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Career Overview

Entry Level Education

Associate's degree

Patient Interaction

Very High

Body Fluid Interaction

Very High



Job Growth


Job Description:

Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.

What Respiratory Therapist Do:

Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing—for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. They also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, drowning, or shock.

How to Become One:

Earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy. Complete the Examination to Become a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). West Virginia requires licensure by the WV Board of Respiratory Care.


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