How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Alaska – AK
Out of all the states in the USA, Alaska and Hawaii are unique in that they do not have a state licensing body that Respiratory Therapists must register with and whose rules they must abide by. That does not mean, however, that Alaskan Respiratory Therapists are not held to the same high standard they are in the rest of the U.S, or that it is an easier state in which to become one- it simply means fewer fees, and fewer hoops to jump through.
How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Alaska
Individuals considering Alaska Respiratory Therapist careers need to gain the Certified Respiratory Therapist, or CRT credential awarded by the National Board of Respiratory Care, or NBRC.
In order to take the CRT exam, you'll need to earn an associate’s degrees in a Respiratory Therapist degree program accredited by the American Association of Respiratory Care, or AARC. At the moment, there are no accredited programs being offered in the State of Alaska, so you will have to go further afield to earn your degree or find an online school that works for you.
During your schooling, which should take approximately two years, push to get as much work experiences as possible. This helps immensely on resumes, and given the wide variety of tasks a Respiratory Therapist performs, can lead to a more well-rounded education.
Upon graduation, you are eligible to take the NBRC's CRT exam, which, once passed, will allow you to work in Alaska, and will generally satisfy most other states requirements for licensure. For a higher level of certification, and increased work opportunities, you should also consider taking the NBRC's Registered Respiratory Therapist Exam, which allows you to become an RRT.
Once you've been certified as either a CRT, or a CRT/RRT, you are eligible to work in Alaska as a Respiratory Technician. Because Alaska does not currently train Respiratory Therapists, the demand is high, especially in cities or areas that are more remote.