Overview of Online CPR Certification Programs
CPR certification programs teach candidates how to perform life-saving medical techniques in emergency situations. Because the CPR certification process requires an in-person skills session, fully online programs are not available. There are, however, a number of programs that offer blended programs that combine online and in-person instruction.
CPR certification programs have no prerequisites and only require that candidates be at least 18 years of age. This credential is a common requirement for careers such as lifeguards and child-care providers and can also be used as the first step towards pursuing first responder careers, such as firefighters or police officers.
Online CPR Certification Programs in California
Several schools in California offer blended programs for students who want the convenience and flexibility of online learning. The online component usually consists of a single session that takes a couple of hours (at most) to complete, followed by an on-site skills check that allows candidates to demonstrate the knowledge they learned online and qualify for certification.
Cuesta College offers a pair of Red Cross skills certification programs, both of which can be completed through a mix of online and in-person learning. To earn the standard Adult CPR/AED certification, candidates begin by completing a one-hour online course and then schedule an in-person skills session lasting 30 minutes. The Adult & Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED option involves 2.5 hours of online training and one hour of in-person training.
University of California, Santa Cruz
The Heartsaver First Aid CPR/AED course at UC Santa Cruz features a blended learning format that allows students to learn concepts and techniques online before attending an in-person skills session to receive certification from the American Heart Association. This program covers a wide range of topics and upon completion, candidates will know how to perform CPR and use an AED on both adults and children. They could also learn how to control bleeding and recognize symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.
California State University, Bakersfield
CSU Bakersfield also offers an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED certification program that mixes an on-site skills session with prerequisite online work. Students will complete a self-paced, online course that covers fundamental concepts. They must then attend an on-campus course (hosted on Saturdays) that lasts three hours.
Career Outcomes Involving CPR Certification
Earning a CPR certification can be the first step for a number of careers in the healthcare and law enforcement fields. Common job opportunities include emergency medical technician (EMT), paramedic, firefighter, and police officer. While CPR certification is a requirement for these roles, candidates should be aware that EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, and police officers typically require some additional training and education beyond CPR certification.
Aspiring EMTs and paramedics in California will find their services in high demand and can expect to be well compensated. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California employs the most EMTs and paramedics of any state, with 21,430 individuals working in this profession as of May 2018. The annual mean wage for EMTs and paramedics in California was $39,350 in that same year, a salary that was actually higher than the national mean for the field. The BLS also reported that nationwide employment in this field is expected to rise 7% from 2018-2028, a rate that is faster than the average for all professions and would create 18,700 new EMT and paramedic job openings. The BLS noted that emergency medical services will always be in demand, and an aging population should cause a rise in age-related emergencies, leading to heightened demand for emergency response personnel.
California has several schools that offer blended CPR certification programs. These programs teach important life-saving medical skills and can be used to jump-start a career in the healthcare and law enforcement fields.