Respiratory Therapist Education
It is the position of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) that in order to prepare entry level respiratory therapists for clinical practice and to prepare clinical leaders for services requiring complex, cognitive abilities and complex patient management skills:
- The minimum education required to practice
respiratory care is completion of an associate degree in respiratory care.
- Programs for the education of respiratory
therapists, managers, researchers, faculty, and professional leaders should
be accredited by a body recognized by government, and through a rigorous
and ongoing process which assures the quality of their programming.
- Respiratory therapists completing such education,
advanced training, and/or experience should be eligible for credentialing
to reflect their didactic preparation and clinical skills required for practice
in the respective area of specialization. Credentialing should be encouraged
in related areas of specialization to include Neonatal/Pediatric Care, Adult
Critical Care, Sleep Disorders, Pulmonary Function Testing and others which
may be added as the field evolves.
The AARC also encourages the development of
accredited, advanced degree programs in Respiratory Care at the bachelor's,
masters and doctoral levels; and encourages therapists to pursue such higher
education as a means of expanding career opportunities and advancing the Respiratory