What Training Do I Need to Be a Paramedic?

If you want to apply your interest in healthcare to emergency situations, then you may want to look into becoming a paramedic. In order to prepare for greater responsibilities in emergency medical situations, you will need to complete a higher level of training than other emergency workers, like EMTs. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Paramedic Defined

Paramedics are a class of medical first responders, who work to administer aid to and transport injured and ill individuals in a variety of emergency situations. As a paramedic you will administer a wider range of treatments, such as giving patients medication and using more advanced technology, like EKG machines, than basic and intermediate EMTS. The exact parameters of what a paramedic is trained to do change from state to state.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $31,700 (for EMTs and paramedics)
Key Skills Good physical condition, quick thinking, ability to work long shifts
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 23% (for EMTs and paramedics)
Similar Occupations Registered Nurse, Firefighter

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Options

Paramedic training programs may be found at a community college or technical school. You can also pursue an associate's degree. Since a paramedic generally represents the highest level of emergency responders, you will receive training that covers how to treat common emergency situations, like fractured bones or cardiac arrest, and general training in subjects like anatomy.

Licensure

Every state requires that paramedics be licensed. Each state determines the standards for licensing, but general requirements include a high school diploma and completion of paramedic training. Some states require that you pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians' (NREMT's) certification examination to become a paramedic. The NREMT's certification examination tests your knowledge about emergency procedures and your ability to perform them.

To qualify to take the exam, you must be the age of 18 or older and hold a basic EMT certification or license. Additionally, applicants must have successfully completed a paramedic program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). You will also need to provide proof that you possess a CPR-BLS for Healthcare Providers credential.

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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