5 Steps to Choose the Right Respiratory Therapist School

Welcome to a comprehensive guide on how to select the ideal respiratory therapist school for your future healthcare career. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or looking to transition into a new profession, making the right choice is crucial. In this article, we’ll walk you through five essential steps to ensure you make a well-informed decision that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

Step 1: Clarify Your Career Goals

Before diving headfirst into the world of respiratory therapy, take a moment to reflect on your career objectives. What motivates you to pursue this field? Do you aspire to work in a specific healthcare setting or with particular patient populations instead of teaching career? Are you seeking personal fulfillment or financial stability?

One of the most significant advantages of becoming a respiratory therapist is the diverse range of career opportunities available. These professionals can work in hospitals, clinics, home healthcare, and even as educators or researchers. By understanding your career goals, you can narrow down your options and find a school that aligns with your vision.

Step 2: Research Accredited Programs

Accreditation is a crucial factor when choosing a respiratory therapist school or even healthcare provider educational center. Accredited programs adhere to rigorous standards set by relevant organizations, ensuring a high-quality education. In the United States, the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) accredits respiratory therapy programs.

Start your search by visiting CoARC’s website to find a list of accredited schools. Ensure that the institutions you’re considering are on this list. Accreditation not only guarantees a quality education but also makes you eligible for certification exams and licensure.

Research Accredited Programs

Accreditation is a crucial factor when choosing a respiratory therapist school. Source: umary.edu

Step 3: Consider Location and Convenience

Next, think about the school’s location and how it fits into your life. Is it close to home, or are you willing to relocate? Some students prefer schools in urban areas for their proximity to hospitals and clinical facilities, while others opt for rural campuses for a quieter learning environment.

Additionally, consider the program’s schedule and format. Does it offer flexibility for students with work or family commitments? Online or hybrid programs may be suitable if you need a more adaptable learning experience.

Step 4: Investigate Financial Aid Options

Education can be a significant financial investment, so it’s essential to explore available financial aid options. Start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal grants, loans, or work-study programs.

Many respiratory therapist schools also offer scholarships and grants specific to their programs. Research these opportunities and apply to as many as you qualify for. Don’t forget to inquire about any repayment options for loans, such as income-driven repayment plans.

Step 5: Visit and Connect

Before making your final decision, visit the respiratory therapist schools you’re considering. This step is invaluable, as it allows you to get a feel for the campus, meet faculty and staff, and connect with current students. These firsthand experiences can help you gauge the school’s culture, resources, and the level of support you can expect.

While on campus, ask questions about the curriculum, clinical rotations, and opportunities for hands-on experience. Inquire about graduation rates, job placement rates, and the success of alumni in passing the required certification exams.

Visit and Connect

Visit the respiratory therapist schools you’re considering. Source: student-support


Choosing the right respiratory therapist school is a pivotal decision on your path to a rewarding career in healthcare. By following these five steps, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your career goals and sets you on a path to success. Remember to clarify your aspirations, research accredited programs, consider convenience, investigate financial aid options, and visit schools to make a well-informed decision. Your journey toward becoming a respiratory therapist starts with the right educational foundation.

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Ellie - a go-getter in the content creating industry.  Since 2016, she has been actively engaged in writing and career guidance. Simply put, Ellie realized that what truly drives her is advising and coaching people on the path to self-discovery. She currently works with JobandEdu as a researcher and writer. Ellie's articles serve as advice columns for people at a crossroads in their careers or who can't make up their minds. She guides them through determining a pathway, job hunting, overcoming hurdles at work, and the multiple tip-top tools on the go. She also regularly shares her perspectives on topics piquing her curiosity or providing her with actionable insights.