Requirements for Licensure
- Education Requirement
All applicants for licensure must complete an education program for respiratory care that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and been awarded a minimum of an associate degree from an institution or university accredited by a regional accreditation agency or association recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Here is a list of approved Respiratory Care Education Programs in California.
EDUCATION WAIVER: At the board's discretion, it may waive its educational requirements if evidence is presented and the board deems it as meeting the current educational requirements that will ensure the safe and competent practice of respiratory care. This evidence may include, but is not limited to:
- Work experience
- Good standing of licensure in another state
- Previous good standing of licensure in the State of California
MILITARY EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING: Pursuant to California Code of Regulations section 1399.330(3), the Board may waive the education requirements if an applicant for licensure has:
- Completed a minimum of a one-year respiratory care approved program and;
- Has practiced care while serving in the U.S. military for a minimum of two years, full-time, within the four years immediately preceding filing of an application for licensure and;
- The military verifies the applicant is in “good standing” as it pertains to his or her past or current employment.
An applicant must provide sufficient documentary evidence to establish to the satisfaction of the Board, that the applicant meets each requirement.
If you have questions or need further information, please contact the Board toll free at (866) 375-0386 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Examination Requirement
Once you have completed your accredited respiratory care education program, you may apply for examination directly through the National Board for Respiratory Care. Effective January 2015, the first examination you must take is the Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) Examination. The TMC Examination is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of entry-level respiratory therapists, as well as determine eligibility for the Clinical Simulation Examination. There are two established cut scores for the TMC Examination. If you achieve the lower cut score, you will earn your CRT credential. However, if you achieve the higher cut score, you will earn your CRT credential AND become eligible for the Clinical Simulation Examination. Once you have passed both the TMC and the Clinical Simulation Exams, you will earn the RRT credential, and will satisfy the examination requirement for licensure.
For more information about the examination process, please review the Exam Scheduling Information.
- Ethics Course Requirement
All applicants must successfully complete a Board-approved Law and Professional Ethics Course prior to licensure. The Board has approved two law and professional ethics courses, developed independently by the California Society for Respiratory Care (CSRC) and the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), which are available online (the CSRC also provides "live" sessions on designated dates).
Each of the approved courses are unique, though they both are 3-hours in length and consist of the following subject areas:
- Obligations of licensed respiratory care practitioners to patients under their care;
- Responsibilities of respiratory care practitioners to report illegal activities occurring in the work place; and
- Acts that jeopardize licensure and licensure status.
Please be advised that only ONE law and professional ethics course is required to be completed prior to licensure (either the CSRC's or AARC's course). Before deciding which course to take, applicants are encouraged to visit each providers' web site to review additional information pertaining to the administration of each course. Each applicant can then select the course provider that best meets his/her individual needs.
Prior to licensure, applicants must provide the Board with a copy of a Certificate of Completion, from either the AARC or CSRC, verifying successful completion of the mandatory course.