Respiratory Care

Respiratory Care is a health care field which specializes in deficiencies and abnormalities associated with the cardiopulmonary system. Respiratory therapists work with sophisticated medical equipment and ground-breaking technology in the care and treatment of virtually every patient population, from the elderly to neonatal. Respiratory therapists may manage the routine care of patients, perform specialty procedures and diagnostics, or provide more advanced care of critically ill patients in the emergency room or intensive care.

The Respiratory Care program at Greenville Technical College gives students a combination of hands on technical experience and a solid understanding of respiratory conditions and how they are treated. Clinical rotations give the student exposure to patient care and experience in performing respiratory care procedures to prepare them for this crucial part of the health care team.

A career you can count on

Well-trained respiratory therapists are in tremendous demand in areas such as

  • Hospitals - managing ventilators for the critically ill or delivering life-saving treatments
  • Newborn and pediatric units - helping kids with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis
  • Sleep laboratories - helping to diagnose disorders like sleep apnea
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation programs and in patient homes - providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital
  • Doctor’s offices - conducting pulmonary function tests and providing patient education, including asthma and smoking cessation programs
  • Case management programs - providing regular check-ups and helping devise long-term care plans for patients

National employment statistics and employment expectations are available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learn about real time-job openings and salary information through Career Coach.

Is Respiratory Care right for you?

As a respiratory therapist, you will have direct patient contact with many types of people with needs from routine care to life-threatening trauma.

In addition, you should:

  • Work well under pressure and in emergencies, both alone and in a team
  • Be quick thinking and able to make critical decisions in life and death situations
  • Be detail-oriented and have strong science and math skills
  • Have a comfort level with and interest in advanced technology and equipment

Accreditation and Credentialing

Our program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835. Read more about program outcome data.


Students graduating from the Respiratory Care Program are eligible to take both the entry level and advanced practitioner credentialing examinations offered by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC). Upon completion of the program, graduates MUST take and pass Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMC) with the entry level score for entry into professional practice as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). After successful completion with the advanced score of the TMC Examination, graduates are eligible to attempt Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE). Upon successful completion of CSE Examination, graduates are awarded the Registered Respiratory Therapists credential.

Graduates from the program are eligible to apply to the South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners for state licensing.

Greenville Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Greenville Technical College.

Program details and courses

Respiratory Care
Associate in Applied Science

This program trains students to treat patients with difficulty breathing because of problems affecting the cardiopulmonary (heart-lung) system.

This program is designed as a One-Plus-One program.

  • Phase I includes 24 credit hours of general education courses, which may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, at Greenville Technical College or transferred in from other colleges.
  • Upon successful completion of Phase I, qualified students may apply to Phase II, which includes all respiratory care course work and clinicals.
  • Phase II consists of 59 credit hours, which will be completed over five consecutive semesters full-time at Greenville Technical College’s Barton Campus and a variety of off-campus clinical facilities.

Read more from our current catalog (pdf)…

Students working toward acceptance in select Health and Wellness programs are now classified as an Associate of Science major.  Want to know more?  Check out our FAQ section.

Respiratory Care Program Requirements

In addition to Greenville Technical College admissions process, outlined in these Enrollment Steps, students interested in a program in the Health and Wellness Division must also successfully complete the following:

Career Talk

Participating in a Career Talk session for your program is a requirement for all Health and Wellness Division students. The Career Talk presentation for Respiratory Care is conducted online. Click the link below to view the presentation in PDF format.

Career Talk presentation for Respiratory

Division Policies

The Respiratory Care program strictly adheres to all the Health and Wellness Division policies, which are detailed on the division admissions information page.

Supplemental Admission Process

Students interested in the Respiratory Care program must complete the Weighted Admission Form for the program. Forms may be submitted for Fall Enrollment from January 15 through May 15 only.

Respiratory Care Weighted Admissions Form (pdf)

Respiratory program applicants are required to complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS®) prior to submitting a weighted admission form for program admission. Scores from the TEAS test will be used in the point calculations on the Weighted Admission form. Please see full details in the TEAS Information Sheet (pdf).

Respiratory Care Program Estimation of Expenses*
(Phase II only)

Tuition Refer to current tuition rates for GTC

Lab & Course Fees
     Criminal Background Check
     Drug Screening
     Liability Insurance

Approximately $1,020 total for Phase II
Books Approximately $1,300 total for Phase II
Uniforms & Clinical Supplies Approximately $250 total for Phase II
CPR Certification Approximately $60 through American Heart Association or Red Cross
Physical/Immunizations Cost varies

*These costs are an estimate only. This list does not include transportation costs, meals, laundering of uniforms, etc.

Clinical Affiliates

Clinical experience is an integral part of the curriculum in the Respiratory Care Program at Greenville Technical College. Greenville Technical College's Respiratory Care Program partners with several clinical affiliate sites to allow students to participate with a clinical preceptor in performing these respiratory care activities.

Our major academic affiliates are

Clinical Surveys (for affiliate use only)


Respiratory Care Mission Statement
The philosophy of the educational approach of the Greenville Technical College Respiratory Care program is one of professional development. The respiratory therapist fills the role of a responsible health care practitioner in a growing and rapidly changing medical field of both acute and chronic patient care. Growth and commitment to optimum respiratory care is the foremost goal. The other primary objective of this program is to fill the need for respiratory therapists and to build and maintain a progressive respiratory care profession for the members of the community.

Respiratory Care Student Learning Outcomes

Program Student Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of the Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care, students will:

O1: be able to demonstrate intensive skills required for entry-level. (Psychomotor and cognitive domain).

O2: graduate with entry level respiratory therapeutics skills and knowledge base (Psychomotor and cognitive domain).

O3: graduate with entry-level knowledge base of interpretation of clinical data (Cognitive).

O4: be able to demonstrate professional behaviors and communication skills consistent with the profession expectations (Affective domain).


Respiratory Care Student Policy Manual