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Top 10 Associate Degrees in Respiratory Therapy 2022

The need for quality respiratory care systems has become obvious recently. Getting an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy or respiratory care is a great way to become professionally qualified in this field. Not only is this degree a good way to get started in a medical field, it’s also a path that someone who already has a bachelor’s degree in a medical field could take to expand their skills and their employability.

Our list of the top 10 associate degrees in respiratory therapy is based on the quality and affordability of the programs. Starting with a list of more than 350 schools that offer an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy, we filtered the list by the quality of the program (based on collegenavigator.gov’s graduation rate and student-to-teacher ratio statistics) and the affordability (based on the tuition reported on collegenavigator.gov). Northland Community College, number seven on our list, was the only school to offer a (partially) online respiratory therapy associate’s degree.

The top 10 colleges offering respiratory therapy associate’s degrees are:

  1. Oconee Fall Line Technical College
  2. Coastal Pines Technical College
  3. Eastern Florida State College
  4. Wilkes Community College
  5. Copiah-Lincoln Community College
  6. Southwestern Community College
  7. Northland Community College
  8. Hinds Community College
  9. Maysville Community and Technical College
  10. Madisonville Community College

10. Madisonville Community College

Madisonville, Kentucky

Associate in Applied Science – Respiratory Care

website

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Madisonville Community College offers an associate’s degree in respiratory care. The 68-credit program prepares students with the training needed to administer cardiopulmonary diagnostic testing, patient evaluation, and care planning. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, and acceptance each year is selective and limited. 

Tuition: $5,884

9. Maysville Community & Technical College

Maysville, Kentucky

Associate in Applied Science in Respiratory Care

website

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At Maysville Community & Technical College, students can earn an AAS in respiratory therapy in two years. The 68-credit program combines classroom theory with laboratory and clinical experience. The curriculum includes courses in supporting sciences, mathematics, and communications, as well as specialized courses in cardiac and respiratory care. Graduates of the program have a 100% job-placement rate.  

Tuition: $5,811

8. Hinds Community College

Raymond, Mississippi

Respiratory Care Technology Associate in Applied Science

website

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Hinds Community College offers a two-year AAS program in respiratory therapy that prepares students for competence in the cognitive, psychomotor, and effective learning domains of respiratory care. Graduates of this highly successful program have a 100% job-placement rate. The curriculum consists of 79 credit hours, and it can be completed in two years. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take all necessary exams. 

Tuition: $4,045

7. Northland Community & Technical College

East Grand Forks, Minnesota 

Respiratory Therapist Associate in Applied Science

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Northland Community & Technical College’s AAS in respiratory therapy offers flexibility in mode of study, making it a great option. The program is the single online respiratory therapy program to make our list. This system allows students to participate in the theory portions of the program in person, online via Zoom, or online asynchronously. There are some required meeting times they must attend in person for lab and clinical experiences. The competitive program accepts just 24 students each year. 78 credits are required to graduate, and graduates are eligible to take the entry-level examinations upon completion. 

Tuition: $4,661

6. Southwestern Community College

Sylva, North Carolina

Associate in Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy 

website

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Southwestern Community College offers an 80-credit, two-year AAS degree in respiratory therapy. Past graduates of the program have excelled at both the state and national levels. Students will master skills in patient assessment and treatment of cardiopulmonary diseases. The curriculum will teach skills such as life support and drug administration. SCC has articulation agreements with numerous colleges and universities for those wishing to go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.  

Tuition: $5,562

5. Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Natchez, Mississippi 

Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care

website

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The Associate of Applied Science degree in respiratory care at Copiah-Lincoln is a 73-credit program that can be completed in five semesters. New students are accepted to the program once a year. The curriculum is carefully designed to prepare students to be successful respiratory care practitioners. Graduates will be qualified to take the National Board for Respiratory Care exams for CRT and RRT. 

Tuition: $4,875

4. Wilkes Community College

Wilkesboro, North Carolina

Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy

website

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Wilkes Community College offers a two-year associate’s degree in respiratory therapy that fully prepares students to succeed as respiratory therapists. The school offers an impressive 12:1 student-to-teacher ratio, and upon graduation, students will be prepared to take the entry-level examinations. Students will master skills in patient assessment and treatment of cardiopulmonary diseases, and they will learn skills such as life support, monitoring, drug administration, and treatment of patients in a variety of settings.

Tuition: $3,318

3. Eastern Florida State College

Melbourne, Florida

Associate of Science in Respiratory Care

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The associate’s degree program in respiratory care at Eastern Florida State College prepares students to perform in all areas within the hospital setting. The 76-credit program accepts new students each fall, and they can complete it in as little as 17 months. An emphasis is placed on acute and clinical care, and an interactive simulation laboratory complements the instructional portion of the program. The school works cooperatively with many local hospitals to provide students with hands-on training and clinical rotations. 

Tuition: $3,345

2. Coastal Pines Technical College

Waycross, Georgia

Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care

website

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At Coastal Pines Technical College, students can earn a very affordable AAS in respiratory therapy. The 78-credit program can be completed in seven semesters.  The curriculum focuses on training in important areas such as pulmonary function testing, assessment of disease and conditions, pulmonary and cardiac pharmacology, and critical respiratory care. Graduates are qualified to take the exams necessary to become a registered respiratory therapist. 

Tuition: $1,531

1. Oconee Fall Line Technical College

Dublin, Georgia

Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care

website

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Oconee Fall Line Technical College offers the top associate’s degree in respiratory care. This affordable degree program is a sequence of courses that prepares students for successful careers in respiratory care. The curriculum emphasizes specialized training in areas such as pulmonary and cardiac pharmacology, medical gases, pediatric and neonatal respiratory care, and patient assessment, to name a few. The program requires the completion of 81 credits to graduate. New students are admitted each semester, and students can graduate after just six semesters of study.

Tuition: $2,978

OAD Staff

October 2021

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This concludes our article on the top 10 associate’s degrees in respiratory therapy.