Air Evac Paramedic Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become an air evac paramedic. Learn about training and licensing requirements, job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Air Evac Paramedic?

Air evacuation paramedics use helicopters to transport patients to hospitals when urgent care is needed, and ground transportation is impractical or unavailable. Depending on the patient's needs, they provide pre-hospital care, such as CPR. Unlike EMTs, they are qualified to offer more advanced services, such as electrocardiogram interpretation and medication administration. When they are in the air, they must be aware of the physiological changes that take place at high altitudes, as well as the ventilation in the aircraft, so that they can adequately monitor the patient's health situation and make treatment adjustments when necessary.

The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as an air evac paramedic.

Education Required High school diploma
Training Required 3 years of paramedic experience
Licensure/Certification State licensure or certification and national exam required
Job Growth (2014-2024) 24% (for all EMT's and paramedics)*
Average Salary (2015) $35,430 (for all EMT's and paramedics)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training Do I Need To Become a Flight Paramedic?

If you're interested in becoming an air evacuation paramedic, you'll first need to complete basic and advanced certifications as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and attain state licensure. This training includes advanced cardiac life support, basic life support, pediatric advanced life support and pre-hospital trauma life support. You'll also need to become familiar with state laws and regulations regarding paramedics and other emergency personnel.

To train as a paramedic, you'll need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. You'll find associate degree and certification programs available at community colleges, vocational schools, training hospitals and public safety academies. Degree programs may require hundreds of hours of training and coursework on topics such as advanced airway management, medication administration, anatomy and physiology. To advance to an air evac paramedic team, you'll need to have at least three years of paramedic experience that is part of an advanced life support team.

Do I Need To Be Licensed?

Once you've completed a training program, you'll need to seek licensing by your state and take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. Thirty states currently certify EMTs and paramedics, 18 states license them and only two states, Maryland and Texas, distinguish between certification and licensing for paramedics, according to the NREMT. For many states, paramedics are the most highly qualified and licensed providers of emergency medicine.

What Is the NREMT Exam?

The NREMT administers a 2-part national exam to test your paramedic skills and your knowledge of emergency medicine. The cognitive test is a computer-based exam that covers topics such as airway, ventilation, oxygenation, trauma, cardiology, medical and EMS operations, adult patient care and pediatric patient care.

In the psychomotor test, you'll need to demonstrate competency in 12 separate skills in a scenario-type format. These skills include patient trauma assessment, ventilation management, cardiac management skills, intravenous medication and pediatric skills. The NREMT requires that you recertify as often as once every year to maintain your status.

How Do I Become An Air Evacuation Paramedic?

After you have at least three years of paramedic experience, you may search for an air evacuation paramedic position. Some jobs require you have previous flight experience, meet weight requirements, be able to lift heavy loads and have excellent eyesight. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for paramedics in general is expected to increase by 24% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).

What Can I Expect to Earn?

According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for EMTs and paramedics was $35,430 in 2015, with hourly wages for most EMTs and paramedics ranging from $10.03-$26.49 per hour. Your earnings will depend on your employer, your training and experience.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of becoming an air evac paramedic, you could consider becoming an ambulance-based paramedic. They are qualified to perform the same medical procedures as air evac paramedics, but they administer care in the back of ambulances. Sometimes, they drive the ambulance. Another emergency services occupation you could consider is a job as a dispatcher. In this position, you would respond to 911 calls and alarm systems by sending out the appropriate emergency vehicles and staff, including ambulances, helicopters, policemen, firefighters and/or paramedics. The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Virginia College

    Virginia College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Virginia College:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Georgia: Columbus, Macon, Savannah
    • Oklahoma: Columbus, Macon, Savannah, Tulsa
    • South Carolina: Columbus, Macon, Savannah, Tulsa, Columbia, Greenville, North Charleston, Spartanburg
  • Lewis University

    Lewis University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Lewis University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • American InterContinental University

    American InterContinental University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American InterContinental University:

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. Next »