CPR Technician: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become a CPR technician. Learn about salary, job outlook, education and certification requirements 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 a CPR Technician?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a technique used to restore breathing and blood circulation to individuals who have experienced respiratory and/or cardiac arrest. A CPR technician administers this life-saving technique or trains others how to do so. They may get jobs as EMTs or paramedics, as these are emergency services professionals who commonly use CPR. They travel to emergencies in ambulances and/or helicopters, where they administer pre-hospital care, including CPR. If you decided to teach CPR, you could work with medical professionals or other interested individuals, such as sports coaches or teachers. The classes would include a combination of classroom coursework and hands-on instruction.

See the table below to discover what you may need to know about becoming a CPR technician.

Education Required Course in CPR
Key Skills Administering CPR in emergencies, CPR instruction
Licensure Required CPR certification, specific requirements may vary by state
Job Growth (2018-2028) 7% for EMTs and paramedics*
Average Salary (2018) $18.15 per hour for EMTs and paramedics*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Are the Duties of a CPR Technician?

Your duties as a CPR technician vary with the job you choose to take. You can use your certification to become a CPR instructor and instruct students on the procedures, protocols and guidelines of CPR. As an emergency medical technician, you provide patient resuscitation and/or basic life support through CPR. This includes the use of manual techniques or the application of advanced technologies.

What Education Do I Need?

To be a CPR technician, you're required to take coursework in CPR. Classes are available through schools, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and other organizations. Training commonly involves techniques and protocols for adult, child and infant CPR. However, the level of training generally depends on whether the coursework is geared for healthcare work or community CPR instruction.

Community CPR instructors usually provide training on basic CPR techniques to a wide range of audiences including high school students. CPR training geared for healthcare work includes classes on CPR technologies - such as automated external defibrillators, blood-borne pathogens and other basic life support protocols. Nevertheless, all formal CPR training programs in the United States must adhere to the minimal standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Depending on the level of training, lessons can last from one hour to more than 15 hours.

Do I Need Certification?

As a CPR technician, you are required to obtain certification in CPR. Certification is available through CPR coursework providers; specific requirements vary by state.

What Salary Can I Earn?

Often CPR technicians are employed in the healthcare industry in roles such as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) or paramedics, so the salary is contingent upon the job in which you use your CPR technician training. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2018, EMTs and paramedics earned an average wage of $18.15 per hour (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS reported that the outlook for these types of jobs was anticipated to see a greater than average increase of about 7% between 2018 and 2028.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are looking for a job in the healthcare field, you could also consider becoming a medical assistant in a hospital or clinical setting. These workers divide their time between basic patient care, such as monitoring vital signs, and medical office work, like scheduling appointments and processing insurance. You would need to complete a postsecondary training program for this job. Alternatively, you could consider becoming a dispatcher. In this position, you would respond to 911 calls by sending out emergency personnel, such as policeman, firefighters or paramedic teams, depending on the nature of the incident. The minimum educational requirement for dispatchers 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:

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  • Fortis College

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  • Independence University

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  • Herzing University

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