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Respiratory Therapist. It’s Your Choice. Choose to care!. Promoting Health Careers in Mississippi A division of Mississippi Hospital Association. Position Responsibilities.

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Respiratory Therapist

It’s Your Choice...

Choose to care!

Promoting Health Careers in Mississippi

A division of Mississippi Hospital Association


Position Responsibilities

  • Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. They test the capacity of patients’ lungs and analyze oxygen carbon dioxide concentration.
  • They also measure the patient's potential for hydrogen which indicates the acidity or alkalinity levels of the blood. Lung capacity is measured by having the patient breathe into an instrument that gauges the volume and flow of oxygen during inhalation and exhalation.
  • By comparing the readings with the norms for the patient's age, height, weight and sex, a respiratory therapist can determine whether lung deficiencies exist.
  • They are also responsible for drawing blood samples to test patients' carbon dioxide and pH levels.

Work Environment

Five out of every six respiratory therapists work in a hospital setting. However, you will also find respiratory therapists in physician offices, nursing homes, home use respiratory equipment suppliers and in respiratory clinics.


High School Preparation

High school students interested in a career in respiratory therapy should take courses in biology, health, mathematics, chemistry physics, English, computer skills, geometry, emergency medical technology and health occupations/ medical professions education.


College Requirements

There are two credentialing levels for respiratory practitioners. They include certified respiratory therapy technician and registered respiratory therapist. The certified respiratory therapy technician generally graduates after a one-year certificate program. This classification administers general respiratory care and may assume clinical responsibilities or specific treatments. The registered respiratory therapist generally graduates from a two-year Associate Degree program. They must then take a national examination to become registered.

Students interested in respiratory technology should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.


Educational Institutions

Copiah-Lincoln CC

Natchez Campus

30 Campus Drive

Natchez, MS 39120

Phone: (601) 442-9111

Hinds CC Nursing/

Allied Health Center

1750 Chadwick Dr.

Jackson, MS 39204

Phone: (601) 372-6507

Itawamba CC

Fulton Campus

602 West Hill St.

Fulton, MS 38843

Phone: (662) 862-3101

Meridian CC

Meridian Campus

910 Hwy. 19 North

Meridian, MS 39307

Phone: (601) 483-8241

MS Gulf Coast CC

Jackson County Campus

P.O. Box 100

Gautier, MS 39553

Phone: (228) 497-9602

Northeast MS CC

Booneville Campus

101 Cunningham Blvd.

Booneville, MS 38829

Phone: (662) 728-7751

Northwest MS CC

DeSoto Campus

5197 WE Ross Parkway

Southaven, MS 38671

Phone: (662) 342-1570

Pearl River CC

Forrest County Vo-Tech

5448 US Hwy 49 South

Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Phone: (601) 544-5555


Salary Range

Average Annual Salary--$36,960

Salary Range--$22,360 to $61,300


Career Outlook

  • Job opportunities for respiratory therapists are expected to grow between 21 - 35% over the next 10 years.
  • They will experience job growth faster than the average for all occupations in the United States.
  • This job growth is due in part to the aging of the baby boomer generation, which has increased the number of individuals in the middle age to elderly portion of the population. This age group is more likely to suffer illnesses that affect heart and lung functions.

Professional Organizations

American Association

of Respiratory Care

11030 Ables Lane

Dallas, TX 75229

Phone: (972) 243-2272

Fax: (972) 484-2720 or

Fax: (972) 484-6010



The National Board of Respiratory Care

8310 Nieman Road

Lenexa, KS 66214-1579

Phone: (913) 599-4200

Fax: (913) 541-0156



Mississippi Society for Respiratory Care

P.O. Box 5152

Jackson, MS 39296




MHA Health Careers Center

6425 Lakeover Road (39213)

P.O. Box 16444

Jackson, MS 39236-6444

Phone (601) 982-3251

Fax (601) 368-3200

A division of Mississippi Hospital Association