Respiratory Therapist

How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Arizona

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What is a Respiratory Therapist?

A respiratory therapist is a healthcare professional who specializes in providing care to patients with respiratory disorders. They work closely with doctors and nurses to assess and treat patients who have trouble breathing, such as those with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other respiratory conditions. Respiratory therapists are responsible for conducting diagnostic tests, administering treatments, and educating patients on how to manage their respiratory conditions.

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Where does a Respiratory Therapist work?

Respiratory therapists can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare agencies. They may also work in emergency rooms, intensive care units, or pediatric units, depending on their specialization. Respiratory therapists often collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop and implement treatment plans for patients.

What are the requirements to become a Respiratory Therapist in Arizona?

To become a respiratory therapist in Arizona, you must meet certain education and legal requirements. These include:

  1. Education: You must complete an accredited respiratory therapy program, which typically takes 2-4 years to complete. These programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools, and universities. The curriculum includes both classroom instruction and clinical rotations to provide hands-on experience.

  2. Certification: After completing your education, you must obtain certification from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). The most common certification for respiratory therapists is the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential. This requires passing an exam administered by the NBRC.

  3. State Licensure: In addition to certification, you must obtain a license from the Arizona State Board of Respiratory Care Examiners. This involves submitting an application, paying a fee, and meeting certain eligibility requirements, such as passing a background check.

Where can I find Respiratory Therapist classes in Arizona?

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a respiratory therapist in Arizona, Dreambound is a great resource to find and compare vocational training programs. Dreambound is the largest platform for students to explore different vocational training options and find the right program for their career goals.

You can find respiratory therapy classes in Arizona on Dreambound's website, specifically tailored to locations in Phoenix (https://dreambound.com/view/respiratory-therapy-training-phoenix-az) and Tucson (https://dreambound.com/view/respiratory-therapy-training-tucson-az). These programs offer comprehensive training and will help you meet the education requirements to become a respiratory therapist in Arizona.

Dreambound provides detailed information about each program, including the curriculum, duration, cost, and reviews from students who have completed the program. This allows you to make an informed decision and find the best respiratory therapy class in Arizona that suits your needs and preferences.

So, if you're ready to start your journey towards becoming a respiratory therapist in Arizona, visit Dreambound's website and explore the available respiratory therapy training programs today.

How to Get Your Respiratory Therapist Certification

If you're interested in a career as a respiratory therapist, you'll need to pursue the necessary education and certification. Respiratory therapists play a crucial role in helping patients with breathing difficulties, such as those suffering from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or even COVID-19. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get your respiratory therapist certification:

  1. Research the Requirements: Start by researching the specific requirements for becoming a respiratory therapist in your state or country. The requirements may vary, but most places require a minimum of an associate's degree in respiratory therapy. Some states may also require certification or licensure.

  2. Complete an Accredited Program: Look for a respiratory therapy program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). These programs ensure that you receive the necessary education and training to become a competent respiratory therapist. You can find a list of accredited programs on the CoARC website.

  3. Apply to Respiratory Therapy Programs: Once you've identified accredited programs, complete the application process. This typically involves submitting an application form, transcripts from your high school or college, letters of recommendation, and sometimes a personal statement or essay. Some programs may also require an interview.

  4. Complete the Coursework: Once accepted into a respiratory therapy program, you'll need to complete the required coursework. This typically includes classes in anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, respiratory care procedures, patient assessment, and respiratory diseases. You'll also gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations in hospitals or healthcare facilities.

  5. Pass the Certification Exam: After completing your education, you'll need to pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). This exam tests your knowledge and skills in respiratory therapy. Once you pass the CRT exam, you'll be eligible for state licensure.

  6. Obtain State Licensure: Depending on your state's requirements, you may need to apply for a state license to practice as a respiratory therapist. This typically involves submitting an application, providing proof of education and certification, and paying an application fee. Some states may also require a background check.

