Associates or Bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy?

Nurses General Nursing


I am still mostly considered in becoming an rn, however with all of the waiting lists and competitiveness I might consider applying to a RT program. Later on down the line I might consider getting my RN degree. Does anyone know if there is a difference in salary re: a respiratory therapist who has an associate's v. bachelor's degree? Also would I have to do more schooling to become registered or do I just take the test after the degree is completed?


1,905 Posts

You can be qualified if you take an accredited RT program, AD or BS. However, the RT exam process is different. You actually have to take three exams. The first exam is a written board exam where you obtain CRT credentials. Once you obtain CRT credentials, you can take the two exams the lead to RRT credentials. One exam is a written board, and the other is a scenario based exam process. You will have to apply your knowledge to 11 scenarios in a session that can last several hours. I believe 10 of the 11 are counted.

Regarding education, more is typically better when it comes to education. I know some positions require a 4 year degree;; however, there are may good AD educated RT's with good jobs.

I will warn you, most RT programs are intense in the didactic and clinical structure.

I would get a Bachelor's in RT if I were you.

I know a couple of people into it...pretty intense (as anything in the medical field) -- a lot of math :)

Gilda gave you the rundown of the testing process --- good luck!!


2 Posts

As far as the prospects of these two are concerned, an Associate Degree can help you acquire skills to work as a Respiratory Therapist at an entry level but a Bachelor in Respiratory Therapy will help you prepare for a supervisory role.

Both degrees can help you practice as a Respiratory Therapist. However, you'll need to obtain a license before you can practice as a Respiratory Therapist. Most of the employers need you to have a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification. Also, National Board for Respiratory Care issues two types of licenses -

1. Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential to those who graduate from entry-level or advanced programs accredited by CAAHEP or the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and who also pass an exam

2. Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) to CRTs who have graduated from advanced programs and pass two separate examinations

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X