Respiratory Care


Respiratory Care

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

Offered through Health Sciences

@ Forest Park

This program prepares students for positions as respiratory therapists. Students learn to administer treatment(s) or conduct tests on persons with lung and heart ailments, as ordered by a patient’s physician. The program includes natural sciences, humanities and respiratory therapy courses, in addition to clinical practice at area health facilities.

Required Courses

The recommended academic plan blends general education requirements with options for areas of concentration to ensure students get the most out of their certificate or degree.


The overall goal of the Respiratory Care program is to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).

Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat and care for patients of all ages with cardiopulmonary disorders. A day in the life of a respiratory therapist might include:

  • Interviewing patients and performing physical examinations to obtain assessment data.
  • Performing and evaluating diagnostic tests to identify cardiopulmonary disorders.
  • Determining the type of therapy needed for the patient’s condition and consulting with physicians to recommend changes in therapy.
  • Managing ventilators and artificial airways for patients who cannot breathe normally on their own.
  • Performing Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP).
  • Educating patients and families about lung disease.

Job Outlook and Salary

A career in respiratory care is one of the most in demand job fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations and the median annual wage of a respiratory therapist was $60,280 ($28.98/hour) in 2018.


Applying to the Respiratory Care program

STLCC’s Respiratory Care program is a selective admission, college level program.

  • Each year 25 students who meet the application requirements are accepted on a first come/first serve basis.
  • The curriculum requires two full academic years and the intervening summer.
  • Upon completion of the program, students will graduate with an Associate’s in Applied Science in Respiratory Care.
  • Students are encouraged to take as many general education courses as possible prior to starting the first respiratory care courses that start in the fall semester.

Academic Advising

Prior to application, students must meet with an academic advisor to help plan courses, clarify program requirements and review your academic history as it relates to this program.

Admission requirements

Please see the advising checklist.

Admission Process

Applications for the program are accepted on a continuing basis. Students will be notified via email on the status of their application. If a student is accepted into the program for the next fall, he/she must secure the seat by replying to this email stating the intentions to start the program in the fall. Failure to respond to this email by the deadline given will result in removal from the list.

Applicants entering in the fall semester must attend a mandatory orientation session that will be held in June.
  • Information about the orientation will be sent via the student’s email.
  • Once students complete the mandatory orientation, their curriculum will be changed in the admissions office and they will be allowed to register for fall respiratory care classes.
  • Eligible applicants not admitted due to space availability will remain on the alternate list and will receive notification via their email with a request to reply with their intentions to continue to be considered for admission to the program in the future. Failure to respond to this email by the deadline given will result in removal from the list.

The Respiratory Care Program (Program #200050) offering an Associate’s in Applied Science (AAS) degree at the Forest Park campus located at 5600 Oakland Avenue, St. Louis, MO is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
P.O. Box 54876
Hurst, TX 76054-4876

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care offers an annual report on the comparative success of all accredited programs nationwide. Called Outcomes data, you can view the Annual Report of Current Status posted on the CoARC website.

Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented. Programmatic outcomes data reported on the CoARC website include:

  • 3-year time period being reported
  • CRT credentialing success
  • RRT credentialing success
  • Achievement of the high cut score on the TMC Exam (beginning 2018)
  • Retention (Attrition)
  • Job placement
  • Overall Graduate Satisfaction
  • Overall Employer Satisfaction
  • On-time Graduation Rate
  • Total number of program enrollees
  • Total number of program graduates
  • Maximum Annual Enrollment

Additional Resources

American Association for Respiratory Care – professional organization
National Board for Respiratory Care Accreditation – credentialing

Lindsay Fox, Program Coordinator

The Respiratory Care program includes:

Up to 800 hours of clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed respiratory care practitioner.

  • STLCC has clinical contracts with many facilities in the St. Louis area, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Saint Louis University, Mercy Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, SSM Cardinal Glennon, and many more.
  • Clinical rotations include adult general floor care, adult intensive care, neonatal and pediatrics, long-term care, and specialty rotations such as pulmonary function testing, bronchoscopies, and emergency departments.
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Cost of Attendance

For more information on cost of attendance visit MoSCORES.

Program Career and Salary Information

Pursuant to Missouri HB 1606 (2018), information regarding the number of credit hours, program length, employment rate, wage data, and graduates employed in careers related to their program of study at St. Louis Community College can be found at Search using School / Program “St. Louis Community College” and choose the degree or credential type of interest.

The following limitations to the data apply - Information provided is based on the most recent cohorts available. Typically, most recent cohorts for wage and completion data are six years prior to the current academic year. Time to complete a program of study varies depending on the number of credit hours students earn per semester.

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