  7. Consider Advanced Certifications: After becoming certified and licensed as a respiratory therapist, you may choose to pursue advanced certifications to enhance your career opportunities. The NBRC offers specialty certifications in areas such as neonatal/pediatric respiratory care, sleep disorders testing, and pulmonary function technology.

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How to Get a Job as a Respiratory Therapist

Once you've obtained your respiratory therapist certification, you'll be ready to start your career. Here are some steps to help you get a job as a respiratory therapist:

  1. Build a Strong Resume: Create a resume that highlights your education, certifications, clinical experience, and any relevant skills or achievements. Be sure to include any specialized training or certifications you may have obtained.

  2. Craft a Compelling Cover Letter: Write a cover letter that explains why you're interested in the position and how your skills and experience make you a strong candidate. Tailor your cover letter to each specific job application.

  3. Network: Reach out to professionals in the field of respiratory therapy, such as former classmates, instructors, or healthcare professionals you've worked with during your clinical rotations. They may be able to provide job leads or recommend you for open positions.

  4. Apply for Jobs: Search for job openings in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings. Job boards, professional networking websites, and hospital websites are good places to start your search. Submit your resume and cover letter for each position you're interested in.

  5. Prepare for Interviews: Once you start receiving interview invitations, prepare for the interviews by researching the company or healthcare facility, practicing common interview questions, and preparing examples of how you've demonstrated your skills and abilities in previous experiences.

  6. Consider Joining Professional Associations: Joining professional associations, such as the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), can provide you with networking opportunities, access to job boards, continuing education resources, and professional development opportunities.

  7. Stay Up-to-Date: Respiratory therapy is a constantly evolving field, so it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and research. Participate in continuing education courses, attend conferences, and subscribe to professional journals to expand your knowledge and skills.

Career Paths and Opportunities after Becoming a Respiratory Therapist

Becoming a respiratory therapist opens up various career paths and opportunities within the field. Here are some potential career paths you could pursue:

  1. Hospital Respiratory Therapist: Many respiratory therapists work in hospitals, where they provide direct patient care, administer respiratory treatments, and assist with procedures such as intubation and mechanical ventilation. They may work in various departments, including the emergency room, intensive care unit, or neonatal unit.

  2. Home Healthcare Respiratory Therapist: Some respiratory therapists work in home healthcare settings, where they provide respiratory care to patients in their homes. This may involve managing ventilators, providing education and support to patients and their families, and monitoring patients' progress.

  3. Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapist: Pulmonary rehabilitation therapists work with patients who have chronic lung conditions, such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis. They help patients improve their lung function and quality of life through exercise, breathing techniques, and education.

  4. Sleep Disorders Specialist: Respiratory therapists can specialize in sleep disorders and work in sleep clinics or laboratories. They conduct sleep studies, diagnose sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and provide treatment options such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

  5. Management or Education: With experience and additional certifications, respiratory therapists can move into management roles, overseeing respiratory therapy departments or programs. They can also become educators, teaching future respiratory therapists in educational institutions or as clinical instructors.

  6. Research or Industry: Respiratory therapists can also pursue careers in research, working on studies and clinical trials related to respiratory diseases and treatments. They may also work in the pharmaceutical or medical device industry, developing and testing new therapies or equipment.


Becoming a respiratory therapist requires dedication, education, and certification. By following the steps outlined above, you can start your journey towards a rewarding career in respiratory therapy. Whether you choose to work in a hospital, home healthcare, or specialize in a specific area, the field of respiratory therapy offers numerous opportunities to make a difference in the lives of patients with breathing difficulties. Stay updated with the latest advancements in the field and continue to grow professionally to excel in your career.

Dreambound has a bunch of guides about starting in this field, with specific ones for different cities. If you're not in this city or are thinking about moving, check out some other guides below:

Thinking about making a big change in your career path? It's important to be well-informed before starting off on your journey. Dreambound has written hundreds of in-depth guides to help. Explore some of these resources below.

Athena Kan
Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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