LOS ANGELES — According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the respiratory therapist job market is expected to grow by 14%, creating about 18,400 jobs between 2021-2031.

In California, most college programs offer two-year degrees in the field. With an industry push to see more respiratory therapists enter management and teaching roles, Cheryl Pearson, Los Angeles Valley College Respiratory Therapy program’s director of clinical education, said students will need a bachelor’s degree to fill those roles.

Pearson said LAVC could soon be the fourth community college to offer a bachelor’s degree in the state.

Recently, the California State Chancellor’s office gave provisional approval for LAVC to create a bachelor’s degree program in the field. The college expects to receive full approval by this summer.

Enrollment for the new program could begin by the fall of 2024.