Respiratory Therapy

Why a Respiratory Therapy Degree at Cochise?

Respiratory care provides a wide range of therapeutic and diagnostic services to patients with heart and lung disorders. Respiratory therapists, also known as Respiratory Care Practitioners, are involved in the evaluation and monitoring of heart and lung function, as well as giving treatment, and provide …

  • temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema
  • emergency care to patients who are victims of a heart attack, stroke, drowning or shock
  • treatment for trauma victims and surgery patients
  • education and rehabilitation services, plus diagnostic testing

The respiratory therapy program teaches practical skills with a hands-on experience through a combination of lectures, laboratories, and clinical assignments. Clinical sessions may be scheduled on weekdays, weeknights or weekends at hospitals and health agencies across Cochise, Navajo, and Santa Cruz counties. Lectures are provided at the Downtown center and through in-class video conferencing.  Students provide their own transportation to lecture, lab and clinical assignments.

Upon completion of the program, students receive an Associate of Applied Science degree and are eligible to apply to the State Board of Respiratory Care in any state they choose and be licensed as a Respiratory Care Practitioner. Completion of the degree also allows the student to take the Respiratory Therapist exam through the National Board for Respiratory Care allowing them to work as a Respiratory Care Practitioner. Completion of the program does not guarantee passing the national board examinations.

Cochise College Respiratory Care program is accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Director of Respiratory Therapy
Noelle Coats

Clinical Education Respiratory Therapy Coordinator
Elizabeth Mondeaux

Office Assistant | Karolyn Garcia
Downtown Center | NA101
(520) 515-8744 |

Respiratory Therapy

Help people breath easier in the field of respiratory therapy.

2 Fall Semesters

2 Spring Semesters

Associate of Applied Science  76-78
(including prerequisites)


All listed pre-requisites must be completed prior to acceptance into the RTH program. It is strongly recommended that all general education courses are completed prior to entry into the RTH program. All prerequisites MUST be completed by December 2017 to start in January 2018.

Fall / Spring Semester Credits
Composition I (ENG 101) 3
Composition II (ENG 102) 3
Introductory Biology for Allied Health (Bio 156) 4
Intro to Human Anatomy and Physiology  (BIO 160) 4
Intermediate Algebra (MAT 123) 3
Microbiology (BIO 205) 4
Elective* 6
TOTAL: 28 credits

* Electives:  PSY 101, PSY 103, PSY 218, PSY 230, PSY 240, SOC 101,

Apply to the Respiratory Therapy Program

All new students must complete an application for admission to Cochise College. Admission to Cochise College does not guarantee acceptance into the Respiratory Therapy Program.

Applicants must meet all prerequisites by Nov. 1 of each year in order to be considered for admission.

Industry Information and Cost

Employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 21 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing demand will come from substantial growth in the middle-aged and elderly population—a development that will heighten the incidence of cardiopulmonary disease. Growth in demand also will result from the expanding role of respiratory therapists in case management, disease prevention, emergency care, and the early detection of pulmonary disorders.

Older Americans suffer most from respiratory ailments and cardiopulmonary diseases, such as pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease. As the number of older persons increases, the need for respiratory therapists is expected to increase as well. In addition, advances in inhalable medications and in the treatment of lung transplant patients, heart attack and accident victims, and premature infants—many of whom depend on a ventilator during part of their treatment—will increase the demand for the services of respiratory care practitioners (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009).

Percentile 10% 25% 50% (Median) 75% 90%
Hourly Wage $19.22 $22.19 $26.10 $30.54 $35.29
Annual Wage $39,990 $46,160 $54,280 $63,510 $73,410

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010

Respiratory Therapy Program Cost: *Approximate cost for program is $10,500-$11,500(Arizona Residents)
Tuition 77 credits x $85/credit: $6,545
Lab Fees (RTH 112/RTH 121/RTH 162/RTH 241/RTH 243/ RTH 251): $ 250/300/250/250/250/300.00
Testing Fees: $ 300
Liability Insurance: $ 80 ($40 per school year)
Drug Screen Fee: $ 65
BCLS/ACLS/PALS/NRP $ 75/$200/$200/$100
AARC Fee $50

Other costs:   Approximate cost of RTH books for all four semesters is $775 – $950 (does not include general education books).

Uniforms: Varies

*All fees and costs are approximate, subject to change as approved by the Cochise College Governing Board

*Other program fees also apply. All fees are approximate, subject to change, and for in-state students.