Respiratory Care

The School of Health Professions offers a BS in Respiratory Care with the option to specialize in pulmonary rehabilitation, neonatology, adult critical care, management, education, sleep disorders, cardiopulmonary diagnostics, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Most students enter this program after completion of their sophomore year of undergraduate study or after finishing two years of community college course work. With an advanced curriculum and located at an academic medical center, students receive extensive experience in advanced respiratory therapy techniques. The program includes a semester-long clinical assignment during the senior year in the student's area of specialization.

Respiratory Care Program website

Featured Resources & Career Ideas

Neonatology: Includes treating and monitoring newborns for breathing disorders in a hospital setting. Many respiratory care professionals who work with infants have the Neonatal-Pediatric Specialist credential in addition to the CRT and/or RRT credentials.

Critical Care: Involves working in intensive care units of hospitals providing care to the most severely ill patients. Most respiratory care professionals who work in the ICU have earned the advanced level RRT credential.

Education: Involves educating future respiratory care professionals as well as current practitioners within community colleges and universities as well as respiratory therapy departments as continuing education coordinators. Most respiratory care educators have earned the advanced level RRT credential as well as advanced degrees in education.

Management: Includes staffing and budget coordination, policy development, and implementation of directives from hospital administration.  Respiratory care managers typically have many years of experience as a respiratory therapist as well as the advanced level RRT credential.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Involves helping patients with chronic lung diseases like asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis manage their condition through education, treatment and exercise.  Most respiratory care professionals who work in pulmonary rehabilitation hold the CRT and/or RRT credentials.  Many also have earned the Asthma Educator-Certified credential (AE-C).

Explore More Opportunities

Further Explore Careers in Respiratory Care

View specific employers by state.

Employer categories:

  • Air Transport and Ambulance Teams
  • Asthma Education Programs
  • Diagnostic and Research Laboratories
  • Emergency Rooms
  • Equipment Manufacturers
  • Home Health Care Agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Long Term Care Facilities
  • Neonatal and Pediatric Units
  • Nursing Homes
  • Operating Rooms
  • Physician's Offices
  • Private Corporations
  • Pulmonary Function Laboratories
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation Centers 
  • Sleep Laboratories
  • Smoking Cessation Programs
  • Universities/Colleges
  1. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  2. Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  3. The Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential is required to obtain state licenses and practice as respiratory therapists. This is obtained by passing the National Board for Respiratory Care certification examination. Upon graduation from an accredited program, CRTs are also eligible to sit for the two-part advanced practitioner registration examination and achieve the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. Other credentialing specialty examinations such as neonatal/pediatric specialty and registered pulmonary function technician are also available.
  4. Consider joining a professional association related to Respiratory Care, such as the Kansas Respiratory Care Society or the American Association for Respiratory Care, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field of interest.
  5. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KUMC related to your area of interest, such as: Infectious Disease Interest Group, Food for Thought, Students Educating and Advocating for Diversity, and Whole Health and Alternative Medicine.
  6. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals.
  7. Hiring managers in respiratory care look for individuals who possess a positive attitude, enthusiasm for the profession, strong work ethic, effective interpersonal communication skills, a desire for lifelong learning, and the ability to work as part of a team (in addition to the appropriate credentials for their specialty area).

Links to Job & Internship Listings

The quick link for this page is career.ku.edu/respiratorycare.

Go back to Careers & KU Majors homepage.

Subscribe to Department News

Follow the UCC

Facebook Pinterest Twitter instagram: Humans of KU KU University Career Center LinkedIn Group Instagram: University Career Center

Explore Career & Major Options

HawkQuest the career and major exploration quiz for jayhawks

KU Career Connections

Search jobs & internships or request an appointment.

Students, log in with your KU online ID and password. If you have not registered yet, you will be prompted to register when you first log in.

Events, Workshops, & Info Sessions
  1. Friday, March 24, 2017
    10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    9743 Wornall Road
  2. Tuesday, April 4, 2017
    5:30 p.m.
    The Commons in Spooner Hall
  3. Tuesday, April 11, 2017
    2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    McClendon Atrium in LEEP 2

Pages

Subscribe to Events, Workshops, & Info Sessions
Career & Employment News Feed

University Career Center
6th in the nation for its social media presence in 2013 —JobBrander.com
Winner of the 2013 Innovation Excellence Award in Research —National Association of Colleges and Employers
2009 National Chevron Award winner for excellence in career services —National Association of Colleges and Employers
2010 National Chevron Award finalist for excellence in career services —National Association of Colleges and Employers
Professional Clothing Closet won Service Program of the Year —2011-12 Jayhawk Choice Awards
More than 500 students enroll in career classes annually
Each year more than 7,500 jobs and 1,400 internships are posted in KU Career Connections
University Career Center hosts eight career fairs each year
More than 360 organizations attended University Career Center career fairs the past academic year
More than 10,000 students attended University Career Center workshops in 2012-13