Los Angeles Schools with Paramedic Programs
To work as a licensed paramedic in California, candidates must complete an approved paramedic program and obtain EMT-Paramedic / Paramedic certification through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). In the Los Angeles area, three schools offer state-approved paramedic programs, all of which require applicants to have Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) experience.
This article looks at those schools, which are all within 35 minutes of downtown, and at the various paramedic training programs they offer. There is also a table of statistics about each institution, such as enrollment, costs and the campus setting, arranged so prospective students can easily compare them. At the end of the article is information on a couple of nearby schools that also offer relevant programs.
- El Camino College, about 16 miles from downtown, offers a paramedic technician training program.
- Around 28 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Mt. San Antonio College has an EMT- paramedic certificate program and an associate's degree in emergency medical services.
- At the University of California-Los Angeles, students can complete a paramedic program. This school is around 16 miles from the city center.
Comparison of Schools
The following table contains information that individuals should consider when choosing a school for their paramedic training.
|El Camino College||Mt. San Antonio College||University of California-Los Angeles|
|School Type||2-year; public||2-year; public||4-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)*||24,349||29,960||44,027|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large suburb||Large city|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)*|| $1,142 in-state
| $1,349 in-state
| $13,261 in-state
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017)*||64%||70%||65%|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)*||N/A - Open admission||N/A - Open admission||16%|
|Retention Rate (2017)*||78% for full-time students; 53% for part-time students||79% for full-time students; 59% for part-time students||97% for full-time students; 80% for part-time students|
|Graduation Rate*||32% (for students who began in Fall 2014)||32% (for students who began in Fall 2014)||91% (for students who began in Fall 2011)|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
El Camino College
The paramedic program at El Camino is offered four times per year. Students apply directly to PTI and can receive credit through ECC.
Applicants for this certificate program must complete a prerequisite fire technology course prior to beginning the 13-week classroom phase, which takes place at PTI in Santa Fe Springs. Courses at PTI cover pre-hospital care, field assessment and reporting, basic and advanced life support and traumatic emergency care. After completing coursework, students rotate through a 4-week clinical internship at both public and private hospitals, followed by an 8-week field internship with a paramedic unit. As of 2017, the estimated total cost for this program is about $3,650. The 33 credits earned through his program can be applied toward an associate degree in fire science.
Mt. San Antonio College
Students in the paramedic programs at Mt. San Antonio must pass each course in order to remain enrolled in the major. Students are admitted to the program based on their test and quiz scores of two preliminary Emergency Medical Services (EMS) classes.
Upon successful completion of the EMS courses, students take 16 weeks of classes covering anatomy and physiology, cardiac care, pharmacology and paramedic skills. After this, students spend five weeks in a hospital setting doing clinical internship and eight weeks in field internship practicing as a paramedic under direct supervision.
Associate in Science in Emergency Medical Services
This associate's degree program combines the certificate coursework and internships with general education classes, such as reading, math, science and social studies. Recommended electives include fire protection organization, psychology and sociology. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in order to be awarded this degree.
University of California-Los Angeles
The 7-month program at the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care is offered in January, May and September each year. Students should take college-level general education coursework prior to beginning the program and may receive 36 units of credit for paramedic coursework from West Lost Angeles College with concurrent enrollment.
The paramedic program at UCLA has three phases and students are required to pass each phase prior to beginning the next. The classroom/lab phase includes 540 hours of classes covering pharmacology, trauma, pathophysiology and treatment modalities. A 4-week clinical internship at a hospital follows the classroom phase, after which students move on to a 480-hour field internship with an active paramedic or rescue ambulance team.
Paramedic Refresher Course
This $350 course fee helps keep paramedics skilled and knowledgeable to maintain National Registry certification. This is required of paramedics every two years. Students will complete the necessary 48 hours of content required by the National Registry. This course does not teach new skills.
Other School Options
Within ten miles of downtown Los Angeles, East Los Angeles College offers an emergency medical assistant program. About 20 miles from downtown, East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program offers a basic EMT course.