Respiratory Therapy Program Details


The Respiratory Care program at DMACC will prepare professional respiratory therapists to care and treat individuals with cardiopulmonary conditions of all ages.

Iowa Salary:

  • Entry wage: $43,800
  • Average wage: $52,800
  • Experienced wage: $57,400

Source: 2018 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development

Graduates are eligible to take the national credentialing examinations for licensure, which is required to practice in any state.

Program Goal:

To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behaviors) learning domains of respiratory care practice as Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs).


Program Course Requirements​

  1. Meet with Program Chair of the Respiratory Therapy program
  2. Submit to Admissions office evidence of high school graduation or GED completion prior to enrollment.
  3. Submit to Admissions office of successful completion in MAT 156 - Statistics​
  4. Submit to Admissions office evidence of grade "C" or above in both BIO 168 - Anatomy and Physiology I and BIO 173 - Anatomy and Physiology II, or BIO 164 - Essentials Anatomy/Physiology
  5. Submit to Admissions office evidence of successful completion in ENG 105 - Composition I.​
  6. Submit to the Admissions office evidence of successful completion of SDV 108 or SDV 109
  7. Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher in required program entry requirement courses and cannot be on Academic Probation. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.

All graduates of the DMACC respiratory therapist program have been employed in the profession.

Iowa Salary

Entry Wage: $43,800

Average: $52,800

Experienced: $57,400

Source: 2018 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development

  • New students are accepted each fall semester.
  • The program requires a firm understanding of basic math.
  • Health records must be current to attend clinic.
  • Background Check could limit program completion
  • Learning opportunities include a simulation Center, 900+ hours of clinic at area healthcare facilities, didactic learning and lab learning.
  • The first semester is heavy in didactic and laboratory learning. Clinic rotations start the second semester of the program and continue to the 5th and final semester of the program. Clinic days are in addition to the scheduled classes.​
  • The large majority of Respiratory Therapy classes are during the morning hours.
  • There is a significant amount of learning time required outside of scheduled class and clinic time.
  • Students are supervised by licensed respiratory therapist during clinic rotations. During clinic hours, students are expected to perform skills that have been previously learned in respiratory courses.


Additional Resources

Tejen Adhikari​

Helping other have always been my passion. Being respiratory therapist, I would be a frontline helper to the people that have breathing issues with various diseases and conditions. As far as the program goes, DMACC has lower fees, great group of professors and staff who goes extra miles to help student succeed.

Tejen Adhikari​ - Respiratory Therapy Graduate

Naomie Lemeuble

I am from Haiti and I moved to Iowa in 2014. Since I started this profession, where I am basically exposed to every single side of it (classroom, hospitals and administration), I don’t wake up every morning wondering what I am doing with my life anymore. My classmates are awesome and my teachers make themselves available for me to ask ​questions. ​

Naomie Lemeuble - Respiratory Therapy Graduate

Giange Nguyen

DMACC has small size classes and professors who see my potential and resources to help me succeed. DMACC also provides a number of environments to practice essential skills not only at school but also at most hospitals in Des Moines areas like Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Mercy, where I can do clinicals to help me gain and develop experiences.​

Giange Nguyen - Respiratory Therapy Graduate