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Respiratory therapists assist physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with respiratory and cardiopulmonary disorders. They are employed in hospitals, medical clinics, health units, extended care facilities, public health centres and respiratory home care companies. Clinical perfusionists provide technical support to patients undergoing cardiac surgery and patients requiring cardio-respiratory support. Cardiopulmonary technologists assist physicians in the technical aspects of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. Clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists are primarily employed in hospitals. Supervisors and instructors of respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists are included in this unit group.


  • Perform diagnostic tests, such as arterial blood gas analysis and cardiopulmonary functions tests.
  • Operate and monitor respiratory equipment to administer treatments such as oxygen, oxygen-air mixtures, humidified air or medications.
  • Operate, monitor, maintain and test a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.
  • Assess patients and perform or assist with interventions such as airway maintenance, line insertions, inductions and intubations.
  • Perform artificial respiration and external cardiac massage.
  • Assist with transport of high-risk patients.
  • Supervise and train students and other respiratory therapists.
  • Participate in home care programs for chronic respiratory patients and provide patient and family education.
  • Participate in research related to cardiac and pulmonary disorders.

Job Titles:

  • Cardiopulmonary technologist
  • Cardiovascular perfusion supervisor
  • Cardiovascular perfusionist
  • Certified clinical perfusionist (CCP)
  • Chief respiratory technologist
  • Clinical perfusionist
  • Perfusionist
  • Registered respiratory therapist (RRT)
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Respiratory therapy clinical instructor

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Respiratory therapists require the completion of a two- to three-year college, hospital or university degree program in respiratory therapy, including clinical training.
  • Clinical perfusionists require the completion of a respiratory therapy or registered nursing program with a minimum of one year of work experience as a respiratory therapist or registered nurse
    Completion of a college or university program in clinical perfusion, including clinical training.
  • Cardiopulmonary technologists require a minimum of a diploma in an allied health discipline such as respiratory therapy, nursing diploma or degree, or a degree in a related science and training through a post-diploma program or supervised on-the-job clinical training.
  • Licensing is required for respiratory therapists in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.
  • Registration with the Canadian Association of Cardiopulmonary Technologists (CACPT) may be required.


Most opportunities are in British Columbia and Ontario.

Pay Scale:

The wages range from $21.50/hr. to $39.30/hr. as per the location.