When becoming an accredited respiratory therapist in Virginia, it is important to do your homework when choosing the appropriate accredited college or university and knowing how to become certified. The following are some guidelines to help make the decisions necessary to begin an excited career as a certified respiratory therapist.
Find Accredited Respiratory Therapist Schools in Virginia
Finding the appropriate training and/or degree program(s) to obtain certification in respiratory therapy is extremely important to your career. Programs that are accredited offer the assurance of quality education in a school that is financial stable. Furthermore, accreditation also provides access to financial assistance and the ability to transfer earned credits to other colleges or universities. To find out if the school or training program you are considering is accredited or not, check the database provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education’s website. The successful completion of an Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy, at the minimum, is required before a candidate can be become certified and licensed. The program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) or by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
How to get Certified in Virginia
Certification as a Respiratory Therapist can be obtained through the National Board for Respiratory Care. There are 160 multiple choice questions on the examination, 20 of these questions are pretest items while the remaining 140 are scored. The examination must be completed within 3 hours. In order to be eligible, the candidate must be at least 18 years of age and completed the minimum required accredited degree program. Scheduling for the examination can be made online through the National Board for Respiratory Care after the acceptance of the application and the fees paid in full.
All certified respiratory therapists are required to complete continuing education credits. These credits must be completed within 6 months of the expiration of credentials and should be completed within the 5 years of the credential term.
Salaries for Respiratory Therapists in Virginia
Salaries for certified respiratory therapists are both above and below the national average in Virginia. The difference in averages is based on factors such as competiveness for the position and the general population of the geographical area. Salaries above the national average can be found in the Northern (DC) metropolitan area and Richmond while the rest of the state is below the national average. Below is a breakdown of expected median salaries per geographical area.
Alexandria – $62,144
Lynchburg – $49,856
Richmond – $56,442
Roanoke – $51,466
Virginia Beach – $51,978
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