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Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapy Technicians in Clarksville, Tennessee

Respiratory therapy technicians can find many career and educational opportunities in the Clarksville, Tennessee area. There are currently 510 jobs for respiratory therapy technicians in Tennessee and this is projected to grow 3% to about 530 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for respiratory therapy technicians, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.1% over the next eight years. Respiratory therapy technicians generally provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.

A person working as a respiratory therapy technician can expect to earn about $18 per hour or $38,090 yearly on average in Tennessee and about $20 hourly or $42,430 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for respiratory therapy technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Healthcare Technical in Tennessee and not quite as good as general Healthcare Technical category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: registered respiratory therapist, registered pulmonary function technologist, and respiratory therapist.

There are twelve schools of higher education in the Clarksville area, including one within twenty-five miles of Clarksville where you can get a degree to start your career as a respiratory therapy technician. Respiratory therapy technicians usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a respiratory therapy technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Respiratory Therapy Technician

In general, respiratory therapy technicians provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.

Respiratory therapy technicians ready and test devices such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, aerosol generators and electrocardiogram (EKG) machines. They also keep patient therapy records, completing all needed forms. Equally important, respiratory therapy technicians have to use ventilators and various oxygen devices and aerosol and breathing treatments in the provision of respiratory therapy. They are often called upon to administer breathing and oxygen procedures such as intermittent positive pressure breathing treatments, ultrasonic nebulizer treatments and incentive spirometer treatments. They are expected to explain treatment procedures to patients. Finally, respiratory therapy technicians monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.

Every day, respiratory therapy technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for respiratory therapy technicians to furnish respiratory care involving the application of well-defined therapeutic techniques under the supervision of a respiratory therapist and a physician. They are often called upon to teach or oversee other staff who furnish respiratory care services. They also recommend and review bedside procedures, x-rays, and laboratory tests. They are sometimes expected to interview and examine patients to collect clinical data. Somewhat less frequently, respiratory therapy technicians are also expected to monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.

They also have to be able to monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist and clean, sterilize, check and maintain respiratory therapy apparatus. And finally, they sometimes have to assess patients' responses to treatments and modify treatments in line with protocols if needed.

Like many other jobs, respiratory therapy technicians must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Clarksville include:

  • Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Respiratory Therapy Technician Training

Tennessee State University - Nashville, TN

Tennessee State University, 3500 John Merritt Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209-1561. Tennessee State University is a medium sized university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,005 students and an admission rate of 46%. Tennessee State University has a bachelor's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated sixteen students in 2008.


Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International website.



Phone: None
Website: (No board is specified to oversee the license)


Licensing agency: Council on Respiratory Care
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 367-6393
Website: Council on Respiratory Care Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Clarksville, Tennessee

Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville, Tennessee photo by Avala

Clarksville is situated in Montgomery County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 119,735, which has grown by 15.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Clarksville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Clarksville cost $97,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Clarksville, down from 1,038 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Clarksville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 19.8% of Clarksville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Clarksville is 8.8%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Clarksville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Spring Creek Church, South Chapel and Saint John Baptist Church are among the churches located in Clarksville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Clarksville is home to the Industrial Historic District and the Trice Landing as well as Fairgrounds Park and New Providence Recreation Area. Shopping malls in the area include Governors Square Mall Shopping Center, Clarksville Square Shopping Center and Two Rivers Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Clarksville can choose from Comfort Inn North, Hampton Inn Clarksville and Guesthouse Clarksville for temporary stays in the area.