Does the idea of working in the healthcare industry in a position where you can help others breathe better and lead more productive lives appeal to you? If so, you may wish to consider becoming a respiratory therapist. Below is all the information you need to become a respiratory therapist in Iowa, including schools, programs, requirements and potential wages.
Find Accredited Respiratory Therapist Schools in Iowa
To work as a respiratory therapist in Iowa, you must obtain licensure, which starts with completing a training program accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). These are usually two-year programs, although some schools may offer bachelor degrees in respiratory therapy as well.
Accreditation is important because it’s part of the state’s licensing requirements and also a requirement for taking the national certification exam. The CoARC states that there are six accredited schools in Iowa.
How to get Certified in Iowa
As stated above, candidates interested in working as respiratory therapists in Iowa must pass a national certification exam through the National Board for Respiratory Care. Prior to taking the exam, the student must complete an accredited respiratory therapist program, which includes medical classes, lab courses and clinical education. Certification exams are computer-based tests given at approved locations. Licensure must be renewed on the last day of March on even-numbered years.
Salaries for Respiratory Therapists in Iowa
According to a Salary.com report, salaries for certified respiratory therapists in Iowa varied throughout the state but were typically lower than the national average as of July 2014. In West Des Moines, the average annual wage was $53,965 with the lowest 10% earning $44,477 and the highest 90% earning $64,090. In Sioux City, the wages ranged from $36,164 to $52,111 with the average at $43,878.
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