Respiratory Therapy FAQs

Consult our Respiratory Therapy FAQs for answers about admission, acceptance and scheduling.

What is the expected salary for a Respiratory Therapist?

  • $60,000 national average
  • $38 – 42K in the southwest Missouri area

Where do OTC graduates normally work once they complete?

  • Cox or Mercy
  • KC or STL hospitals
  • Home health or sleep labs

What is the job market like?

  • OTC has a 100% placement for the past 5 years

What types of shifts do RT work?

  • A typical shift is 12 hours, some might work 8 hour shifts
  • Night shift is common for new graduates, but day shift is possible

What days are clinical rotations?

Clinical rotations for the RT program are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Can I work during the program?

In short, yes. Although, the program does not recommend working full-time hours while pursing this degree. This is because the RT program is very challenging. Due to this, the program requires a significant amount of time and focus from the student. However, the program encourages students to work part-time as RT technicians at local hospitals after the completion of RST 210, 215 and 281.

Can I pick when I take RST classes?

Respiratory Therapy Courses

No. Consequently once the program accepts an individual, students must take the courses in sequence. The program also requires students to take courses certain semesters. You can find the preferred course sequence for the program on the RT website. The RST courses within the BOLDED outline represent the courses that student must take in a specific order.

General Education Courses

However, students can take the pre-admission course requirements (BCS 145, ENG 101, COM 100, etc.) whenever they are available and when they fit the student’s schedule.

Do I get to pick which clinical sites I go to?

No, the Director of Clinical Education for the respiratory therapy program sets the clinical schedule to assure that each student experiences a variety of clinical sites and shifts. The programs require students to attended an assortment of hospital shifts. Shifts will include dayshifts (6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.), evening shifts (2:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.) and a few other variations throughout the program.

Do I have to buy uniforms from the bookstore?

No, students may purchase uniforms from any retailer. However, they MUST be the same color and design as the ones the bookstore offers. The program gives approval for the uniforms sold at the bookstore. Any other variations are not acceptable for clinical attire.

Do I need to buy all the books?

Yes. The faculty specifically selects the books for the program to help guide the student through the program. Additionally, these books make for great resources after students complete the program.

Are there any specialties in Respiratory Therapy?

  • Neonatal
  • Pediatric
  • Adult critical care
  • Transport
  • Pulmonary function
  • Sleep lab

Can I obtain a higher degree?

  • Baccalaureate degrees can be earned through many different universities (many hospitals pay more if you do have one)
  • A master’s degree in Respiratory Therapy can be earned
  • A doctorate in Respiratory Therapy can be earned

Can I transfer my AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy to another school to obtain my Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy

Yes, and information is provided below:

Missouri State link found HERE
Contact for info on this program would be Zachary Burt – or 417-836-8481

Boise State University link found HERE

Kansas University link found HERE
Contact for info on this program would be Cheryl Skinner – or 913-588-4630

University of Missouri link found HERE