Critical care paramedics are first responders to situations involving serious injuries or illnesses. The most common degree awarded to aspiring critical care paramedics is the Associate of Applied Science (AAS). This degree program generally takes two years to complete and requires clinical experience. Applicants must have paramedic or EMT experience and licensure. They'll also need to submit to a background check and demonstrate aptitude in previous academic work, specifically math and science.
Associate's Degree in Critical Care Paramedics
The coursework required by most critical care paramedic associate's degree programs is split between classroom instruction and clinical experience. Classes in topics such as pharmacology, trauma care and emergency medical treatment with hands-on practice are parts of the curriculum. The subjects listed below are typically covered:
- Cardiac care
- Human anatomy
- Emergency medical care
- Medical trauma care
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that jobs for emergency medical technicians and paramedics, including those working in critical care, should increase by about 7 percent between 2018 and 2028. In May of 2019, the BLS reported that the median annual earnings for these workers were $35,400.
Continuing Education Information
Every state requires critical care paramedics to be licensed, and paramedics often must take continuing education classes in order to remain certified. Some schools offer certificates for critical care paramedics in addition to degrees in emergency medical technology.
Earning a critical care paramedic associate's degree is a worthwhile investment of time, as students will gain access to a job market expected to grow by 24% over the 2014-2024 decade. Associate's degrees take just two years to complete, but students must dedicate additional time to meet state licensure and continuing education requirements.