Respiratory Care - A.A.S.

Questions / More Information

(423) 697-4450 | Request Information

Program Director: 
Katie Davidson
HSC 2085
(423) 697.4770
(423) 493.8771

Deadline Dates

Program - May 15
If weekend, due following Business Day.
TEAS - May 15

Additional Forms

The Respiratory Care Program does not require observational hours.

Information Session RSVP - Respiratory Care

Curriculum Details

Respiratory therapists are an important part of the health care team who work under the direction of a physician. They work with patients of every age who suffer with breathing problems. Those people include premature babies, heart attack and accident victims, post-surgery patients and those with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema and cystic fibrosis. These patients may need to receive oxygen or breathing medications and treatments. Respiratory therapists are also an important part of the hospital’s emergency team which performs cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Patients who can’t breathe well enough on their own are placed on mechanical ventilators, which are monitored and operated by therapists in intensive care units. Therapists may also work with chronic lung patients in rehabilitation programs or in nursing homes. Other therapists may work in diagnostic departments where they measure lung volumes of patients to determine if there is abnormal function.

The Respiratory Care program at Chattanooga State is an advanced practitioner program preparing students to become Registered Respiratory Therapists. The program is two years (five semesters) long. Training involves a combination of classroom, laboratory and clinical practice at several hospitals in the region. After completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care exams to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist and then a Registered Respiratory Therapist. After passing the entry level National Board, graduates will meet the requirements to apply for a license in the state of Tennessee. Other states have similar requirements.


The Respiratory Care Program, A.A.S. Degree at Chattanooga State Community College
4501 Amnicola Hwy.
Chattanooga TN 37406
COARC # 200005 is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)

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.

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
264 Precision Blvd.
Telford, TN 37690
​(817) 283-2835 FAX (817) 354-8519


The philosophy of the respiratory care program is derived from and consistent with the mission of Chattanooga State Community College. Chattanooga State Community College Respiratory Care Program serves students from multiple counties in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama by preparing them to be competent respiratory therapists who will help meet the current and emerging needs of the workplace for registered respiratory therapists. The respiratory care program maintains state (Tennessee Board of Respiratory Care) approval and national (CoARC) accreditation. Graduates of the program obtain an AAS degree and are eligible to take the National Board of Respiratory Care Exam (NBRC-RRT) to obtain the title of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).


Graduates of the Respiratory Care program will:

  1. Show the ability to interpret, comprehend, apply and evaluate patient data and clinical information relative to their role as a registered respiratory therapist (RRT).
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in all mechanical and physical skills necessary to fulfill their role as a registered respiratory therapist (RRT).
  3. Demonstrate behaviors and attitudes consistent with professional and employer expectations for a registered respiratory therapist (RRT).

Program Outcomes

You can view information on Program Outcomes for Respiratory Care Programs in the United States at

Success Rates

You can get information about the retention, attrition, national board pass rates and accreditation status of all Respiratory Care Programs in the United States.

Employment Opportunities: 

Most therapists work in hospitals which are staffed 24-hours a day. There are other opportunities in nursing homes, home health companies, physician’s offices and in sales of medical equipment. Some respiratory therapists may also specialize in education, neonatal care (newborn babies) or management.

Expected Salary: 
Currently, there is a nationwide shortage of respiratory therapists. Starting salaries for respiratory therapists in the Chattanooga area are $35,000-$40,000.

Program Cost

First Semester: 18 hours - Fall TermIn-StateOut-of-State
Maintenance fee2,4379,487
Nursing & Allied Health Fee200200
Truescreen: MyRecord Tracker Fee17.5017.50
Truescreen Criminal Background Check24.5024.50
Textbooks (estimate)375.00375.00
Second Semester: 18 hours - Spring termIn-StateOut-of-State
Maintenance Fee3,187.0012,619.00
Nursing & Allied Health Fee275.00275.00
Physical Examination & Vaccines300.00300.00
Hepatitis B (estimate)175.00175.00
Truescreen Drug Screen (12 panel)39.0039.00
Textbooks (estimate)400.00400.00
Third Semester: 14 hours - Summer termIn-StateOut-of-State
Maintenance Fee2,8298,911
Nursing & Allied Health Fee175.00175.00
SAE Fee50.0050.00
Textbooks (estimate)350.00350.00
Liability Insurance (for 12 months)11.0511.05
Fourth Semester: 14 hours - Fall termIn-StateOut-of-State
Maintenance Fee2,2898,911
Nursing & Allied Health Fee350.00350.00
Truescreen: MyRecord Tracker Fee17.5017.50
Textbooks (estimate)200.00200.00
SAE Fee50.0050.00
Fifth Semester: 8 hours - Spring termIn-StateOut-of-State
Maintenance Fee1,4955,767
Nursing & Allied Health Fee200.00200.00
Textbooks (estimate)200.00200.00
SAE Fee50.0050.00

Costs Disclaimer

These are estimated program costs. Actual costs may vary due to changes in tuition and/or fee increases as determined by the Tennessee Board of Regents. This cost will also be reduced for students since some of the required course work is completed prior to acceptance into the program. These general and support courses taken before the program is to lessen course load in a given semester.

Note: College fees are included in the maintenance cost. To view current calculation table, go to Bursar’s Office on Chattanooga State website. This website will also give you information on refund policies, fee payments and the refund calendar.