Complete Guide to Online Respiratory Therapy Programs

By Jennifer King Logan | Updated 10/20/2020
Quick Facts
Accreditation: CoARC
Average Tuition: $23,766
Average Salary: $81,056

Job opportunities for trained technicians who can provide specific services are increasing in the healthcare industry. Demand for respiratory therapists, for example, is expected to grow by 19% over the next eight to ten years. Respiratory therapy is the practice of treating patients who suffer from chronic heart and lung diseases. Therapists work with patients of all ages, from premature infants to adults who suffer from sleeping disorders or who have experienced a heart attack or other illness. The following is a list of schools that prepare students to be respiratory therapists through their online respiratory therapy programs. Additional details on accredited schools, career options, and the job outlook for respiratory therapists are also provided below.

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Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Respiratory Therapy Bachelor's Degrees

Visitors to our site are most interested in these schools
Rank School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# 1 #1 Liberty University $11,700 58% (298 reviews)
645 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
645 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • BS: Respiratory Therapy (RRT to BSRT)
# 2 #2 University of Southern Indiana $19,856 Add Review
56 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
56 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (RRT to BSRT) ...
# 3 #3 Boise State University $24,988 100% (1 review)
61 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
61 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (RRT to BS)
# 4 #4 Northern Kentucky University $20,256 75% (4 reviews)
83 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
83 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • BS Respiratory Care
# 5 #5 Youngstown State University $9,639 Add Review
41 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
41 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (Completion Program)
# 6 #6 San Joaquin Valley College $30,175 66% (47 reviews)
10 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
10 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor - Respiratory Therapy
# 7 #7 Carlow University $30,528 Add Review
40 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
40 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy
# 8 #8 Northern Arizona University $26,516 69% (16 reviews)
171 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
171 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Allied Health: R...
# 9 #9 Nova Southeastern University $32,110 71% (7 reviews)
203 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
203 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • BSRT (Post-Professional)
  • BSRT (Post-Professional) - Health Care Management
# 10 #10 Concorde Career Colleges $22,769 0% (1 review)
1 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
1 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration - Respi...
# 11 #11 Pima Medical Institute $11,506 100% (1 review)
7 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
7 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy
# 12 #12 Loma Linda University $30,380 Add Review
42 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
42 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (Post-Prof BS in ...
  • Post-Professional Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care
# 13 #13 Midwestern State University $11,551 75% (4 reviews)
42 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
42 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (RRT to BSRC) - A...
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (RRT to BSRC) - T...
# 14 #14 Missouri Southern State University $13,606 100% (1 review)
38 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
38 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Respiratory Care ...
# 15 #15 Modesto Junior College $7,536 Add Review
1 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
1 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • BS in Respiratory Care (Degree Completion)
# 16 #16 Oregon Institute of Technology $29,637 Add Review
27 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
27 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (Degree Completion)
# 17 #17 University of Mary $19,074 100% (2 reviews)
90 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
90 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • BS in Respiratory Therapy (RRT to BSRT)
# 18 #18 Columbia College - SC $19,890 Add Review
39 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
39 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care
# 19 #19 Dalton State College $10,589 Add Review
7 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
7 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy
# 20 #20 Ferris State University $12,068 Add Review
66 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
66 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • BS in Respiratory Therapy
# 21 #21 Florida National University-Main Campus $13,688 100% (1 review)
62 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
62 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy
# 22 #22 Florida SouthWestern State College $12,979 Add Review
15 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
15 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Sciences
# 23 #23 Jacksonville State University $20,840 100% (2 reviews)
69 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
69 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy - RRT-BS Program
# 24 #24 Kent State University at Salem $14,875 Add Review
143 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
143 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care
# 25 #25 Kent State University at Trumbull $14,875 Add Review
145 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy (view all)
145 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care

Overview of Online Respiratory Therapy Degrees

Aspiring respiratory therapists will want to pursue a degree of higher education in order to qualify for different jobs and positions within the field. Online bachelor's degrees in respiratory therapy are offered at the university level and can be completed through 120-credit hours of study over the course of four years. This degree may prepare graduates for positions in critical care, pulmonary rehabilitation, and sleep medicine. Professionals who are ready to move to higher positions above entry-level will want to consider earning their master's degree. Students in online master's programs will face up to two years of study through the culmination of 37 to 47-credit hours.  Upon graduation, respiratory therapists may find work inmanagement and coordination positions.  

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Respiratory Therapy

Students enrolled in full time study can complete their online bachelor's degrees in respiratory therapy in four years through a completion of 120-credit hours. Students will learn about sleep medicine, critical care, pulmonary rehabilitation, and asthma education as they complete their required courses and training. Required courses include Clinical Ethics, Emergency & Disaster Management in Healthcare, Community & Patient Education, Pediatric Respiratory Care, Adult Critical Care, Advanced Mechanical Ventilation Theory, and Current Issues in Respiratory Care. Students will also need to complete general education courses as well as elective courses based on their interests. When considering enrolling in an online bachelor's program, applicants will have to make sure some basic admission requirements are met. These requirements typically include a completion of a CoARC accredited associate program, official transcripts from all schools attended, a letter of intent, and, if applicable to the applicant, a resume. Aspiring industry professionals can find bachelor programs at universities across the country. 

The Importance of an Accredited Online Respiratory Therapy Degree 

Accreditation is an extremely important factor to consider when choosing an online school to attend. Without accreditation, graduates may find themselves with a degree that many employers will not recognize. In short, accreditation is the process in which agencies review institutions and programs to ensure the highest quality of education is being demonstrated. Accreditation shows the graduate's potential employer that their program met high standards and that the graduate has been well educated in their field of work and is ready to be hired. Attending a non-accredited school will also mean that the student will not qualify for student loans or be eligible to transfer credits. It may also hinder the student's chance of obtaining an appropriate professional licensure in their field. The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) is the primary accrediting body for degree programs in respiratory care. The agency is nationally recognized and is dedicated to ensuring high quality educational programs that will adequately prepare students for career practice. CoARC determines a program's eligibility based on information assessment, an on site evaluation, and reports submitted during the accreditation cycle. All CoARC accredited programs are evaluated on an annual basis to ensure that standards are continually being met.  

Careers in Respiratory Care

People with online respiratory therapy degrees who go on to work as respiratory therapists will provide treatment and care for patients that have been diagnosed with heart and lung conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, and sleep apnea. Respiratory therapists will also see patients who are recovering from heart attack or stroke. Daily responsibilities include running tests to diagnose heart and lung conditions as well as working with doctors to recommend appropriate treatment by conducting physical exams, responding to urgent care patients, analyzing treatment, and educating patients and family members in order to maximize their treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Respiratory Therapy Degrees

How much can I earn with an online degree in respiratory therapy?

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary range for respiratory therapists is $44,850 to $86,980. Higher-paying jobs and management positions are generally reserved for professionals with bachelor's and master's degrees. Respiratory therapists will find the most job opportunities in hospitals, nursing care facilities, and medical practices.

What is the job outlook for respiratory therapists?

While "respiratory therapy technician" is an outdated term for a position that is being phased out of the healthcare industry, respiratory therapists are still in demand. The role has a job growth projection of 19% through 2029.

What kind of degree do I need to become a respiratory therapist?

Aspiring professionals should seek, at minimum, an associate degree in order to qualify for entry-level positions, but they will have better success in finding a position with a bachelor's degree. Respiratory therapists with a few years of experience may consider an advanced online degree to keep up with evolving health care practices and to qualify for promotions.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.