How Can I Become a CPR Trainer?

Explore the career requirements for being a CPR Trainer. Get the facts about the prerequisites, certification requirements, salary, and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a CPR Trainer?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) trainers teach the potentially lifesaving techniques used in medical emergencies. They teach individuals how to provide basic care in emergency situations until medical professionals arrive at the scene. Course topics include basic anatomy and physiology, soft tissue injuries, musculoskeletal injuries and sudden-onset illnesses. Usually, trainers provide coursework through a combination of lectures, textbook readings, demonstrations and hands-on practical assignments. While most CPR trainers offer courses for community members who are interested in learning CPR, such as teachers and sports coaches, others provide specialized training for future healthcare professionals.

Education Required High school diploma and completion of certified CPR or BLS (basic life support) courses
Certification Certification is voluntary
Job Growth (2014-2024) 15% (for all self-enrichment education teachers)*
Median Salary (2015) $36,680 (for all self-enrichment education teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Prerequisites to Become a CPR Trainer?

To become a CPR instructor, also referred to as a basic life support (BLS) instructor, you must be a certified CPR provider. Some universities provide CPR training courses through the American Heart Association (AHA), such as Heartsaver CPR or Heartsaver AED. AHA Training Centers offer courses for people who are already working in the healthcare field as well as for those with little or no previous training.

How Do I Get Certified?

You can sign up for a CPR instructor course through the AHA or the American Red Cross. Those in a healthcare profession might be especially interested in the American Red Cross CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers instructor course, which is available through some universities and healthcare centers.

The AHA course is 3-part program. After completing an online Core Instructor Course, you'll participate in a 1-day instructor course in BLS, Heartsaver, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, or Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Lastly, you'll teach your own class under observation by a certified instructor. Upon successfully completing the process, you'll be issued an AHA Instructor Card, which is valid for two years.

What Are the Career Benefits?

A CPR Certification is attractive to employers in many fields because you can be used to teach life-saving skills to other staff members. This is especially important in workplaces that are apt to have emergency situations, such as healthcare centers and hospitals. Personally, empowering others with the CPR tools to help save lives can be a truly rewarding experience.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in teaching community education or self-enrichment courses, you could choose to instruct a course in a different area of expertise, such as swimming. In this job, you would teach individuals, often children, how to do different strokes. You might also cover pool safety. Alternatively, if you want to work in the medical field, you could consider becoming a medical assistant. These professionals divide their time between clerical tasks, like scheduling appointments and processing payments, and basic medical care, such as taking vital signs and assisting with patient examinations. Aspiring medical assistants need to complete a postsecondary certificate program.

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