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Respiratory therapists help all kinds of patients with breathing difficulties, from babies with underdeveloped pulmonary systems to elderly people with damaged lungs. Before starting work as a respiratory therapist, you must first earn an associate's degree or bachelor's degree from an accredited school. When it comes to schooling, you have plenty of choices: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2005, there were 51 entry-level and 329 advanced respiratory therapy programs in the United States. While studying to be a respiratory therapist, you can take classes in chemistry, physics, respiratory therapy, and diagnostic procedures. If you'd like increased flexibility with your schooling, you can always sign up for an online respiratory therapy program.