Respiratory Therapists

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Respiratory therapists

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Respiratory therapists (RTs) provide direct patient care by evaluating, treating and maintaining cardiopulmonary function.

For more detailed and printable information, please refer to Canada's Health Care Providers, 2000 to 2009—A Reference Guide  (full report).

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Practice Setting

RTs work in hospitals in diverse clinical settings. They also work in home care, clinics, teaching, research, rehabilitation and diagnostic clinics and sleep-disorder laboratories, medical equipment sales and services and chronic disease and primary care networks.


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Regulatory Environment

The table below indicates the first year in which it became mandatory for RT to register with a provincial regulatory body as a condition of practice.


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Practice Criteria

To work/practise as a RT in Canada, one must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a diploma or bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy from an accredited program.
  • Pass the national certification examination offered by the Canadian Board of Respiratory Care or by the épreuve synthèse in Quebec.
  • Many employers in provinces/territories without regulatory bodies may require membership and/or certification with the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists as a condition of employment.
  • Register with a provincial regulatory body as required.

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Education Requirements

A diploma in respiratory therapy is currently the entry-to-practice requirement for a RT in Canada. A bachelor’s program is also offered by some universities. The following table provides a comprehensive list of programs accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Respiratory Therapy Education.

Internationally Educated RTs

To practise in Canada, an internationally educated RT must meet the following requirements:

  • Contact the relevant regulatory body for assessment and recognition of credentials, including language proficiency for registration and other licensing requirements.
  • Contact the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists for assessment and recognition of credentials where there is not a provincial/territorial regulatory body.
  • Pass the national certification examination offered by the Canadian Board of Respiratory Care (applicable in most provinces).
  • Register with a provincial regulatory body as required.

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Supply Trends


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Demographic Trends


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Graduate Trends


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