Login
 

What Training Is Needed to Be a Paramedic?

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a paramedic. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

View popular schools

There are many steps involved in becoming an EMT paramedic. Through the different EMT stages, paramedics are trained on basic medicine and first aid, and then advanced medicine and EMT leadership roles. Current CPR certification is required to enter any EMT program.

Essential Information

Paramedics provide first-response care to people who are sick or injured. They are trained to provide medications, read electrocardiograms (EKGs) and use medical equipment. To qualify for paramedic training, individuals usually first need to possess a high school diploma, complete CPR training and earn EMT-Basic certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). They then complete a paramedic certificate or associate's degree program and seek state licensure, which involves passing the NREMT's paramedic certification test. To succeed on the job, individuals must be able to follow safety protocols, do heavy lifting and handle stress.

Required Education Certificate or associate's degree in paramedic studies
Prerequisites EMT-Basic training and certification; CPR training
Other Requirements State licensure and paramedic certification
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 24% (all EMTs and paramedics)
Median Salary (2016)** $43,766 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Cardiovascular Technologies
  • Electrocardiograph Tech. - ECG, EKG
  • Electroencephalographic Tech. - EEG, END
  • EMT and Paramedic
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Industrial Radiologic Technology
  • Medical Radiologic Therapist
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist
  • Perfusionist
  • Physician Assistant
  • Radiation Protection Technology
  • Radiological Science and Technologies
  • Respiratory Care Therapy
  • Surgical Technologies
  • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies

How to Become a Paramedic

Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma

Paramedic training programs require students to have a high school diploma or GED to enroll. High school students considering careers as paramedics should take courses in the sciences, health studies and anatomy.

Step 2: Complete CPR Training

Certified competency in cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a requirement for EMT and paramedic training programs. Paramedics must maintain CPR training throughout their careers.

Step 3: Complete EMT-Basic Training

An EMT-Basic program covers such emergency medical situations as choking, bleeding, childbirth, heart attacks and broken bones. The course also covers the use of medical equipment, including splints, stretchers, oxygen masks and backboards. Students learn in the classroom and in the field, riding in ambulances. After completing the course, students apply for certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) at the EMT-Basic level.

Step 4: Complete Paramedic Coursework

Offered through either a certificate or associate's degree program, paramedic coursework covers anatomy, physiology and higher-level medical techniques. Students learn to work in an ambulance or aeromedical service. Some of the more advanced medical applications include inserting an IV, handling potentially dangerous blood and establishing order in chaotic situations. Obtaining information from difficult patients and leading a team of EMTs are also discussed. Students in an associate's degree program must complete general education requirements.

Step 5: Get Certified

Upon completion of an approved program, paramedics may apply for national NREMT paramedic certification, which involves passing a test. The test includes a computerized exam covering airways and breathing, trauma and medical, pediatrics and EMS (emergency medical services) operations. A hands-on portion of the test looks at the paramedic's ability to handle real-world situations.

The steps to becoming an EMT are not as complicated as they may seem. After achieving a high school diploma and obtaining CPR certification, completing an EMT-Basic program leads to EMT-Basic certification. Following that, completing a paramedic program, either a degree or certificate, and passing an exam, leads to paramedic certification.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
    • Master of Science in Health Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MSHS in Health Care Quality
    • Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Medical Administrative Assistant
    • Medical Assistant

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MBA in Healthcare Management
    • Master of Health Administration
    • Executive Certificate in Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?