Respiratory Care Program

Respiratory care is a professionally and personally rewarding career with a balanced blend of technology and patient interaction. 

Working under the medical direction of doctors to provide treatment to patients with heart and lung disorders, respiratory therapists are important members of the health care team. As a respiratory therapist, you’ll provide treatment for all age groups—from infants to the elderly.

You’ll provide temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema, as well as emergency care to patients who are victims of a heart attack, stroke, drowning or shock.

The Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. Proficiency in all aspects of respiratory care, including diagnostic, rehabilitative and therapeutic applications, prepares PTC students to take the entry and advanced level NBRC exams.

Career Tracks:

  • Entry Level Salary Average: $38,174
  • Range for Recent Grads: $27,500-$48,000
  • 85% placement rate
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Entry Level Positions:

  • Respiratory Therapy Technician
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Advancement to supervisor and management positions possible

Respiratory Care is used primarily in the treatment of heart and lung diseases such as cardiac failure, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and shock. The registered respiratory therapist is trained to assist the medical staff with the treatment, management and care of patients with cardiopulmonary abnormalities or deficiencies.

For more information about careers, visit Career Onestop for an overview of South Carolina and National earnings statistics, and Piedmont Technical College's Career Tracks page for more in-depth information about this program. For national career information, visit Virtual Career Network.

Regional Earnings

respiratory earnings

*Earnings data for our region from EMSI Analyst

Employment Information

Graduates of Piedmont Technical College's Respiratory Care Program are working all over the region and throughout South Carolina. Recent graduates have found work with:


Featured Profile

Sharon Calliham, Alumni

Sharon Calliham has found her passion in helping people. As a registered respiratory therapist working in home health, she gets to fuel that passion each day.

“I love the personal interaction with the patients,” she said. “They become part of my family.”

Calliham came to Piedmont Tech following a long career in textiles. As the jobs started to go, she knew she needed to find a new profession. She decided she needed to go back to school.

“Straight out of high school, I got married and worked in the cotton mill. I made good money and at the time, that’s what it was all about,” Calliham said. “It took me a little more time to realize that it was more serious than that to plan for the future.”

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Sharon Calliham

Graduation: 2005

Respiratory Care

Currently: Parrish Home Medical