Participants in a CPR instruction certification program typically don't get certified through the program, unless it is a program offered by a certifying agency, and must go through certification steps, such as passing an exam, to complete their training.
After completing an instructor program and certification process, individuals are ready to perform CPR procedures and explain how to perform those procedures to others. Some CPR instructor courses may also include instruction in first aid and usage of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Depending on the program, applicants may need to be a certain age, be previously certified in CPR and have completed prior instructor training. Upon completion of a program, participants are able to demonstrate the correct CPR techniques, define the related terminology, recognize and explain the warning signs of heart attacks, strokes, and other life threatening conditions, explain the steps and processes of administering life-saving techniques to infants, children, and adults, correctly use visual and instructional aids to explain life-saving procedures, and evaluate others who are learning CPR.
CPR Instructor Certification Programs
Programs are usually completed over 1-3 days and involve classroom instruction and a hands-on portion where students demonstrate their skills and proficiency in CPR. Topics covered in a program may include:
- CPR techniques for infants, children, and adults
- First aid for children and adults
- Basic principles of teaching
- Instructor organization
- Emergency response strategies
- Safety procedures for emergency care
Popular Career Options
Individuals who are trained CPR instructors are prepared to teach others to perform life-saving procedures in a variety of settings. Instructors may be physicians, nurses, paramedics, or other medical personnel. Some instructors are not employed in a medical field and instead work as volunteers for agencies, like the American Red Cross and American Heart Association, or provide instruction through their workplace safety programs. Places where a certified instructor may work include hospitals, businesses, and medical schools.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fitness trainers and instructors have a projected job growth rate of 8%, from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the average annual salary for these professionals was $40,970.
Continuing Education Information
Certification agencies typically require instructors to complete a training program, demonstrate their skills and complete an exam to earn certification as an instructor. Some agencies may require student teaching assignments, as well. CPR instructor certification must be renewed on a regular basis, depending on the certifying agency's policies.
Prospective CPR instructors can complete short-term training programs that prepare them to meet certification requirements and apply their skills while working as health care professionals, fitness instructors and volunteers.