Respiratory Care (AS)

If you think you may be interested in an exciting career in Respiratory Care, we invite you to remotely attend one of our Orientation Sessions via Zoom. These are scheduled for the Wednesdays of, March 27, April 3, April 24, and May 15 from 12 to 1pm.

Online application for Respiratory Care will be open from January 1st until May 31st.

Important Dates for Application Process

Application Accepted - January - May 31 Watson Glaser Exam - 3/7, 3/22, 4/17, 5/17, 6/4 Interviews (if notified) - May - June

The Respiratory Care Program is designed to offer students the opportunity to obtain an Associate in Science Degree in Respiratory Care. Upon completion of the program, students will be registry-eligible Respiratory Therapists and will take the National Board for Respiratory Care Examinations. A graduate Respiratory Therapist is usually employed and licensed in the practice of Respiratory Care and has acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to administer respiratory therapy to patients of all ages with varied diseases and to patients in need of acute and critical care. Respiratory Therapists have the opportunity to learn and work in the acute care hospital setting, skilled nursing centers, rehabilitation, neo-natal intensive care, and home care environments. Because of the local need for graduates, scholarships are available through the College as well as through local hospitals. A freshman class begins each Fall semester. Currently, freshmen are accepted each year after June 1st. Class size is limited by the number of critical care units in the S.W. Florida clinical affiliates which are essential to the clinical education of Respiratory Care students.

The Program in Respiratory Care is a limited access program. The criteria for admission are available through the Florida SouthWestern State College website or through the Cardiopulmonary Professions office by calling (239) 985-3499.


The Florida SouthWestern State College Respiratory Care Associate in Science Degree Program at the Thomas Edison Campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care 264 Precision Blvd. Telford, TN 37690

For a comparison of the outcomes of all accredited U.S. Respiratory Care Programs please click here.

Respiratory Care Graduates Typically Earn

The projected average of annual earnings of RT’s working in the U.S. is $62,222. In this study*, therapists just beginning their careers reported average annual earnings of $42,000 - $47,000.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than 2,300 national openings per year. Consistently, 90% of Florida SouthWestern State graduates, from this program, are locally placed.*

* American Association for Respiratory Care Become an Respiratory Therapist. Note: For Respiratory Care as a career, refer to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Continuing Toward a Bachelor's Degree?

Florida SouthWestern State College also offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Cardiopulmonary Sciences. Graduates of the AS Degree in Respiratory Care with the RRT credential may matriculate to the upper division courses. For more information, please contact the Florida SouthWestern State Baccalaureate and University Programs Division.

Program Prerequisites:

The program prerequisites include the following:

  • Successful completion of the program application acceptance process, including program-level admissions points.
  • Competition with all other applicants is based on academic transcript evaluation; completion of the Watson-Glaser critical thinking exam is also an admission requirement. Finalists from these two processes will be invited to attend a Panel Interview to complete the admissions process.
  • The clinical enrollment process requires satisfactory completion of an immunization and health report. The admissions process requires satisfactory completion of a College-approved criminal history background check and drug screen completed at the applicant’s expense.