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CCAC’s Respiratory Therapy program accepting applications for fall semester; Graduates enjoy 100% job placement due to urgent demand for respiratory therapists in Pittsburgh

Respiratory Therapy studentsPITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County’s Respiratory Therapy Associate of Science Degree program is accepting applications for the fall semester’s traditional day program, which is ideal for individuals who are seeking a rewarding career that offers 100% job placement. The demand for skilled therapists in Pittsburgh is at an “all-time high,” according to CCAC Professor and Program Director Richard Laurent. Local hospitals are expanding respiratory therapy services, and the first group of therapists in the relatively young field is nearing retirement age. Some area hospitals are offering hefty signing bonuses for therapists who will commit to staying with the hospital for three years, Laurent said. The demand across the country is also high, and it is projected to continue to grow by 19% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.*

“The job market for new graduates has never been better,” said Laurent. “I tell all of my students, if they graduate, they will have a good job, and probably at the hospital of their choice.”

CCAC graduates typically secure jobs even prior to graduation, with some receiving multiple offers after just a couple of weeks in clinical internships where employers can observe their work ethic. The median level salary of a respiratory therapist is $61,670*, and graduates in the Pittsburgh region can expect a starting salary of $45,760 with excellent benefits, as well as a signing bonus of up to $8,000 at some local hospitals, according to Laurent. 

Applications are accepted year-round; however, space is limited, so interested individuals are encouraged to apply early. Prerequisite courses include Human Biology in Health and Disease, Introduction to Chemistry and Intermediate Algebra. For more information, contact Program Director Richard Laurent: or 412.237.2704. 

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics