Respiratory Therapist

Associate Degree in Applied Science

Program number: 105151


The Respiratory Therapist program at Madison College is an intensive full time, two-year program leading to an Associate in Applied Science degree.

This program is designed 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). 

The program includes classroom and lab instruction, simulation experience, and clinical practice at local hospital affiliates.

Respiratory Therapists work in a wide variety of clinical settings to evaluate, treat and manage patients with respiratory illnesses and other cardiopulmonary disorders.  

Respiratory Therapists perform respiratory care procedures, such as patient evaluation, treatment selection and assessment of treatment, and are involved in clinical decision-making and patient education.

As a student in the Respiratory Therapy program, you will learn to:

  • Assess cardiopulmonary status
  • Draw blood samples and perform blood gas analysis
  • Modify prescribed respiratory care and cardiopulmonary procedures
  • Perform pulmonary function testing
  • Evaluate and monitor patient response to treatment
  • Provide patient, family and community education
  • Participate in life support activities

Please note: upon admission to this program, you will be required to complete a background check and provide documentation of current required-immunizations and current Healthcare Provider CPR certification.

Program Details

Wisconsin law requires background checks for persons who provide care for others or have access to people who receive care. This law applies to students in many School of Health Education programs. Please review the Caregiver Background Check information on the School of Health Education Forms and Policies.

Students in the Respiratory Therapist program must attend full time.

Classes are offered Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Assigned clinical hours may vary between 6 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Respiratory Therapist classes may be offered at these Madison College campuses:

  • Madison - Truax

Explore financial aid eligibility for this program. 

All courses for this program are offered only in person.

Respiratory Therapist at Madison College


To Apply

Students need to complete the petition process to get into core-program classes for this program. Before submitting an application, it’s important to review the Petition Process webpage which also includes estimated wait times for each program.

After Acceptance

Once you have been accepted in a pre-program status, your next step is to complete the Respiratory Therapist Petition Requirements.

                 Fall 2019 and Spring 2020                    Fall 2020 and Spring 2021                    


Contact Enrollment Services at or (608) 246-6210.


Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2019-2020 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

Current program students (including newly admitted), go directly to your Degree Progress Report (also referred to as an Advising Report or Academic Requirements) to view:

  • Progress toward your specific requirements
  • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

If you have questions after reviewing your report, please see Advising Services.


After completing the Respiratory Therapist program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be prepared to:

  • Apply respiratory therapy concepts to patient care situations.
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency required to fulfill the role of a respiratory therapist.
  • Practice respiratory therapy according to established professional and ethical standards.

Graduates are qualified to sit for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examinations. 

Get outcomes data from the CoARC Annual Report of Current Status

Madison College's Respiratory Therapist program has a WTCS transfer agreement with Cardinal Stritch University, to earn your Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy.

For further information regarding Madison College's Respiratory Therapist program, please contact Program Director, Amy Setchell.


As an advanced-level respiratory therapist program, graduates are eligible to become Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT).

  • Certified Respiratory Therapist
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist

With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find employment as:

  • Acute Care Respiratory Therapist
  • Pulmonary Function Technologist
  • Respiratory Care Manager
  • Neonatal/Pediatric Therapist
  • Sleep Disorder Therapist
  • Home Care Therapist
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapist


  • Estimated Program Cost
    # of Credits for Completion
    Materials/Supplemental Costs
    Other Costs
    Total Estimated Program Costs:
    (book costs not included)
  • Graduate Summary
    Graduate Report Summary Overview

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Program Graduates 25 21 20
    Number of Surveys Sent 25 21 20
    Number of Surveys Returned 22 20 16
    Percent of Surveys Returned 88.00% 95.20% 80.00%
    Available for Employment 22 19 16
    Percent Available for Employment 100.00% 95.00% 100.00%
    Not in Labor Market 0 1 0
    Percent Not in Labor Market 0.00% 5.00% 0.00%
    Available for Employment

