Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment. You also work with patients to encourage healthy behaviors and improvement in quality of life.

A Typical Day

  • Provide emergency care, such as artificial respiration, external cardiac massage, or assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Monitor patient's physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
  • Set up and operate devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
  • Work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures or related duties.

Recommended Credentials

Associate or Bachelor Degree

Education & Training

Regional employers often hire graduates of these programs.


Northwest Lower Michigan


Associates Degree in Respiratory Therapy-

Unique program offered on the Munson Campus

Elsewhere in Michigan


Explore This Career

Try it before you buy it!

Take biology classes.

Visit the Northwest Ed (formerly TBAISD) Career Tech Center Health Sciences program and consider attending.

The Local Advantage Learning Pathway

Pathway 1

Northwest Education Services (formerly TBAISD) Career Tech Center - Health Sciences for basics in Medical Ethics, Law, Anatomy and Physiology 

Consider enrolling in the Northwest Education Services Career Tech Early College program: Health Sciences

Pathway 2

Taking courses at Northwestern Michigan College in preparation of transfer to another university to complete the degree. 

Muskegon Community College on Munson Campus 

Pathway 3

Allied Health Science Bachelor's Program at the University Center through Grand Valley State University 


Sample Employers in Our Region

Click the logos below to learn more.


Contact one of these companies and ask for an informational interview, to see if you can job shadow, or to find out if they hire interns.


Sample Job Titles...

  • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Respiratory Therapist
  • Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT)
  • Clinical Coordinator of Respiratory Therapy
  • Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP)
  • Respiratory Therapy Director

10-Year Job Growth Projections

10-County Region

Employed Regionally

In 2021 (10-County Region)

Wage Range & Median 10-County Region


Annual Hires Regionally

In 2021

Other Regional Career Resources

Learn more about Respiratory Therapists at O*NET Online.