CPR Instructor Classes and Courses Overview

May 30, 2020

Essential Information

CPR instructor courses can be taken through a variety of organizations. Two common providers are the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. These are often blended training programs completed partially online and partially in the classroom. Successful completion of the programs results in instructor certification and may include job shadowing.

Graduates of CPR instructor courses will be able to teach the skill in their community. Those taking the course through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association also gain access to additional training resources for instructors. The American Heart Association additionally monitors instructors during their first course.

Here are some common concepts explored in CPR courses:

  • Airway obstructions
  • CPR masks and other supplies
  • Conscious and unconscious choking
  • Good Samaritan laws
  • Compression-only CPR

List of CPR Instructor Classes

CPR Instructor Training Format

Depending on the level of training needed, a CPR instructor course may be 8-16 hours in length (16 hours broken into two days of training). Certification may also require students to shadow a current CPR instructor for up to two days after completing their initial training. Students in a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or BLS (basic life support) course review first aid and CPR and learn instructional methods. A certification course may be broken down into several subject areas.

Adult CPR

Adult CPR is a method used on people ages nine and older. Students learn special rescue breathing techniques and CPR for people in this age group. Instruction includes ways to reduce cardiovascular disease risks and methods of care for sudden illnesses. Students learn how to identify a heart attack, what do to in the case of choking, how to control excessive bleeding and how to apply splints.

Child and Infant CPR

Child and infant CPR is for children ages eight and younger. Techniques for treating children in this age group are different than adult CPR because these victims' airways and body structures are significantly smaller. Students will learn proper rescue breathing techniques for children and infants and what processes could lead to injury. Topics may also include choking, 2-rescuer CPR and resuscitation masks.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

An AED is a portable device used to diagnose and treat cardiac arrhythmias. AEDs are used by those performing CPR or basic life support in order to minimize the effects of a heart emergency on victims who haven't yet arrived at a hospital. CPR instructors must know how to operate an AED and other tools such as resuscitation masks or bag-valve resuscitators.

Basic First Aid

CPR instructor training courses may also cover blood borne pathogens, oxygen administration and injury prevention. The basic first aid portion of training will cover what to do in situations of sudden illness or emergency. Everything from burns and cuts to broken bones or allergic reactions may be covered. Basic first aid training covers victims of all ages and appropriate techniques in caring for each.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the 2018-2028 decade, employment opportunities for health educators and community health workers are expected to grow 11%, which is much faster than average for most occupations. The median salary for a health educator and community health worker in May 2019 was $46,910 (

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