Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about the program:
Is the respiratory therapy program accredited?
How is the program structured?
How do I apply for the respiratory therapy program?
What is the cost of the respiratory therapy program?
Is financial assistance available?
Questions about the profession:
What is Respiratory Care?
Who are Respiratory Therapists?
What credentials are required to work in respiratory care?
Do I need a license to practice respiratory therapy?
What are the career opportunities?
How much can I expect to earn?




















The Respiratory Therapy Program is approved by the NC Department of Community Colleges and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Educational Programs in conjunction with the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.



















Program Structure

The Respiratory Therapy Program at Carteret Community College was established in 1979. The program is 23 months in length and upon successful completion awards an Associate in Applied Science Degree with a major in Respiratory Therapy.

Instruction is performed in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings. Classes are held in the Wayne West Building in a specially designed classroom and laboratory facility stocked with state of the art equipment and supplies. Computer assisted instruction is also utilized to provide students with practice tutorials, clinical simulations, and sample credentialing exams.
In addition to classroom and laboratory instruction, students are required to travel to a variety of clinical facilities in Carteret and surrounding counties for clinical instruction and practice. In these settings, students gain experience in many different clinical areas such as adult, pediatric, and neonatal intensive care, emergency room, operating room, medical and surgical areas, pulmonary rehabilitation, sub-acute care, and home care.















Program Admission

A cohort of 20 students is admitted fall semester of each year.  The application packet for the program is available from the Student Enrollment Resources Department.  Admissions are based on a point system which grants applicants credit for high school and college academics, general education courses completed, work experience in health care or other service field, professional references, and an interview with the curriculum coordinator.  Admission to the program is contingent upon submission of a completed physical form and criminal background check for clinical site review and approval.















Financial Assistance

Qualified students may receive financial assistance to help cover expenses of attending the Respiratory Therapy Program. Types of assistance include grants, scholarships, loans, and work study opportunities. Assistance is available through Carteret Community College , various clinical facilities, and respiratory care professional organizations. To learn more about these financial assistance opportunities, contact the Financial Aid Office or Program Faculty.














Respiratory Care

Respiratory Care is the allied health profession that provides diagnostic testing and treatment for patients with diseases and disorders of the heart and lungs. Some of the conditions often requiring respiratory care include: asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, infant respiratory distress syndrome, and conditions brought on by shock, trauma, or postoperative surgical complications.













Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists, also known as respiratory care practitioners, provide treatment, evaluation, monitoring and management of patients with breathing disorders or cardiovascular problems.
Care provided by respiratory therapists may include: administration of oxygen, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, management of mechanical ventilators, administering drugs to the lungs, monitoring cardiopulmonary systems and measuring lung function.
Respiratory therapists treat all types of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly people with lung disease. They provide temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema, as well as emergency care to patients who are victims of a heart attack, stroke, drowning or shock.














Credentialing Exams

Graduates of the program are eligible to take the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Credentialing Exam. Upon successful completion of the CRT Exam, graduates are eligible to take the two-part Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Credentialing Exam. The National Board for Respiratory Care administers both exams.

















Licensing Requirements

Respiratory therapists employed in North Carolina are required by law to obtain a license from the North Carolina Respiratory Care Board to practice. This assures a measure of protection and quality care for all respiratory patients.
There are other states, which have similar laws. Therefore, those interested in practicing respiratory care in states other than North Carolina should contact that state’s respiratory care professional organization for more information.
















Career Opportunities

There are more than 115,000 respiratory therapists in the US today. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Respiratory Care as one of the 10 fastest growing careers.  The demand for respiratory therapists is expected to grow at twice the national average of most other occupations over the next ten years.
This growth is due to large increases in the elderly population, the environmental impact on diseases such as asthma, and the technological advances in the treatment of heart attack, cancer, accident victims, and premature infants.
Respiratory therapists work in a variety of settings, including: hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, physicians’ offices, patients’ homes, medical equipment supply companies, educational institutions, industry, and disease management/patient education.














Salaries vary with educational degree, credentials, and years of experience. Supervisors, clinical specialists, and department managers tend to have higher salaries.

Beginning salary for graduates in the local area is approximately $35,000 per year.