Paramedic School: Programs, Courses and Training Information

Jul 15, 2019

Paramedic academies typically offer both certificate and associate degree programs that provide emergency medical technician (EMT) training for careers in emergency medical services. Upon completion of an accredited paramedic program, individuals are eligible to sit for the Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (EMT-P) certification exam.

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Certificate and associate's degree programs that prepare students to work as paramedics can be found at community colleges and specialized emergency medical services academies. In many cases, the Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science program is an extension of the certificate program. Read about several of the top schools for those who wish to pursue this field.

10 EMT Schools With The Best Paramedic Programs

Below are the best colleges for aspiring EMTs, offering EMT-Paramedic programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*
American River College Sacramento, California 2-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$1,104 In-state
$8,712 Out-of-state
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, New Mexico 2-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$1,626 In-state
$7,338 Out-of-state
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, California 2-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$1,696 In-state
$10,372 Out-of-state
Columbus State Community College Columbus, Ohio 2-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$4,284 In-state
$8,906 Out-of-state
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College New York, New York 2-year, Public Associate's $5,170 In-state
$8,050 Out-of-state
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny, Iowa 2-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$4,680 In-state
$9,360 Out-of-state
El Camino Community College District Torrance, California 2-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$1,144 In-state
$6,520 Out-of-state
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, Florida 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Certificate
Associate's
$2,878 In-state
$9,992 Out-of-state
Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 2-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$6,683 In-district
$7,935 In-state
$9,435 Out-of-state
Macomb Community College Warren, Michigan 2-year, Public Certificate
Associate's
$3,375 In-district
$5,952 In-state
$7,649 Out-of-state

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Paramedic School Selection Criteria

Students complete their core training first, and then proceed to satisfy general education requirements and finish out their paramedical courses. When seeking a school for EMT training, consider the following:

  • Search for a program that is nationally accredited.
  • Consider a school that allows easy transfer from a certificate to a degree program.
  • Look for a program that prepares its students to sit for and pass all relevant licensing exams.
  • Consider a hybrid/online paramedic program

Paramedic Certificate

Paramedic certificate programs combine classroom lectures and applied skill labs with clinical experiences in a variety of settings, including hospitals and ambulances. They're designed to train aspiring paramedics to provide advanced life support in emergency situations, including IV initiation and drug administration.

Paramedic Associate's Degree

Associate degree programs in paramedicine teach advanced emergency medical skills such as emergency care, trauma assessment and patient stabilization. They prepare students for management-level careers in pre-hospital care settings and health administration agencies. In addition to the core paramedic curriculum, students complete a number of general education courses, such as English composition, mathematics, general psychology and business. They also gain extensive clinical field experiences that prepare them to recognize, assess and manage medical emergencies of injured or acutely ill patients.

Paramedic schools prepare students to take and pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam. These programs explore topics such as patient assessment, medical emergency management and anatomy.

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