How Long Does IT Take to Finish Paramedic Education and Training?

Do you want to help others? Are you good in emergency situations? You might have what it takes to be a paramedic. Continuing reading to find out about this career and how long it takes to complete paramedic training. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

As a paramedic, you are an emergency response worker. You'll likely respond to 911 calls and other emergencies. When you arrive on the scene of an accident or other emergency situation, you'll quickly assess the scene and the patient or patients. Initial emergency medical care will be given to anyone who needs it, and, if necessary, you will load them into the ambulance for transport to the hospital. As a paramedic, you're allowed to administer oral medication, read electrocardiograms, use complex equipment and give endotracheal intubations.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Median Pay (2018) $34,320 (for emergency medical technicians and paramedics)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)15% increase in employment (much faster than average)
Work EnvironmentRequired to work both inside and outside in all types of weather; high rate of injury and illness; long hours--around 33% worked more than 40 hours a week in 2016, including weekends and overnight
Similar OccupationsFirefighters, Police Officers and Detectives, Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education and Training

The emergency medical technician (EMT) field has three levels, with the third level being EMT-Paramedic. You must complete at least the first level, EMT-Basic, the second level, EMT-Advanced, and the EMT-Paramedic level to become a paramedic. With field training hours and a semester of courses, it can take you up to one year to complete an EMT-Basic program.

EMT-Paramedic training is typically done through an associate's degree program at a technical or community college. This level of training covers advanced medical skills, anatomy and clinical work. You will usually also complete field training. Programs typically require an average of about 1,000-1,200 hours and take two years to complete. Training at this level is based upon the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Standard Curriculum for Paramedics.

Licensing and Continuing Education

All states have licensing requirements for paramedics. Requirements for licensing vary by state, but typically include completion of a training program and passing a criminal background check. You will also need to pass a national or state examination. Many states use the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians examination.

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