Respiratory Care

Associate in Science (A.S.)

The Respiratory Care Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program at Valencia College prepares you to go directly into a specialized career as a respiratory therapist.

Respiratory therapists are an integral member of any medical team and serve as life-support specialists who work to restore the heart and lung system to normal function. A respiratory therapist’s main role is to assist physicians in treating patients who experience heart or lung problems and breathing disorders such as chronic asthma or emphysema. This program at Valencia College provides a strong base in therapeutic techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, as well as hands-on experience at some of the community’s major medical centers. Through this combined educational experience, students learn to use their classroom knowledge in real-life situations.

Limited-Access Program

This is a limited-access program. For admission requirements and updates, program application and deadlines, visit the Health Sciences Division website.

Have questions, or want more information?

Attend an Information Session

Program Details

Program Overview and Degree Requirements

Review course descriptions, important dates and deadlines and other programs details in the official college catalog.


Alternative Ways To Earn Credit

Did you know that you may already be eligible to receive college credit toward this program? Check out these opportunities:

You want to step up. We have a path to a bachelor's

Build on your skills and increase your opportunities for career advancement after earning your A.S. in Respiratory Care degree by continuing your education at Valencia College, and completing a bachelor's degree or an Advanced Technical Certificate. We encourage you to consult with a program advisor to determine the best education plan for your career goals.


76 credits

(after all of the pre-admission course requirements have been met)

Program begins each spring.

Health Care Specialist


When you choose the Healthcare Specialist technical certificate as your secondary degree pathway, you will earn a workforce credential while completing prerequisite course credits, many of which are requirements for the selective admissions health career programs at Valencia College. Earning this certificate is an important first step in your career—your classes can help you become more valuable to our local health care employers.

Career Outlook

Learn How To

  • Evaluate and treat patients' breathing problems
  • Sample blood to test the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and report results to the physician
  • Use a ventilator to pump pressurized air-oxygen mixes through a tube into patients' lungs

Job Outlook

Respiratory therapists work mainly in hospitals, in the departments of respiratory care, pulmonary medicine or anesthesiology. Other career opportunities are available in medical clinics, physicians' offices, home care, sales, education, research and consulting. Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia.

Potential Careers

  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Respiratory Care Practitioner
$40,000 - $48,000

Placement Rate

The average placement rate for Valencia College A.S. degree and certificate programs ranges between 90 – 95%, according to the latest FETPIP data.

Respiratory Care - male nurse working on laptop computer

Steps for Admission to Program

  1. Attend a Health Sciences Information Session. Please bring a copy of the program guide for your desired track with you. If you are not local and cannot attend the information session, review the program guide and read the frequently asked questions for the Health Sciences programs and degrees.
  2. Apply to Valencia College.
  3. Complete required general education courses before applying to the program.
  4. Once your transcripts have been received and evaluated, and if you meet eligibility requirements, you can apply to the program.
Information Sessions

To learn more about this program, including application requirements, attend one of our information sessions. Please bring a copy of the program guide with you. If you are unable to attend, refer to the program guide and the resources available at Health Sciences.