Paramedics are required to complete a paramedic training program and have their state license. They assess and treat patients at the scene of an emergency and transport patients to medical facilities. They are qualified to administer medications and have a higher level of training than emergency medical technicians.
Paramedics have the highest level of training of all emergency medical technicians. They may be employed by fire or police departments, hospitals or private ambulance services. In order to become a paramedic, one must have completed an approved paramedic training program and secure national certification. Paramedic training programs may result in an associate's degree or certificate; some associate's degree programs include both EMT-basic and paramedic training.
|Required Education||Approved paramedic training program, which may result in an associate's degree or certificate|
|Other Requirements||State licensure|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||24% for all EMTs and paramedics|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$31,980 for all EMTs and paramedics|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Paramedic Technician Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that paramedics earned a median yearly salary of $31,980 as of May 2015. The BLS stated that earnings are affected by various factors that include location, experience and training.
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Paramedic Technician Career Information
Paramedics are health care professionals who work in a pre-hospital setting. They are dispatched by 911 operators to emergency scenes where they assess and treat patients. They then transport patients by ambulance or helicopter to the appropriate medical facility. Paramedics usually work in pairs. One drives while the other sits in the back of the ambulance with the patient, monitoring his or her vital signs and administering additional treatment as necessary.
Once they drop a patient off at a medical facility, paramedics must report their observations and inform medical staff of any treatment given to the patient. They must also keep written documentation of each call.
Paramedics are emergency medical service providers with more advanced training than emergency medical technicians. In addition to transporting patients and managing cardiac, respiratory and trauma emergencies, they are allowed to administer both oral and intravenous medications and perform endotracheal intubations. They also know how to interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs) and use other types of medical equipment.
Paramedic Technician Education and Licensure Requirements
Training programs for paramedics are often found at community colleges and technical schools. Students generally earn an associate's degree. Students enrolled in these programs learn advanced life support skills, anatomy and physiology.
Graduates are eligible to sit for the licensure examination offered by the National Registry for Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). All states require paramedics to be licensed. While some states administer their own examination to become licensed, most use the NREMT's examination. Continuing education is usually required to maintain licensure.
In 2015, the median salary for EMTs and paramedics was $31,980. Paramedics provide emergency care to patients where the injury occurred and en route to the hospital. They may be required to transport patients to medical facilities via ambulance or helicopter.