How do I Choose the Best Respiratory Therapist Schools?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 28 December 2018
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There are five items to consider when choosing the best respiratory therapist schools: education level, hands-on training, equipment, admissions requirements, and faculty. A respiratory therapist school can be part of a larger university or college or a separate school. The best respiratory therapist schools offer specialized programs in addition to the standard curriculum. Some examples include pediatric and premature infant respiratory certification.

There are two types of programs in respiratory therapist schools: university or college. The university program is typically four to five years in length. Training covers both theory and practical skills, but the focus is on the theory. Candidates can pursue master's and doctoral programs upon graduation. College programs are typically two to three years in length. The focus of the courses is the practical skills required to work as a respiratory therapist. Both academic credentials are accepted by the certification agencies that govern this profession.

Selecting the best school should be based on your own goals, achievements and skill levels. An honest review of your high school marks, level of effort, and dedication is a strong indicator to help you decide which school is best for you. Select a school where you will be both challenged and successful.


The best respiratory therapist school should have a wide range of equipment available for student use. This includes computer simulation models of the respiratory system, human mannequins, breathing machines and ventilators. Check the average class size to ensure you will have ample opportunity to use this equipment.

In order to qualify for admission to a respiratory therapist school, you must have high school courses in biology, English, and at least one other science course. The best schools are usually in a large city and may have a free clinic, where students can practice their skills under the supervision of a certified respiratory therapist. Select the items that are important to you, and make sure that you find the best school for your needs and goals.

If you are looking at the best respiratory therapist schools in the country or state, take note that the admissions standard is higher to reflect the increased demand. These schools often require students to have a combination of high marks and letters of recommendation from former teachers. It is important to note that being in the lowest quarter of your class at the best school does not help either your career or quality of education you are receiving.

Most respiratory therapist schools provide the biographies of their faculty or instructors on their website. The information listed typically includes the academic credentials, work experience, special training, and any awards they have received. Review this information to learn more about the background of your instructors.



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