ISRC Respiratory Initiative

The goal of the Respiratory Initiative is to promote and support careers in Respiratory Care throughout the state of Indiana by bringing consistent information to the students, counselors, and Allied Health workers.

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

Therapists are health care professionals who evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing difficulties caused by such things as: Asthma, Pneumonia, Emphysema, Cystic Fibrosis, Lung Cancer, Premature Birth, and Heart Attack. Respiratory therapists perform both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

What is the expected job market for Respiratory Therapy?

Great! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for respiratory therapists is growing much faster than national average for all jobs. This is a result of advanced technology, aging population, and the ability to save the lives of premature babies, heart attack and accident victims. Respiratory Therapists can also use their medical background to go into other interesting fields.

For more information on the expected job market, you can visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics Report on the Job Prospects for Respiratory Therapists.

Where do Respiratory Therapists work?

You will find respiratory therapists working in a variety of settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Home Care
  • Education
  • Medical Sales
  • Research
  • Physician's Offices
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • And Others!
What is the average salary?

The starting salary is $66,355 nationwide and $63,268 in Indianapolis per year. You can expect your salary to increase with years of experience, increased job responsibilities, and specialization.

Can I work as a student?

YES! Respiratory Therapy is the only allied health profession in Indiana that allows students to apply for a state permit allowing them to work in the profession before graduation.

How much education is needed to become a Respiratory Therapist?

A person may choose to get a two-year Associate's and/or four-year Bachelor's degree in Respiratory Therapy.

What types of high school or college courses are helpful?

Courses in science, math, and english are needed. Other helpful courses are medical terminology and computers.

Are there Scholarships available?

YES! Several employers throughout Indiana offer scholarships. For more information contact the respiratory therapy school of your choice. The school will give you further information.

Do Respiratory Therapists have credentials?

Yes! After graduation, individuals take the national certified and registered respiratory therapist exams. Upon passing, a therapist may use the CRT or RRT credential. There are also credentials for some specialized areas. In Indiana, therapists are licensed respiratory care practitioners.

Can I observe a Respiratory Therapist at work?

You are encouraged to shadow therapists during their workday. You should strive to see as many different areas of respiratory therapy as possible. To find out if a shadowing opportunity is available in your area reach out to the ISRC Respiratory Initiative Chair at this email:

Where can I get more information?
  • Contact the school of your choice.
  • Contact the hospital of your choice and ask to speak to the Respiratory Care Educator.
  • American Association for Respiratory Care
  • Indiana Health Professionals Bureau
  • National Board for Respiratory Care
  • Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care