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Associate Degree

Respiratory Therapy

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Respiratory Therapy Overview

Looking for an exciting and rewarding career that pays well? Check out CVTC’s Respiratory Therapy program and earn your associate degree in two years.

As a respiratory therapist you will evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. You will interview patients, perform limited physical examinations, and conduct diagnostic tests.

In the program, you will learn how to:

  • Assess the cardiopulmonary status of patients
  • Care for patients of all age groups and demographics
  • Perform pulmonary function testing
  • Deliver respiratory care
  • Evaluate and monitor patient responses to respiratory care
  • Provide patient, family, and community education
  • Participate in life support activities in critical care

You will gain the following skills:

  • Patient assessment
  • Critical care skills
  • Effective communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Patient education

The program is a combination of classroom and clinical training. As part of the respiratory therapist training, students will complete a clinical internship, allowing them to apply their education right away.

Earn credit for prior learning! Do you have previous educational or work experience in the field? You could be eligible to receive credit for prior learning.

Explore This Program

Just the Facts

Respiratory Therapy
67 Credit Associate Degree

Program Length
Two Years

Delivery Method

Program Location
Eau Claire, River Falls

Start Months


Financial Aid Eligible


Non-Traditional Occupation

Bloodborne Pathogens

Students in this program should be aware of the risks associated with bloodborne pathogens. Learn more.

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Bloodborne Pathogens

Students entering health programs at CVTC should understand the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDs, through saliva and blood with direct patient care as part of their education.

This exposure can be minimized or eliminated using a combination of engineering and work practice controls, personal protective clothing and equipment, training, medical surveillance, Hepatitis B vaccination, signs and labels, and other provisions.

All programs at CVTC comply with local, state, and federal infection control policies, including the use of standard precautions as stipulated by current CDC guidelines. Written policies and instructions on infection control protocol to minimize the risk of disease transmission is provided throughout the courses in the curriculum. Compliance of safety practices is evaluated throughout the students' clinical experiences to ensure a safe educational environment.

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Estimated Program Cost 

Learn more about the cost of attendance.

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License, Certificate, or Credential



 What are estimated program costs? Estimated Total: $14,344

Program Courses Admission Information I'm Ready to Apply

Career Opportunities

Respiratory Therapist

Graduate Employers


M Health Fairview Masonic Children's Hospital

Mayo Clinic Health System

North Memorial Health Hospital

Regions Hospital

University of MN Medical Center

Program Outcomes

CVTC graduates are ready for the workforce. Each year, we send our graduates the Graduate Follow-Up Survey asking several questions related to employment. Here are the program outcomes and job data.

// Program Scorecard

Yearly Salary

Our recent Respiratory Therapy graduates reported an average starting salary of $63,611.



100% of our recent Respiratory Therapy graduates got a job in the industry.


Regional Jobs

There are 21 job openings in the CVTC district for the Respiratory Therapy industry.


Credits to Other Institutions

Should you choose to continue your education after you leave CVTC, we have agreements in place with several institutions to ensure an easy transfer.

View Transfer Options

Program Courses

These are a few of the courses you will take in this program. Courses and the recommended sequence change from year to year; once you are enrolled in a program at CVTC you will be given a recommended course sequence that outlines what courses you should take and the order in which to take them.

You may search for available courses. If you are ever unsure of what courses to take, talk to your academic advisor. If you are looking for course information for previous years, check out our past catalogs.

Here are a few of the courses you can take in the Respiratory Therapy program.

Sample Courses

Respiratory Pharmacology
Examines basic pharmacology principles, drug dosage, and calculations. Medications for inhalation including mucolytics, bronchodilators, and anti-inflammatories.

Respiratory Neo/Peds Care
Provides a comprehensive orientation to the field of neonatal and pediatric respiratory care to include fetal development, birth, neonatal physiology, pulmonary dynamics, abnormal cardiopulmonary conditions, diseases, noninvasive and invasive therapeutic interventions.

Respiratory/Cardio Diagnostics
Advanced invasive and noninvasive diagnostic cardiopulmonary procedures including pulmonary function, hemodynamics, and rescue medicine.

View Full Course List

Request More Information

Please provide your contact information and an Admissions Advisor will get back to you ASAP with more information about this program.

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Your future is waiting…Are you ready to get started?

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I feel more prepared than many grads from other Respiratory Therapy programs that are 4-year degree programs!

Respiratory Therapy Graduate

Related Programs & Certificates

Whether you're looking to continue your learning to another program or to gain continuing education credit, CVTC offers a variety of learning opportunities for students.

Degrees & Diplomas

Medical Assistant, Technical Diploma

Medical Laboratory Technician, Associate Degree

Nursing, Associate Degree

Physical Therapist Assistant, Associate Degree

Radiography, Associate Degree

Continue Your Learning

CVTC can help you achieve your learning goals whether you are looking to advance your career or enrich your personal life.

// Explore Continuing Ed Opportunities

  Unsure of which program you'd like to go into? Learn more about our Career Assessment to help narrow down your options.

A Program You Can Trust

Program Accreditation


The Chippewa Valley Technical College Respiratory Therapy Program, CoARC program number (200476), which confers an Associate of Applied Science, (A.A.S) degree, is located at Eau Claire, WI 54701 and Is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

View accreditation information. | View program outcome data.

Additional Admissions Resources

Admission Requirements

Each program requires specific requirements a student must meet to be considered for admissions to this program.

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Advising Tips

We have compiled helpful tips and general information for students in this program.

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