Skyline College currently offers a well-established Associate’s degree program in
Respiratory Care which provides entry into practice as a Respiratory Care Practitioner.
The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care program allows current students and recent
graduates a pathway to complete a four year degree without having to transfer and
licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP) to return for degree completion. The
program provides needed skills to enhance RCPs performance and professional advancement
in today's healthcare environment.
The Respiratory Care Bachelor's Degree at Skyline College
This bachelor’s degree offers students a greater ability to advance to management
and leadership roles within the profession, to become advanced caregivers, to conduct
health related research, and to become educators in the field. Increasingly, Respiratory
Care Practitioners are taking on responsibilities, formerly conducted by physicians,
requiring a greater level of critical thinking and analytical skills.
A minimum of 26.5 units of upper division major course work builds upon the lower
division major course work. The degree also includes a minimum of 15 units of upper
division general education courses in alignment with California State University guidelines.
Students will complete coursework through a capstone project developed in collaboration
with faculty and community members and are aligned with student area of interest.
Students can apply through the Respiratory Care Online Application.
Most Respiratory Care Practitioners participate in three phases of patient care: diagnosis,
treatment and patient management. While many RCPs work in hospitals, some work in
nursing care facilities or travel to patients’ homes. With the higher expectation
in degree attainment, practitioners will seek more opportunities in leadership roles
as well as outside the acute care environment.
Demand for respiratory therapists is high, and employment is expected to grow 19%
over the next decade according to the U.S. Department of Labor thanks in part to a growing aging population. In California, respiratory therapists
make an average of $75, 870 per year and in the San Francisco Bay Area specifically,
therapists can make an average of $90,230 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bachelor’s degree preparation provides opportunities for advancement in Respiratory
Care areas and increases in salary compensation.