Program Overview

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Information Sessions

All information sessions will be held on Central Campus in the Health Careers Building in room HE 4517.  The information sessions are not mandatory; however, we strongly encourage interested candidates to attend if you would like to gain more insight into the admission process and the program itself.

  • Wednesday, September 21st 5:00p - 6:30p
  • Wednesday, October 19th 5:00p - 6:30p
  • Wednesday, November 16th 5:00p - 6:30p

Campus Map

Respiratory Program Goal

The goal of the Central Piedmont Respiratory Program is to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).

Respiratory Program Mission Statement

We want to provide Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and the nation with respiratory professionals who are:

  1. Caring and compassionate
  2. Excellent communicators
  3. Problem solvers
  4. Team-oriented

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

The respiratory therapist treats people with disorders affecting the cardiopulmonary system such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, cardiovascular disorders, and trauma.  They perform diagnostic testing, treatments, and management of patients with heart and lung diseases. Students will master skills in patient assessment and treatment of cardiopulmonary diseases. These skills include life support, monitoring, drug administration, and treatment of patients of all ages in a variety of settings.

While on the job, the respiratory therapist will diagnose lung and breathing disorders and recommend treatment methods. They will interview patients, perform chest exams and analyze tissue specimens. Managing ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who can’t breathe normally on their own is also a primary responsibility of these professionals. The respiratory therapist may play a prominent role in responding to Code Blue or other urgent calls for care in the emergency room.

At CPCC, we teach students to be leaders in their industry.

    • Earn your Respiratory Therapy degree in two years.
    • Learn from field-experienced instructors.
    • Gain valuable hands-on experience with modern equipment before you graduate.
    • Complete your degree at a fraction of the cost as compared to a private school.
    • Start now! New classes begin in the fall semester.

Careers in Respiratory Therapy

The health care industry continues to seek experienced professionals equipped with the knowledge and skills to address the population's evolving medical needs. As a result, careers in fields like respiratory therapy continue to be an attractive career option for many of today's graduates.

This profession offers both variety in the workplace and competitive salaries. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, respiratory therapists earned a median annual wage of 55,870 per year, $26.86 per hour, in May 2012. According to Monster, respiratory therapists are amongst the top paying jobs with an associate's degree.


The Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential is required to obtain state licenses and practice as respiratory therapists. This is obtained by passing the National Board for Respiratory Care certification examination. Upon graduation from the accredited program, graduates are eligible to sit for the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMC). Graduates must achieve a low cut score for the CRT level and a high cut cut score to reach Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) level. Once the RRT cut score is achieved on the TMC exam, the graduate is eligible to complete the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE). Passing both examinations provides the graduate with the RRT credential. Other credentialing specialty examinations such as neonatal/pediatric specialty and registered pulmonary function technician are also available.

Our program currently has a 95.2% first-time pass rate for the low cut score (CRT level).  In addition, our first-time pass rate for the high cut score (RRT level) is 85.7%, which is well above the national average - 75.1%.


Our Respiratory Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.  Additional information about the program may be found in our 2015 - 2016 Student Handbook.

Get Started!

If you would like to explore this opportunity within health care, apply today!