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Sinclair College Expands Program to Fill Critical Need for Respiratory Therapists

Sinclair Community College is responding to the severe shortage of respiratory therapists by expanding its Respiratory Care Program for the 2021 Fall Term.  The expansion is expected to increase the number of respiratory care students in the program by 21%.  

Graduates of Sinclair’s Respiratory Care Program have been filling the critical need for respiratory therapists during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that vital need continues.  Over the past five years, 110 students have graduated with associate degrees from Sinclair’s Respiratory Care Program.  Many are now serving on the front lines in Dayton region hospitals, caring for COVID-19 patients.

“Sinclair College is working closely with our hospital partners in the Dayton region to develop strategies to address the severe shortage of respiratory therapists,” said Sanja B. Keller, Program Director/Department Chair for Sinclair’s Respiratory Care Program.  “By expanding our Respiratory Care Program, more students can pursue this rewarding and lucrative career, and make a real difference for patients in our community.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and the growth in the middle-aged and elderly population are leading to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions.  As a result, the demand for respiratory therapists is on the rise.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 19% through the year 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.  Right now, the median wage for respiratory therapists is $61,000. 

Sinclair’s Respiratory Care associate degree is designed to be completed in six (6) semesters on a full-time basis.  Successful completion results in students earning an Associate of Applied Science degree.  During the program, students work in the field as student therapists. Students learn and earn after one year in the program by obtaining a limited permit to practice Respiratory Care in the State of Ohio.

“Due to the high demand, we are seeing 100% employment for Sinclair respiratory care graduates,” added Keller.

To learn more about Sinclair’s Respiratory Care Program, visit:

Sinclair’s Health Sciences Division offers 57 accredited associate degrees, one-year certificates, and short-term certificates that lead to prosperous and rewarding careers.