First Aid and CPR Certification Information

In certain professions, first aid and CPR certifications are mandatory credentials that can demonstrate specialized competence. Continue reading for an overview of the requirements for certification, as well as job growth and salary info for a few certified professionals.

Many different professions require employees to gain first Aid and cpr certification, however, these courses are available to anyone interested in gaining certification. There are no age or education requirements to take a certification course, although trainees should be old enough to be able to understand and perform the skills required.

Essential Information

First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification is required for several medical and non-medical careers. Lifeguards, personal trainers, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and firefighters are all professionals who must hold first aid and CPR certifications. Courses leading to first aid and CPR certification are offered in community training centers, hospitals, schools and other settings. E-Learning and distance education options are also available. These certifications are valid for a few years, after which holders must take refresher courses to renew them.

Required Training Basic first aid and CPR classes
Required Skills Chest compression techniques for adults and children, Heimlich maneuver, AED use, rescue breathing
Exam Requirements Practical exam
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 24% for EMTs and paramedics; 5% for firefighters
Median Annual Salary (May, 2015)* $31,980 for EMTs and paramedics; $46,870 for firefighters

Sources: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

First Aid and CPR Training

First aid and CPR certifications do not have any age or education restrictions. However, first aid and CPR certification instructors recommend that an individual be old enough to understand and perform the necessary life-saving techniques, such as taking a pulse or doing chest compressions.


Typical curricula for certification in first aid and CPR include courses in basic first aid and CPR for adults, children and infants. Courses also teach students how to perform the Heimlich maneuver to relieve choking and how to use Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). These life-saving skills and treatments are usually practiced with an instructor during the course.


Individuals seeking a first aid or CPR certification must enroll in a class and complete a series of exercises to prove their skills. The length of the class depends on the course; most courses take approximately several hours or one day to complete.

First aid and CPR certification may be tailored to certain school and work settings or occupations. For example, middle school and high school students can earn a credential or course completion card in a specially designed course on CPR in schools, which is offered by the American Heart Association ( The American Red Cross offers first aid and CPR classes specifically for lifeguards and babysitters (

Interested individuals can contact their local branch of the American Heart Association or local chapter of the American Red Cross for information on first aid and CPR certification, including course schedules and locations.


Most first aid and CPR certifications expire after a certain number of years. Taking a refresher training course in first aid or CPR is necessary to renew certification.

First Aid and CPR courses can be found all over the country at schools, hospitals, or through the American Red Cross. Once certification is attained, it must be kept current every few years.

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