Paramedic Licensing and Credentialing Requirements
In order to become a licensed paramedic, individuals typically must complete a state-approved paramedic training program and pass a licensing exam. In some states, successful completion of the paramedic certification exam offered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians examination (NREMT) leads to licensure, while other states have their own licensing examinations. In most cases, paramedics need to renew their licenses every two years after taking the NREMT or state examination. This usually entails completion of continuing education classes.
EMT-P training is primarily available through certificate and associate's degree programs. Students in these programs learn how to assess patients, perform endotracheal intubation, intravenous therapy and other lifesaving techniques. Clinical fieldwork is a critical component of paramedic training, and students often take part in field experiences with an EMS service.
Students typically need to complete EMT-B or EMT-I training first before enrolling in an EMT-P program. Some programs include both EMT-B and paramedic training. Additional prerequisites often include completing a criminal background check and physical exam and getting the required immunizations.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average hourly wage for EMTs and paramedics was approximately $16.88 as of May 2014. The BLS also reports that the number of employed EMTs and paramedics was expected to increase by 24% from 2014-2024, which is considerably faster than the national average for all other occupations.