory Care – approximately 20
months. You will have to meet prerequisites coursework and other general education
required of an Associate of Applied Science degree.
Do I need a Certification or a License?
Yes, you must pass the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) exam for Certified
Respiratory Therapist (CRT). Then you will apply for a license from the state in which
you would like to practice with the exception of Alaska which is a non-licensed state.
You must maintain a valid CPR certification at all times. You must take the Registered
Respiratory Therapy exam (RRT) within three (3) years from graduation or you will
need to repeat the CRT exam. You need to be able to pass a background check and drug
screen prior to being accepted into most RT Programs.
Will I get a job? How much can I earn?
Respiratory Therapists held about 122,000 jobs in 2006. About 79% were in hospitals.
Faster-than-average employment growth is projected. Employment of RT's is expected
to grow 19% from 2006 to 2016. The demands will increase as our population ages and
the role for RTs' expand. A new grads average starting pay in Arkansas is $20.00/hr.
Median and annual earnings for RT's were between $40,840 and $56,160/yr. Pay will
vary by location, years of experience and additional skills.