Respiratory Care students working in the classroom.

Respiratory Care

El Camino’s respiratory care degree and certificate programs put you on the right track for a career in respiratory therapy. Whether your passion is respiratory therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, home respiratory care, or other specialties, you’ll be ready to start a career following graduation, or you can pursue El Camino’s new bachelor’s degree program. It’s an accessible, affordable path to a rewarding, in-demand career.

Respiratory care at El Camino will challenge you to be your best. We’ll be here to help.

Projected growth in employment for respiratory therapists through 2029.
Annual job openings for respiratory therapists.
California leads the nation in the number of people working as respiratory therapists.

Choose a Degree Designed for Respiratory Care

Our Respiratory Care Associate of Science (AS) degree takes two years. Our accelerated 40-unit, 18-month Bachelor of Science degree program is designed for students who already have an associate degree in respiratory care from an accredited community college.

This program is perfect for El Camino students who want to start their careers in respiratory care as soon as possible, or continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree. It’s designed to help you become a respiratory care practitioner licensed by and registered in California.


El Camino’s new bachelor’s degree in respiratory care is the first baccalaureate degree program in the college’s 75-year history. Starting in fall 2023, students will be able to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care, designed to expand on El Camino’s existing two-year accredited associate degree program, which has been in place for 50 years. 

  • Advance your education and training as you prepare for a career as a respiratory therapist.
  • Access opportunities for leadership, education, and case management roles in this high-demand and well-paying career.
  • Learn in an accelerated 40-unit, 18-month bachelor’s degree program offered in an online format across three semesters.
  • Explore your options in this program designed especially for graduates from an accredited respiratory care program who have an associate degree in respiratory care from an accredited community college, along with the 39 required CSU-GE transfer pattern units.
Catalog Apply Now


Drawing upon concepts that include cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, proper usage of respiratory care equipment, and more, this degree prepares you for a career in the respiratory care field. A respiratory certificate of achievement is also available through the associate degree option.

  • Take respiratory care courses in a variety of fields like anatomy and physiology, patient care, chronic respiratory conditions, and professional standards.
  • Explore key respiratory care concepts as you build fundamental skills in critical thinking and creative problem solving.
  • Consider respiratory care careers in various fields, including critically ill patient care, perinatal and pediatric patient care, and more.
    Develop the passion for compassionate patient care and ethical professional practice that is essential to a respiratory care career.
Catalog Program Mapper Apply Now



Pursue an Entry-Level Respiratory Care Job

As an El Camino respiratory care graduate, you’ll be ready to start work in an entry-level respiratory therapy position. We’ll help you build the scientific knowledge and hands-on skills for any career you choose.

  • Start a career in a wide variety of fields related to respiratory care in acute and chronic care settings, hospitals and medical clinics, or private offices.
  • Apply your understanding of compassionate patient care and ethical professional practice to be successful in the workplace.
  • Use the academic foundation you have developed in respiratory care to pursue additional training and advanced degree options, such as El Camino’s bachelor’s degree.
  • Median salary for an entry-level respiratory therapist is almost $80,000.

Build Your Respiratory Care Network Beyond the Classroom

As an El Camino Respiratory care student, you become part of a professional community. The perspectives and connections you develop here will prove valuable throughout your career.

  • Gain hands-on experience needed to become a California licensed respiratory care practitioner and/or registered respiratory therapist.
  • Prepare to apply for all state and national advanced specialty credentialing examinations after completing the program.
  • Learn to provide a wide range of high-tech and high-touch therapeutic interventions to patients in acute and chronic care settings.
  • Practice skills through laboratory exercises and clinical performance evaluations in simulated and actual patient care situations.
Students walking on campus.


Find related programs, support, career info and more. 

Visit Meta-Major Page

El Camino sign on building during sunset.

Division Page

Locate office hours, contact support staff, and view news.

Visit Division Page

Photo of Tower on Industry and Technology Building

Connect with Faculty

Find out how to get in touch with the faculty members.

Visit Faculty Directory


Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an "outcome 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.

CoARC's Outcomes webpage:

CoARC's main webpage:

El Camino College Respiratory Care Program Number: 200584

Questions? Contact Us

El Camino College Respiratory Care Department