Respiratory Care

  • Health, Public Safety & Human Services

Named one of the top health care jobs by U.S. News and World Report, respiratory therapists save thousands of lives each year.

The Joliet Junior College Respiratory Care program, CoARC program number 200659, awarding an AAS degree and held on Joliet Junior College Main Campus holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( This status signifies that a program with an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the Standards (through submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self-Study Report (PSSR) and any other documentation required by the CoARC, as well as satisfactory completion of an initial on-site visit), to be allowed to admit students. It is recognized as an accredited program by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which provides enrolled students who complete the program with eligibility for the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until it achieves Continuing Accreditation.

Program Goal

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).

What Do I Need to Know About the Respiratory Care Program?

The Respiratory Care Program has special admissions criteria and limited enrollment. Applicants are responsible for ensuring the requirements are met and all necessary documentation is on file. Only complete files will be considered.

Applications to the program have been extended until April 15, 2024.

Respiratory Care Application

For more information and instructions, please select the Respiratory Care Admissions Criteria tab under Health & Occupational Science on the Admissions webpage.

Respiratory Therapists Are In-Demand

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, respiratory therapist positions are projected to grow 14 percent from 2022 to 2031. Respiratory therapists should have an associate degree and must pass the NBRC exam to start work in the field.

Average Salary for Respiratory Therapists: $62,810 per year

What Do Respiratory Therapists Do?

Respiratory Therapy is a specialised health care field where practitioners are trained in pulmonary medicine in order to work therapeutically with people suffering from pulmonary disease. They often treat those who have: 

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Pneumonia
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Sleep apnea
  • And more

Many respiratory therapists also work in emergency room settings. Respiratory therapists treat patients as young as 26 weeks, elderly patients and everyone in between.  

Respiratory Care Program Information Sessions

Learn about the application process and the program.
Open to all residents of the JJC district. No need to register.

Please check back later for session dates or contact us for more information.

What Will I Learn?

This program prepares students to be front-line critical-care specialists to assist physicians in managing patients with serious heart and lung disorders.

Respiratory therapists are responsible for administering medical gases, managing electronic monitoring equipment, controlling life-support systems, and handling various medical emergencies.

Related responsibilities may include diagnostic testing of breathing disorders, rehabilitation of patients with long-standing pulmonary disease, and asthma education.

What is Unique About the Program?

The respiratory therapy program is housed in a state-of-the-art facility. You can expect a learning environment that includes:

  • A spacious lab with six simulation beds
  • Collaborative Skills Competency Lab
  • Two dedicated classrooms

In addition, students will get on-the-job experience through clinical rotations at local hospitals.

Respiratory Therapy Careers

After graduating from the respiratory therapy program, you can expect to gain employment as a respiratory care practitioner. However, in order to start practicing, you will need to pass the NBRC exam. 

Program Outcomes

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.

Programmatic Outcomes Data - CoARC - Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care reported on the CoARC website include:

The three-year time period being reported; RRT credentialing success; achievement of the high-cut score on TMC Exam (beginning 2018); retention (attrition); overall graduate satisfaction; overall employer satisfaction; the total number of program enrollees; the total number of program graduates; maximum annual enrollment.