Respiratory Care - A.A.S. Degree

About the Program

The respiratory care department offers a two-year program that prepares individuals for an allied health specialty in the clinical care and management of respiratory disorders. The graduate will possess advanced, intensive-care skills to assess, monitor and evaluate adult, pediatric and neonatal patients on mechanical ventilation. Respiratory therapists practice in a variety of settings, including intensive care units, neonatal/pediatric special care areas, general hospital floors, emergency/trauma units, extended care and rehabilitation facilities, and the home care environment. Respiratory care courses consist of classroom, lab and supervised hospital experience. Graduates of the associate degree program may become Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT) by passing the Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) Examination and the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE).

Texas requires that respiratory care practitioners obtain a state license to practice respiratory care. The program is affiliated with area hospitals including Ben Taub, Texas Children’s, Memorial-Hermann, Methodist, HCA, and several other clinical affiliates.

The program’s goal 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).


Help People Breathe Better as a Respiratory Therapist

The Respiratory Care Program at Alvin Community College prepares you to enter a career field that is projected to grow by 23% between 2016 and 2026. Texas is second in the nation for employing respiratory therapists. The demand will continue to increase because of substantial growth of the middle-age population. Advances in the treatment of heart attack victims, accident victims, and premature infants will also increase the demand for respiratory therapists.

Respiratory therapists are the experts in their facility for respiratory care technology. Our program will teach you how to work with advanced medical equipment that is instrumental in helping people who have trouble breathing.

If you are compassionate, detail oriented, patient, and possess good problem solving skills, you may be a good candidate to apply for the Respiratory Care Program.

Career Opportunities

Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that the Houston Metropolitan region employs over 2300 respiratory therapists with an average annual salary of $61,360. The average starting salary is $47,800. An experienced Registered Respiratory Therapist can make between $52,000 - $70,000, plus shift or weekend differential.

The two-year Respiratory Care program can jump start your career into a field that is both challenging and rewarding. Respiratory therapists typically work in hospitals or sleep laboratories but can also specialize in home health care or even work in corporate settings. Respiratory therapists can start businesses providing equipment and clinical services or serve as instructors in a school or hospital.

For more information on career opportunities in Respiratory Care, please visit Career Coach where you can explore the local job market, take a career assessment, and build a resumé.

What Will I Study?

Respiratory care professionals have the incredible responsibility of helping people get the oxygen they desperately need to live. They care for patients of all ages, from premature babies with underdeveloped lungs to an elderly individual who may have been affected by disease. Therapists also give patients the treatments, resources and tools to improve their quality of life.

As a student in ACC’s Respiratory Care program, you'll gain hands-on experience at hospitals in addition to lab and classroom training. The two-year associate degree program will prepare you for a rewarding career. Graduates can become Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT) by passing both the Therapist Multiple Choice Exam and the Clinical Simulation Board Exam.

Curriculum Guide - Respiratory Care, A.A.S.


BIOL 2401 - Anatomy and Physiology I 4 Course Credits Δ+
BIOL 2402 - Anatomy and Physiology II 4 Course Credits Δ+
ENGL 1301 - Composition I 3 Course Credits +

Semester Credits: 11

First Year

First Semester (Fall)

RSPT 1201 - Introduction to Respiratory Care 2 Course Credits Δ
RSPT 1225 - Respiratory Care Sciences 2 Course Credits
RSPT 1240 - Adv Cardiopulmonary Anatomy Physiology 2 Course Credits Δ
RSPT 1310 - Respiratory Care Procedures I 3 Course Credits Δ

Semester Credits: 9

Second Semester (Spring)

RSPT 1213 - Respiratory Care Pharmacology 2 Course Credits Δ
RSPT 1360 - Clinical I-Respiratory Care Therapist 3 Course Credits Δ
RSPT 1411 - Respiratory Care Procedures II 4 Course Credits Δ
RSPT 2310 - Cardiopulmonary Disease 3 Course Credits Δ

Semester Credits: 12

Third Semester (Summer)

  • Creative Arts 3 Course Credits +
  • Language, Philosophy and Culture 3 Course Credits +
  • RSPT 1262 - Clinical II-Respiratory Care Therapist 2 Course Credits Δ
  • RSPT 2139 - Advanced Cardiac Life Support 1 Course Credits
  • RSPT 2314 - Mechanical Ventilation 3 Course Credits Δ

Semester Credits: 9

Second Year

First Semester (Fall)

  • BIOL 2420 - Microbiology for Non-Science Majors 4 Course Credits
  • RSPT 2135 - Pediatric Advanced Life Support 1 Course Credits
  • RSPT 2325 - Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics 3 Course Credits
  • RSPT 2361 - Clinical III-Respiratory Care Therapist 3 Course Credits
  • RSPT 2453 - Neonatal/Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Care 4 Course Credits Δ

Semester Credits: 15

Second Semester (Spring)

  • RSPT 2154 - Neonatal Resuscitation Program 1 Course Credits
  • RSPT 2166 - Practicum V-Respiratory Care Therapist 1 Course Credits
  • RSPT 2230 - Respiratory Care Examination Preparation 2 Course Credits *
  • RSPT 2362 - Clinical IV-Respiratory Care Therapist 3 Course Credits
  • Social and Behavioral Science 3 Course Credits +

Semester Credits: 10

Total Credits Required for A.A.S. Respiratory Care: 66

+ Denotes core requirement. Speak with Department Chair or Pathways Advisor for proper course selection.

* Capstone Course

Δ Program of Study Curriculum

*How Much Will the Program Cost?

The Respiratory Care degree program costs approximately $8,058.88 for in-district students and $11,424.88 for those out-of-district. This includes tuition, fees, and textbooks for Respiratory Care courses**.  Additional fees for supplies, uniforms, vaccinations, and graduation are approximately $600.00.  Cost for the National Board Examinations is $390.00 for both examinations.

For more information on education costs, payment options, payment plans, deadlines and more, visit our Tuition and Fees section.

Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.  For more information, visit our Financial Aid section.

*Alvin Community College may change tuition rates and other fees without notice or when so directed by the Board of Regents.

**Tuition, books, fees, and supplies for academic (non-respiratory) courses required to complete the Respiratory Care degree are extra. 

ACC has agreements with several colleges and universities for graduates to complete their BS degree in Respiratory Care. In some cases, this may even include concurrent enrollment. Our graduates can transfer to the following higher education institutions and more to obtain their BS degree: 

  • Midwestern State University
  • University of Cincinnati


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Respiratory Care is part of our Health Career Pathway. Click the box below to see other Health programs that may interest you.

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