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Associate's Degree in Paramedicine

Paramedics help others who are experiencing medical emergencies. Read on to learn more about earning an associate's degree in paramedicine and the certification required by all states.

What Education Do I Need to Become a Paramedic?

If you're interested in becoming a paramedic, you'll need to complete a program in paramedic science, paramedicine, or paramedic technology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a paramedic is the highest position an emergency medical technician (EMT) can reach after advancement from the basic and intermediate level EMT positions (www.bls.gov). You can find these training programs at community colleges and technical schools, and most lead to an associate's degree. Along with the coursework, you'll need to complete a set number of clinical training hours and in-field experience.

Degree Availability Associate's degrees in paramedicine, paramedic science, and paramedic technology are available
Common Courses Medical practices, emergency procedures, anatomy and physiology
Licensure/Certification State licensure required, certification can be earned through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT)
Median Salary (2020) $36,650 (for all EMTs and Paramedics)  
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 6% growth (for all EMTs and Paramedics

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Will I Study?

Once enrolled in an associate's degree program, your studies will primarily focus on medical practices and emergency procedures. You'll learn resuscitative and cardiovascular skills and the use of medical equipment, such as oxygen tanks, restraints, and stretchers. Degree programs in paramedicine also cover topics such as anatomy, physiology, English, sociology, and business. An internship is usually required.

As a paramedic, you'll also need to be in good physical condition, emotionally stable, and able to lift and move heavy objects. Associate's degree programs in paramedicine help prepare you for management positions within an emergency services organization, such as a supervisor or operations manager.

Do I Need Certification or Licensure After I Earn My Degree?

As a paramedic, you'll need to be licensed by the state in which you are employed. Requirements vary by state, and some require continuing education courses prior to renewing your license. EMT certifications and state licenses generally need to be renewed every few years. The most common certification is offered through the National Registry of Emergency Technicians (NREMT). This certification consists of passage of an exam along with payment of a small fee. Paramedic certification is different from EMT certificate programs, which are usually the basic level of education needed to initially work as an emergency medical technician.