Skip to main content

Respiratory therapists save lives one breath at a time. This program will train you to identify, treat and prevent breathing issues ranging from emphysema in adults to underdeveloped lungs in newborns.

What Will I Learn?

Our selective admission program offers two consecutive years of the same kind of rigorous training as four-year schools.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Treat patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Educate patients and families about their diseases
  • Help patients with tobacco addictions
  • Perform diagnostic testing for patients with lung disorders
  • Treat trauma patients and work with all emergency care teams
  • Coordinate care as a member of an interdisciplinary healthcare team

Here’s what you can expect:

RC is a two-year program and classes vary by semester.

First and second semesters: Meet two days a week, about 14 hours each week (9 am-4 pm).

Third and fourth semesters: Students complete 24 hours of clinical time each week.  In addition to clinical, students will have class all day Tuesday in the third semester and Tuesday morning in the fourth semester.

This 65-credit-hour program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). After completing all of the credit requirements, you will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Respiratory Care. Upon graduation from the RC program, you will be eligible to sit for credentialing examinations to earn the following two credentials:

  • Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT)
  • Respiratory Therapist (RRT) 


You’re joining this growing field at a pivotal time, and JCCC is keeping up with industry advances. Area hospitals know the quality of our curriculum and request JCCC graduates.

We’ve got a lot to be proud of. We offer:

  • A 100 percent job placement rate for respiratory care degree recipients who choose to enter the workplace directly after graduation.
  • Board pass rates above the national average.
  • A state-of-the-art Healthcare Simulation Center where you will gain hands-on experience before your hospital clinical study.
  • Faculty who are all registered respiratory care practitioners with advanced degrees.
  • Relationships with nine award-winning area hospitals for clinical study.
  • Classes are limited to 16 to 20 students so you can:
    • Ask questions
    • Engage in discussions
    • Connect with classmates and professors
  • We’re affordable. Costs are reasonable and our campus is convenient to the metro area.
  • JCCC classes are transferable to most four-year schools.
Susie R., JCCC Respiratory Care graduate
"I found clinicals to be one of the most valuable parts. They were quite thorough, and when I finished the program, I felt very prepared to be a respiratory therapist. I had the confidence I needed, as well as the skills."
This is a selective admission program. See admission criteria

Johnson County Community College’s Respiratory Care program (#200076) Associate of Applied Science degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).  The JCCC program will prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by the registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).

CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States.  To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process.  Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.  For additional information, visit

Transfer to a 4-year institution and enhance your career path

With an Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care you can put your education to work in:

  • Long-term Care – skilled nursing facilities, rehab hospitals
  • Neonatal-Pediatrics – children’s and general hospitals with neonatal-pediatric care
  • Surface and Air Transport – air or ground ambulances
  • Pulmonary Rehab – rehabilitation centers and outpatient centers
  • Polysomnography – sleep laboratories
  • Education – professors and instructors in community colleges, universities, continuing education
  • Critical Care – intensive care units in acute care hospitals
  • Case Management – patient transition from hospital to home care setting
  • Home Care – companies that provide residential equipment
  • Pulmonary Diagnostics – hospital or physician offices, pulmonary laboratories

Download the Respiratory Care Program Outlook (PDF) for employment projections and salary information.

Need help with career decisions? Visit the Career Development Center.

Estimated Expenses for Respiratory Care (RC) Program   

Estimated Expenses for Respiratory Care Program, Excluding Taxes

1st Year Student

2nd Year Student

Total RC Program

Criminal Background Check ($66.00 each) and Drug Screen ($37.00 each) + Document Management System ($25.00) + $2.00 administrative fee (all charges after acceptance into the program)




Physical Exam and Immunizations

  • Prices vary based on personal insurance and immunizations needed
  • Healthcare insurance must be maintained for the entire length of the program and is not included in this total




Tuition costs are based on 26 credits for the first year and 26 credits for the second year at the Johnson County Resident rate. 

For information about tuition for outside Johnson County, see current tuition rates





  • Prices may vary if you rent text books or purchase a digital version

*Some texts may be purchased in a Bundle during the first semester at a discounted rate





  • Scissors: $6
  • Stethoscope: $90
  • Watch: $23
  • Pocket calculator: $5




  • Scrubs (2 sets): $100
  • Lab Jacket: $30
  • Shoes: $75 to $150




Graduation Expenses

  • NBRC Exam Voucher: $190
  • Gown, Hat, Tassel: $40




Basic Life Support training (BLS-Must remain current for the entire two-years enrolled in the program)



Missouri’s Family Care Safety Registry (FCSR)




Secure Comprehensive TMC SAE: $50

Secure Comprehensive CSE SAE: $70




Total 1st Year Student 




Total 2nd Year Student 




Total Respiratory Care Program




Costs are approximate and are subject to change based upon Dean/EVPI (Executive Vice President, Instruction) Committee’s approval.

Additional Information:

  • Physical examinations, including immunizations, must be current each year.
  • Costs for healthcare and healthcare insurance are the responsibility of the individual student.
  • Plans should be made for childcare costs, if applicable.
  • Transportation to and from class and to clinical agencies is the responsibility of the student.

Financial Aid

  • Visit the financial aid page for general financial aid information.
  • Specific respiratory care scholarships are only awarded to students enrolled in and actively taking respiratory care (RC) classes. To apply for JCCC Scholarships, you must have a current JCCC application for admission and a GPA on file from high school, JCCC or any other college you have attended. The FAFSA is not required but encouraged to be considered for need-based scholarships. Completing your JCCC Scholarship Application will open you up, depending on your qualifications, to every scholarship listed in our database. Don’t forget to complete your JCCC Scholarship Application every year! We award throughout the year, so apply even if you miss the April 1 priority deadline.
  • Students anticipating difficulty in financing their education should contact the Financial Aid office, second floor of the Student Center, 913-469-3840, as soon as possible to request application information for student financial aid assistance.
  • The Financial Aid Process Checklist (pdf) is a great reference on the process for receiving financial aid at JCCC.
  • To check your financial aid requirements and status; log in to MyJCCC and select "My Financial Aid," then select "Requirements."