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Respiratory Therapy

Students in SJVC’s Respiratory Therapy program learn to care for individuals affected by respiratory diseases. Earn an Associate of Science degree in as few as 19 months.

SJVC Respiratory Therapy Student


With many classes to guide you, you’re certain to be prepared for your career.


Earn an Associate of Science degree in as few as 19 months.


Conveniently available at 5 of our campuses.


Affordable tuition varies by program and location.
SJVC Respiratory Therapist Education Program Details

Program Details


Upon completion of our Respiratory Therapy program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Perform clinically as a competent advanced-level Respiratory Therapist
  • Exemplify critical thinking and judgment skills
  • Demonstrate personal and professional behavior consistent with a Respiratory Therapist
  • Earn Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support Provider (PALS), and Neonatal Resuscitation Provider (NRP) certifications
  • Become a Registered Respiratory Therapist
  • Characterize the philosophies of lifelong learning and professional growth by participating in continued education and community outreach
  • Demonstrate the social skills, professional appearance, attitudes, and behavior that employers expect of all SJVC graduates
  • Relate and apply concepts of communication, reasoning, critical analysis, ethical behavior, and appropriate interpersonal interaction to situations in his or her career and personal life.

Term Details and Course Descriptions

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Education is the most important investment you can make in your future. There is a financial plan available for everyone, including a broad range of financial assistance options. Visit SJVC’s Net Price Calculator to get personalized information on college costs and financial aid. Check out SJVC’s Academic Catalog to learn about program costs by campus and credential level. You also can talk to an Admissions Advisor to discuss the costs of your chosen program and schedule an appointment with an experienced financial aid officer. Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.


SJVC’s Respiratory Therapy Associate of Science degree program is available at the following campuses:


Program Goals

The San Joaquin Valley College (SJVC) Respiratory Therapy (RT) program goal is to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).

The Respiratory Therapy program at the following SJVC campuses has been granted continuing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

 Campus   CoArc Program Number 
 Bakersfield  200425
 Ontario  200495
 Rancho Cordova  200518
 Temecula  200607
 Visalia  200389


Institutional Accreditation

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 1080 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 500, Alameda, CA 94501, Phone: 510-748-9001, Fax: 510-748-9797.

The WSCUC is an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

State Approvals


SJVC is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Approval to operate means that SJVC has been found in compliance with the standards set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (as amended) and Title 5, Division 7.5, – Private Postsecondary Education of the California Code of Regulations. As a prospective student, you are encouraged to review this catalog prior to signing an enrollment agreement. You are also encouraged to review the School Performance Fact Sheet, which must be provided to you prior to signing an enrollment agreement.

A student or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education by calling (888) 370-7589 or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the Bureau’s internet website (

View additional State Approvals for SJVC.

Outcomes Data

The CoARC accredits Respiratory Therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes-based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.

To view outcomes data, please visit

What Will I Learn?

Pulmonary Function Testing

Respiratory Care Planning

Respiratory Medication Administration

Providing Life Support

Ready to Do This?

Find your path as a Respiratory Therapist

Talk to an Admissions Advisor about your options and earn your Associate of Science degree in as few as 19 months.

Discover What It’s Like to Become a Respiratory Therapist Student

Discover What It’s Like to Become a Respiratory Therapist Student

I passed my Boards with no issues. SJVC did right by us. You learn professionalism, a dress code, to carry yourself in a certain way, and to perform your job with confidence. SJVC gave that message to students from Day One, and that’s what I liked a lot.
Curtis S.
2021 Respiratory Therapy Student

Career Opportunities

A Respiratory Therapist treats patients who have difficulty breathing. Respiratory Therapists may care for individuals who have respiratory diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, or pneumonia. Their patients have a wide age range, from infants with lung development issues to seniors with breathing disorders. Additionally, Respiratory Therapists provide emergency care for individuals dealing with heart attacks or shock.

Common job duties of Respiratory Therapists include:1

  • Interview and examine patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Consult with physicians about patients’ conditions and developing treatment plans
  • Perform diagnostic tests
  • Treat patients using a variety of methods
  • Monitor and record patients’ progress
  • Teach patients how to take medications and use equipment
SJVC Respiratory Therapist Education Career Opportunities

Check out our guide on Respiratory Therapy in California

Respiratory Therapists care for individuals affected by respiratory diseases, like asthma and COPD, and other causes of breathing difficulties. They take blood samples, perform pulmonary functioning tests, develop respiratory care plans, and provide life support services for patients. These professionals are compassionate, detail-oriented, and excellent problem solvers.1

SJVC Respiratory Therapy Career Guide

Successful Grads

Ask one of our graduates about their SJVC experience and they’ll likely describe it as life-changing.

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Respiratory Therapy FAQs

What is respiratory therapy?
Have trouble breathing? Respiratory therapy offers treatment and management care options for patient breathing. Respiratory therapists are the specialists who help patients with breathing difficulties. At SJVC, we offer a Respiratory Therapy program you could complete in as few as 19 months to pursue entry-level career opportunities sooner rather than later.
Is respiratory therapy a good career?
If you enjoy helping others, it definitely could be. With millions suffering from breathing issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the U.S. alone1, there is a need for trained professionals in this area. A respiratory Therapy (RT) program education can help you gain the insights and training you need to help others breathe easier. The RT program at SJVC covers pulmonary function testing, respiratory care planning, medication administration, life support and more to help you prepare to take the various professional examinations you need to pass in order to earn your Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)2 credential*. 1 15.7 million Americans reported they have been diagnosed with COPD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2 As outlined by the American Association for Respiratory Care. *SJVC prepares students to take appropriate certification and licensure exams related to their individual majors. The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program.
How long is respiratory therapy school?
That depends on what your respiratory therapist education has to offer. At SJVC, our Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy is designed to be completed in as few as 19 months. Covering pulmonary function testing, respiratory medication and more, it offers the comprehensive education you need to care for patients affected by respiratory ailments.
How hard is respiratory therapy?
From performing diagnostic tests to monitoring patient progress, there are a number of skills and insights you need to develop attending your chosen respiratory therapy technician training. So it can be challenging. At SJVC, our program covers respiratory diseases, diagnostic testing, treatment options and more. We do everything we can to help prepare to pursue your career goals.