Respiratory therapy is a field that’s very much in demand with excellent employment growth expected, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you would like to be part of this growing field, while also helping patients feel better, read on and learn about the various respiratory therapy programs in Illinois.
Find Accredited Respiratory Therapist Schools in Illinois
Once you’ve decided to pursue a career as a respiratory therapist (RT), the first thing you need to do is find an accredited respiratory therapist school. This is important because the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Development requires that RTs complete a formal training program from an accredited school. The main accrediting agency for RTs is the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). According to the CoARC, there are about 14 CoARC-accredited respiratory schools in Illinois.
Respiratory therapist programs include medical classes and practical education in medical facilities to provide hands-on training. Upon completion of the training, students are prepared to take a certification exam.
How to get Certified in Illinois
In addition to completing an accredited program, Illinois requires that candidates pass a national certification exam through the National Board for Respiratory Care. This is also a requirement for licensure. Illinois is one of 42 states that require their RTs be licensed.
Salaries for Respiratory Therapists in Illinois
The BLS reports that respiratory therapists in Illinois earned a mean annual wage of $55,250 as of May 2013. This figure is slightly less than $57,880, which was the national average for RTs during that year. Salaries may vary according to location. Respiratory therapists in Peoria earned about $51,392 while those working in Chicago earned $59,194, as of a Salary.com July 2014 report. Other factors that can affect earning potential include level of training and years of experience on the job.
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