Respiratory therapist schools in California offers the students accredited respiratory therapist programs with a bright career. As respiratory care is a growing profession, there are many respiratory therapist school in California. California has 28 universities, colleges, and training institutes offering accredited respiratory therapist programs. Some colleges like Concorde Career College, San Joaquin Valley College, and American Career College have campuses at multiple locations. One can also visit online medical school for gaining information in depth.

California has the highest number of respiratory therapists working in the entire nation. It is also among the best-paying states for respiratory therapist. Respiratory therapist jobs are growing much faster than any other occupation because California has a large population of senior citizens who are the common users of respiratory therapy along with children so the respiratory therapist salary in California is very decent. How to become a respiratory therapist in California? There are different types of schools that offer respiratory therapy programs.

Respiratory Therapist Schools in California
Respiratory Therapist Schools in California

Respiratory Therapist Schools in California

  • Vocational Schools: These are technical or medical institutes which offer professional training programs like a diploma, certificates, and associate degrees. Such programs are taken up after graduation for entry-level positions. These programs prepare students for Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and later Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exams from the National Board for Respiratory Care.
  • Community Colleges: The degree options available are more academic focused. They usually offer two types of associate degrees, an Associate in Applied Sciences in Respiratory Therapy (AAS) and the Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy (AS). AAS is a professional degree while AS is a research-based degree.
  • Four-year Schools: These best respiratory therapist schools offer a broad academic curriculum in respiratory therapy, combining the basics with professional training. These colleges provide two learning avenues for students to choose from-Two years bachelors degree for students already having an associate degree and NBRC certifications and Four-year bachelors degree for first-time respiratory care aspirants.

Respiratory Therapy Schools in California : Why California for respiratory therapy?

As mentioned Compensation for respiratory therapists in California is significantly higher than in any other state. According to a report of the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the respiratory therapist’s annual average salary is 83,920 USD. While the nationwide average is 63,950 USD. 

Hence, if you are planning on pursuing the field of respiratory therapy the best place to receive your education is from respiratory therapy programs near me

Respiratory Therapist Schools Near Me : Procedure for becoming a respiratory therapist

You need a license from the Respiratory Care Board of California in order to become a respiratory therapist. However, to apply for the license you must have a few prerequisites. These include education, credential examination, and ethics courses. Here is a brief overview of the steps needed to be followed:

  1. First, you need to finish an accredited respiratory program by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  2. Next, you need to acquire your Registered  Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential through the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)
  3. For the Law and Ethics course, you need to make sure you choose a board-approved source 
  4. The last and final step is to apply for the licensure

You have the option to apply for licensure 90 days before you meet all the prerequisites in the state of California. 

Respiratory Therapy Programs Near Me

Becoming a respiratory therapist one of the most basic necessities is an associate’s degree. You need intensive research to find the right program and respiratory therapist school California. 

Some of the factors that you need to keep in mind before selecting your program and institution are:

  • The location of your institution plays a huge impact in your decision. Questions like are you willing to drive far, how much will location impact your choice for the course and institute, etc.
  • The cost of tuition is always seen as an investment, but you still need to make sure you are investing carefully. You have the option to opt for financial aid so you need to determine which institutes you can apply to and which are financially viable for you. 
  • The format of learning is something you need to determine on your own. It can be online, in-person, or even hybrid. You have to consider what is the most convenient format for your learning. 
  • If you want to become a respiratory therapist fast you need to consider a program with less duration. The respiratory therapist schools in california offer both associative degrees that take around 2 years for completion and 4-year long bachelor degrees. 
  • Another factor you need to consider is the faculties that teach in the institute. Faculty experience, research interests, teaching passion, and influence are important things to keep in mind. 
  • Many best respiratory therapist schools offer great hands-on training. They are required to connect you with work experience, externships, or internships. One can also opt for online respiratory therapy programs in California according to their convenience.


Accredited Respiratory Therapist Schools in California – Must have list


NRBC Pass Rate: Students pass rate at the NRBC exam indicate how well the school prepares them. A college’s low pass rate will indicate its inability to prepare the students well.

Accreditations: The main accrediting body for Respiratory therapist schools in California is The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Students must check a school’s accreditation status before applying.


Clinical Specializations: A good respiratory therapist school in California ensures that a percentage of the entire program is devoted to the specializations like sleep disorders, diagnostics, etc. It maintains a good balance between the general curriculum and specializations.


Student Success: A good college ensures the success of its students in all aspects, be it successful completion of the course, job placement or preparation of advance level and certifications.


Top Respiratory Therapist Schools in California

1. American Career College: It has three campuses which offer both classroom lectures and hands-on training. It provides diploma and associate degrees in respiratory care.


2. Orange Coast College: Located in Orange County, it offers an associate degree with 1000 hours of clinical practice along with classroom lectures.


3. Mt. San Antonio College: It’s a community college in Los Angeles. It offers an AS program which requires students to complete their coursework with specialized courses like Current Issues in Respiratory Care, Comprehensive Pulmonary Assessment, etc.


4. Platt College: It is a private college having four campuses and offers an AS degree in respiratory therapy.


5. San Joaquin Valley College: It is a private junior college with multiple campuses and offers AS degree.

Accredited Respiratory Therapy Schools : How long before one can become a respiratory therapist?

It depends on what program you are pursuing from the respiratory therapist school California. If you are going with an associate degree program then it will take you 2 years to finish your course and other requirements to apply for the licensure. However, it will take longer for you to get the licensure if you apply for a 4-year bachelor’s degree or obtain the licensure through work experience.  

These are some of the Respiratory therapist schools in California. Get more information by filling the following form.

For more information about the schools and courses you can take, visit us at online schools near me.