Breath is life. Respiratory therapists provide critical care for patients who have problems with breathing, from premature infants with underdeveloped lungs, to adults and seniors with lung disease or illnesses. If your goal is to serve others in a clinical setting as a vital part of a health care team, consider earning your degree in Respiratory Care through OCC Career Advantage. We offer a two-year Associate of Science degree program that is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Respiratory therapy is an important, growing field in health care, and respiratory therapists are in demand and earn good wages. Read on to learn more.

A sampling of courses for these careers

  • Basic Microbiology
  • Patient Care
  • Respiratory Pharmacology
  • Human Diseases
  • Polysomnography Basics
  • Pulmonary Pathology

Did you know?

Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the
average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Program Details

Earn an associate degree, and you'll be well-prepared to enter a career in respiratory care.

View all program details in course catalog

Respiratory Care

Prepare for a career as a respiratory care practitioner, gaining the knowledge and skills you need by completing approximately 1,000 clinical hours, attending lectures and practicing your skills in a state-of-the-art lab. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), and upon completing the program, you will become eligible for California licensure, certification and registry credentialing by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

Polysomnography Cross-Training Option

If you are a Respiratory Care graduate looking to cross-train as a polysomnographic technologist, this program is for you. Upon completing the cross-training courses, you will earn an additional Associate in Science in Polysomnography. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Other Programs That Might Interest You

Two paramedics climb into back of ambulance


Earn a certificate of specialization to launch your career as an emergency medical technician

Learn More

Polysomnographic technologist checks in on a sleeping patient who is monitored by medical equipment


Complete our associate-degree program to launch a career helping people with sleep disorders

Learn More

Electrocardiography technician reviews patient's results while patient walks on treadmill


Earn a certificate of achievement or an associate degree to enter this high-paying field.

Learn More

Did you know?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who have a certificate as
their highest level of education earned, on average, 20 percent more than
those whose highest education level is a high school diploma.

Our Team

Katie Ottoson
Katie Ottoson, M.S.
Counselor, CTE and
Career Services
Caryn Plum
Caryn Plum
Counselor, Allied
Health Careers