How Long Does IT Take to Become a Paramedic?
Aspiring paramedics start out as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) before advancing to the paramedic level through licensure, study and training. Paramedics are trained and licensed to provide high level emergency care and transport patients to hospitals.
Training Levels to Become a Paramedic
There are three main levels of training students need to complete in order to become a paramedic. The time that each level takes involves factors such as the dedication of the student, schedule and completing licensing examinations.
Training Level 1: Emergency Medical Technician - Basic (EMT-B)
After earning a high school diploma or equivalent, students interested in becoming a paramedic can seek training to become an EMT-B. An EMT-B program can be completed in as few as three weeks or last several months, depending on the course schedules. Students need a valid CPR certification before they are trained in EMT fundamental life-saving skills. EMT-B certification is necessary to become a paramedic.
Training Level 2: Emergency Medical Technician - Intermediate
At this level, students are educated in trauma management skills. They learn how to administer intravenous fluids, use advanced airway devices, and deal with various clinical and medical emergencies. EMT-Intermediate programs generally require anywhere from 30 to 350 training hours, based on state requirements. Once certified as an EMT-Intermediate, students have the opportunity to train to become paramedics.
Training Level 3: Paramedic
Paramedics receive the most training of all emergency medical responders. As a result, students may receive an associate degree in emergency medical services from a community college or technical school. Students may also complete a paramedic certificate program; however, it will not include general education requirements or offer an opportunity to transfer into a bachelor's degree program.
In order to be eligible for entry into any paramedic program, students must be certified as an EMT-B. Some institutions may require students to have six months to 1-year experience working as a EMT-B. Students are required to take courses in:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Patient assessment
- Airway management
- Medical and cardiac emergencies
After students complete EMT training and obtain the necessary emergency skills, they must pass a certification exam. These exams are administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Students must successfully complete a written and practical exam in order to be certified at each level. To remain certified, paramedics must recertify every two years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), paramedics and EMTs are projected to experience 23% growth in employment from 2012 to 2022, due in large part to to growth in the middle-aged and elderly population that will necessitate care for events such as heart attacks or strokes. The BLS states that paramedics and EMTs earn a median income of $31,020 per year, with the top ten percent bringing in more than $50,000 and the bottom ten percent earning less than $20,000 (www.bls.gov).
Related to How Long Does IT Take to Be a Paramedic
- Recently Updated
Some firefighters may need to attain certification as paramedics. Continue reading to find out why you might need this...
Becoming a certified paramedic is an option for individuals seeking entry into the medical field, but do not want to be...
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a paramedic. Get a quick view of the requirements - as well as...
Learn how to become a paramedic. Research the job duties and the education and licensing requirements and find out how to start...
- EMT - Paramedic Classes and Courses Overview
- How to Become an Air Evac Paramedic
- How to Become a Wilderness Paramedic: Step-by-Step Career Guide
- Federal Agent: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Masters Degree in High School Counseling: Program Info
- Careers in Elementary Education: Job Options and Requirements
- Health Care Advertiser: Job Description, Requirements and Career Info
- Veterinary Paramedic Salary Info, Requirements and Job Duties
- Paramedic Technician Salary and Career Information
- Careers in Science Writing: Job Options and Education Requirements
- Population Biologist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Career Information for a Degree or Certification in Medical Assisting