    2016 2017 2018
    Graduates Employed 22 19 14
    Percent of Graduates Employed 100.00% 100.00% 87.50%
    Employed in Related Occupation 19 19 14
    Percent Employed in Related Occupation 86.40% 100.00% 100.00%
    Employed in Unrelated Occupation 2 0 0
    Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 9.10% 0.00% 0.00%
    Employed - No Response 1 0 0
    Percent Employed - No Response 4.50% 0.00% 0.00%
    Seeking Employment 0 0 2
    Percent Seeking Employment 0.00% 0.00% 12.50%
    Reaction To Training at Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.7 3.8 3.9
    Number of Satisfaction Responses 22 20 16
    Very Satisfied 16 15 14
    Percent Very Satisfied 72.70% 75.00% 87.50%
    Satisfied 6 5 2
    Percent Satisfied 27.30% 25.00% 12.50%
    Unsatisfied 0 0 0
    Percent Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Very Unsatisfied 0 0 0
    Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Primary Reason Responses 22 20 16
    Preparation for Getting a Job 12 8 11
    Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 54.50% 40.00% 68.80%
    Career Change 9 11 5
    Percent Career Change 40.90% 55.00% 31.30%
    Improvement of Existing Skills 0 0 0
    Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Preparation for Further Education 1 1 0
    Percent Preparation for Further Education 4.50% 5.00% 0.00%
    Personal Interest 0 0 0
    Percent Personal Interest 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Other 0 0 0
    Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    When Employment was Obtained

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 20 19 14
    Before Enrollment 1 0 0
    Percent Before Enrollment 5.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    While Attending the College 4 4 1
    Percent While Attending the College 20.00% 21.10% 7.10%
    After Training at the College 15 15 13
    Percent After Training at the College 75.00% 78.90% 92.90%
    Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Employment Location Responses 22 19 14
    In College District 6 4 5
    Percent In College District 27.30% 21.10% 35.70%
    In Wisconsin, Not in District 11 15 9
    Percent of In Wisconsin 50.00% 78.90% 64.30%
    Outside of Wisconsin 2 0 0
    Percent Outside Wisconsin 9.10% 0.00% 0.00%
    Employer Location Unknown 3 0 0
    Percent Location Unknown 13.60% 0.00% 0.00%
    Salary Trend
    Salary Trend 2016 2017 2018
    Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 14 16 10
    Average Monthly Wage $3,894 $4,140 $4,042
    Average Hourly Wage $22.64 $24.07 $23.50
    Average Work Hours per Week 37.1 37.5 40
    Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 4 3 4
    Average Hourly Wage $26.09 $25.56 $24.16
    Average Work Hours per Week 31.6 30.7 29.5
  • Graduate Employers
    Total Positions Open for academic year: 2018
    Wisconsin TechConnectTM Jobs* Madison Non-Madison
    Number of Full Time Positions Open 6 83
    Number of Part Time Positions Open 11 77
    Total Jobs 17 160
    Graduate Employers for academic year: 2018
    Employer(s) Job Title City** State*** Positions
    Central Wisconsin Center Respiratory Therapist
    Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital Respiratory Care Practitioner Milwaukee
    Mercy Assisted Living Respiratory Therapist Janesville
    Mercy Health System Respiratory Therapist Janesville
    SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital Certified Respiratory Therapist
    SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital Respiratory Therapist 2
    Unity Point Health Meriter Hospital Respiratory Therapist
    UW Health Hospital & Clinics Respiratory Therapist 6

    * - Wisconsin TechConnectTM jobs are posted through a statewide consortium operated and funded by all 16 of the technical colleges in Wisconsin.

    ** - Only cities outside of Madison will display.

    *** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.

    **** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at


The Respiratory Therapist Program at Madison College, CoARC number 200154, Associate Degree in Applied Science, located at the Truax campus, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (


Student Internship Daily Performance Assessment
Daily Performance Assessment

Program Faculty:

Program Director, Amy Setchell BS, RRT

Director of Clinical Education, Chris Becker MSE, RRT

Program Instructor, Lauri Mill, BS, RRT, CPFT

Program Instructor, Patty Montgomery BS,RRT

Program Instructor, Joe Punzel BS, RRT