How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Colorado – CO
Colorado is home to, or near, some of the most iconic national parks and scenery in the United States. The states sweeping plains and red-dusted canyons are known all over the world. Perhaps that is why Colorado is the third fastest growing state in the United States, and that growth shows no signs of leveling off.
As always, with more people, comes more need and demand for the medical professionals that will keep them healthy and alive, and few functions are as critical as those performed by the Respiratory Therapist.
How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Colorado
Colorado respiratory therapist careers begin with licensure through Colorado's Office of Respiratory Therapy Licensure. To work in Colorado you'll need to earn credentials from the National Board of Respiratory Care, or NBRC.
However, in order to take the NBRC's CRT exam, which bestows upon you the credential of Certified Respiratory Therapist, you'll need to earn an associate’s degree from a Respiratory Therapy degree program accredited by a different body governing Respiratory Therapists; the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, or CoARC.
There are currently a handful of accredited community colleges and vocational/technical schools in Colorado, and if you need something beyond what they offer there a few online programs with the CoARC’s blessing.
Once you choose your school and begin going through the program, make sure to aggressively seek out as much work experience as you can. This is both important for your resume, and for your future as a respiratory therapist.
Upon graduation from the CoARC accredited program, you are able to take the CRT exam from the NBRC. Passing the exam allows you to register with the state of Colorado, work in the state, and perform the basic duties of a Respiratory Therapist.
To earn a higher salary, and open up more job opportunities, you might consider working towards becoming a Registered Respiratory Therapist, or RTT. To do this, you'll need to take the RTT exam from the NBRC. It is a harder test, with a clinical simulation as well as the standard multiple choice, but RTT's make more money and much fewer in number, but more in demand.