The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), 2008-09 edition describes the role of a Respiratory Therapist as "...evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. Practicing under the direction of a physician, respiratory therapists assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care therapeutic treatments and diagnostic procedures ..."

For more information about the dynamic profession of Respiratory Care, contact an accredited associate degree program in Massachusetts:

Associate Degree Programs

  • Berkshire Community College - 1350 West St, Pittsfield, MA 01201 - Program Director: Thomas Carey

  • Massasoit Community College - 1 Massasoit Blvd Brockton, MA 02302 - Program Director: Martha DeSilva

  • Northern Essex Community College - 414 Essex St, Lawrence, MA 01841 - Program Director: Jennifer Jackson-Stevens

  • North Shore Community College - 1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923 - Program Director: Geraldine Twomey

  • Quinsigamond Community College - 670 West Boylston St, Worcester 01606 - Program Director: Karen Dufault 

  • Springfield Technical Community College - 1 Armory St, Springfield, MA 01105 - Program Director: Esther Perrelli Brookes


Master Degree Program

  • Northeastern University - 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115 - Program Director: Tom Barnes


Online Bachelor & Master Degree Programs



Are you a school that offers a bachelor or master's degree for respiratory therapists? Let us know. 

CRCE versus Contact Hours

Many respiratory therapists often are confused between the AARC's CRCE® and contact hours of education. They are calculated differently, and often confused. To help with this, please see some of the information below. 

Contact Hours

A contact hour of continuing education is when there is 50 consecutive clock minutes of academic course work, online or correspondence course or seminar/workshop. This means that for every 50 minutes of education, you earn 1 contact hours. 

Q: What about if the lecture I participated in was 60 minutes long, how many contact hours did I earn?

A: You earned 1.2 contact hours. To calculate this, take 60 and divide it by 50. This equals 1.2.


AARC's CRCE contact hour is defined as 60 minutes of learning activity. This means that for every 60 minutes of education, you earn 1 CRCE. 

Q: What about if the lecture I participated in was 60 minutes long, how many CRCEs did I earn?

A: You earned 1 CRCE.

Q: What about if the lecture I participated in was 50 minutes long, how many CRCEs did I earn?

A: You earned 0.83 CRCE. To calcuate this, take 50 and divide it by 60. This equals 0.83. 


We often call our continuing education, CEUs. Did you know that 1 CEU is actually 10 contact hours of education? CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. A CEU is a unit of credit equal to ten hours of participation in an approved educational activity.

We hope that this helps you when determining if you have enough continuing education to maintain your license. Remember, if you are an AARC Member, all CRCE approved courses are tracked in your AARC Membership account. Visit to look up your records. 

Student Scholarships

2019 Submission Deadline - July 31, 2019

Each year, the MSRC provides scholarships to students who are either enrolled in a Massachusetts COARC approved program, or to Respiratory Therapists who are members of the AARC/MSRC who are completing their higher degree. 

Details are available below. To apply, click on the link below and complete the application. Open to Massachusetts members only.

Last year, the MSRC was able to award scholarships to 8 Associate Degreen and 1 Masters Degree student!  These recipients represent the newest entries into our profession as well as potential leaders.  Providing support for education is one of the cornerstones of the mission for the MSRC.  We are continuing our challenge to all Respiratory Care programs to have at least one, but hopefully all, students apply for this award.

To be considered for the scholarship; the student must be a member of the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC), be enrolled in and in good academic standing of an accredited respiratory care program.  All applicants will be required to provide a completed application packet which includes transcript, letter of recommendation from the program director, and a completed questionnaire.  All applications need to be uploaded to this page. Incomplete applications will not be considered. This year, we are strongly encouraging applicants to come to one of the monthly Board meetings to witness first-hand their society in action and to learn about how the MSRC/AARC advocates for the respiratory care profession. Any applicant that intends on attending should Contact Us for information and to make arrangements.