How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Maryland – MD
High School Diploma/G.E.D.
Now, more than ever, completing your high school education is a vital ingredient to your future success. Without this, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities to pursue Maryland respiratory therapist careers. Few employers look twice at candidate who do not posses a high school diploma or G.E.D., and it is next to impossible to move on to post secondary education without one of these. Finishing your high school education successfully shows schools and potential employers how seriously you take you job and education and is an indicator of how hard you will work and follow through to meet your goals. This is the minimum educational requirement to pursue a degree in respiratory therapy in Maryland, as well as the rest of the United States.
Once you have successfully completed the high school requirement, it's time to consider your future career goals and education. To become a respiratory therapist, you will need to enroll in an accredited respiratory therapy training program. You can choose to get your associate's degree, which is the minimum requirement to practice as a respiratory therapist, or if you plan to advance within your career, you will need to achieve a master's or bachelor's degree. Training can be found online, at your local community college/vocational school and universities. Once you have graduated, you are ready to take the next step.
Upon obtaining your post-secondary degree, you will need to get your respiratory therapist certification. This is a must before you can move on to the next step. Sooner is better than later, as there is a three-year time limit after receiving your degree to get certified. With an associate's degree, you will qualify for the Certified Respiratory Therapist credential. More advanced degrees qualify for the Registered Respiratory Therapist credential. The CRT exam is a one part written and the RRT is 2 parts, written and simulation. You will have to make an appointment and pay a fee for the exams. The RRT requires 2 separate appointments for each section of the test, but can be done on the same day.
Each of the 48 contiguous states requires respiratory therapists to be licensed. In Maryland, this
involves submitting an application and fee along with proof of education and certification to the state for review. Once the decision has been made and you have your license, you are ready to find a job. Licensing is based on having met the requirements of the National Board of Respiratory Care (NRBC).
Employers will be looking to hire those who have the credentials, skills and experience to work as a respiratory therapist and who will be an asset to the facility, staff, physicians and patients.