How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Alabama – AL
Alabama is a heavily industrialized state, with a humid climate and a history built on the farm, and in the mine. These factors individually can create, or aggravate, respiratory problems in a population, but together they give this state, and region, a higher percentage of respiratory conditions then elsewhere in the US. This means those considering Alabama respiratory therapists careers will be in high demand, which is probably why they make several thousand dollars more here than in most other states in the US, according to indeed.com.
How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Alabama
- The Alabama State Board of Respiratory Therapy requires anyone even thinking of applying for licensure to be over 18 and have a valid high school diploma or similar degree. Those with recent felony charges and criminal backgrounds are not expressly barred, but evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- Though there are several ways to qualify for a license, the path most relevant for those looking into the profession will be through a 2-year Respiratory Therapist Degree Program.
- Make sure to go to a school accredited by the American Association for Respiratory Care, or AARC. Before you can practice in Alabama, you'll need to get certified by the National Board of Respiratory Care, and they require a degree from an AARC approved school.
- Get as much work experience as possible. Respiratory Therapists perform a diverse number of jobs, and given Alabama's size and climate, the more you know how to do, the better off you'll be.
- Once you've graduated with your associate’s degree, you can take the NBRC's first exam and, upon passing, become a Certified Respiratory Therapist, or CRT. At this point, you can apply for a state license from the ASBRT, which costs 75$. These licenses need to be renewed every two years, and expire on the November 1st of an odd-numbered year, regardless of when they were received.
- For a higher level of certification and increased job opportunities, you should seriously consider taking the NBRC's next test, the Registry Examination, which, when passed, certifies you as a Registered Respiratory Therapist, or RRT.