A.S. to B.S. Program

The A.S.-to-B.S. Degree Completion Program is designed to allow graduates of Associate Degree programs the opportunity to meet their educational and professional goals as practicing professionals. The thirty semester credit professional program is offered in a 100% online format, which is perfect for working therapists who need flexibility to complete their Bachelor’s degree while meeting family, professional and personal obligations.  The curriculum allows students to pursue study in specific areas of interest or professional specialty through various projects, papers and/or directed study.  In this way, students have the opportunity to prepare for advanced levels of specialty credentialing, if desired.  A current NBRC RRT credential is required.

Why Pursue a Bachelors Degree?

Graduates earning a bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Care demonstrate improved success on credentialing examinations for both entry-to-practice exams and advanced specialty credentials such as neonatal / pediatric specialty (RRT-NPS), adult critical care (ACCS) or pulmonary function testing (CPFT / RPFT).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 23% growth in employment by 2026, compared to an average of 7% for all other fields. That’s more than triple the average job growth, which means more opportunities and job security.  Bachelor’s degrees support a practitioner’s work in expanded roles, such as education, administration, pulmonary disease management, discharge planning, laboratory settings, or research.

According to the American Association for Respiratory Care’s (AARC) Human Resource Survey, the average B.S.-prepared respiratory therapist (RT) gets paid more than those with an associate degree — just above $52,000 yearly (based on a 3 day / 36 hour work week). It’s also about $15,000 higher than the average U.S. citizen’s salary.

Having a bachelor’s degree opens the door for promotions into other RT positions. Clinical specialists, industry representatives, research coordinators, clinical educators, and others can earn up to $6,000 more each year.

Department directors and supervisors earn closer to $10,000-15,000 more.  These positions often require only a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, making them attainable early in one’s career.