The Best Respiratory Therapist School: NJ

If you’re in the New Jersey area and are looking to become a respiratory therapist, then you landed on the right page. There are numerous respiratory therapist school NJ options, and we’re going to share the top four colleges to become a respiratory therapist in NJ. 

To become a respiratory therapist, it’s necessary to complete either a two-year associate’s degree program or a four-year bachelor’s degree program.

Once you graduate, you have the chance to a national exam to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). After this, you are able to take two additional tests to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). 

All states (except Alaska and Hawaii) require you to become licensed in order to be a practicing respiratory therapist. So, without further ado, let’s get on to the best options for a respiratory therapist school NJ.

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

A respiratory therapist, also known as an RT, is a licensed and certified medical professional whose specialization is healthcare of the lungs. 

They perform their job using specialized technology, such as mechanical ventilators. 

Respiratory therapists work alongside doctors and nurses in emergency rooms, therapy offices, maternity wards, etc. They can also provide in-home care.

RTs work with patients dealing with pneumonia, asthma, lung trauma, emphysema, and more. They will assess your breathing, make recommendations, and monitor your progress.

Accredited Respiratory Therapist School NJ: What Are the Best Options?

As of 2014, there are four schools in NJ with respiratory doctor programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Three of them—Bergen Community College in Paramus, Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, and County College of Morris in Randolph—are two-year public institutions. The fourth one is Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—better known as Rutgers University and the largest institution for higher learning in the state. Rutgers offers its respiratory doctor training through the Rutgers School of Biomedical and Health Sciences (RSBHS), an umbrella organization formed after the dissolution of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Becoming Licensed in New Jersey

In 1991, the State Board of Respiratory Care was created through the provisions of the Respiratory Care Practitioner Act of 1991. This New Jersey board licenses and regulates all respiratory therapists in the state.

Find Accredited Respiratory Therapist School NJ: Top Options

Bergen, Brookdale, and Morris offer an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Respiratory Care or Respiratory Therapy. Requiring over 60 credits, the A.A.S. degree program is the minimum level of education required for aspiring respiratory doctor. It takes two years to complete; the curriculum is usually split into two fall semesters and two spring semesters. (Bergen includes a summer session.) Core subjects usually cover subject areas like cardiopulmonary disease and anatomy, critical patient care, microbiology, diagnostic monitoring, respiratory therapeutics, and neonatal & pediatric respiratory care. In addition to the A.A.S. degree, Rutgers offers a more advanced option: the four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Respiratory Care or Respiratory Therapy. Students can take either program at the North campus in Newark or the South campus in Stratford. Upon graduation, students can take certification exams from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). The basic credential is the Certified Registered Therapist (CRT) certification, while the second-level certification is the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) certification.

Salaries for Respiratory Therapists in New Jersey

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), respiratory doctors in NJ made an annual mean salary of $67,670 in 2012, this is broken down to an hourly rate of $32.53. NJ’s numbers surpass the annual mean wage of respiratory doctors for the country—which is $57,200 ($27.50 an hour)—by more than $10,000. In fact, New Jersey’s respiratory therapist mean wage is the fourth highest in the U.S. The BLS estimated the number of respiratory therapists in the state at around 2,570, and the agency expects a 12 percent job growth for the field between 2010 and 2020.

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