Paramedic Training in Florida with Certification Options

Florida has more than 45 schools that offer paramedic training programs. Learn about the certificate and degree programs, tuition info, and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Paramedic programs are most often found at 2-year schools or 4-year colleges that primarily offer 2-year degrees. Students have the option to choose between certificate and associate's degree programs. Both types of programs typically take two years to complete, but students in the associate's degree program take additional paramedic and general education courses. In order to be admitted into a paramedic program, students may need to undergo a background check and physical exam. EMT certification is another common requirement for admittance.

Completion of any of the following programs earns a student eligibility to take the Florida Paramedic State Board exam.

Broward College

Based out of Ft. Lauderdale, Broward College offers students a choice between a paramedic technical certificate and an Associate in Science in EMS. The EMS programs at Broward College are structured on a three-tier system, the first of which is an EMT diploma. Currently certified EMTs may then begin the paramedic training curriculum (second tier), which is also included in the degree program (third tier). Coursework required by the paramedic program includes didactic lecture, skills labs, and field-based clinical opportunities. Students earning a certificate will complete 42 credit hours over four semesters; degree-seeking students will earn a total of 75 credit hours, including 18 credit hours in general education classes. The paramedic program is offered at the college's Health Sciences, Central, and North campuses.

Eastern Florida State College

The paramedic program offered at Eastern Florida State College is available exclusively at the school's Cocoa campus. Coursework specific to the paramedic college credit certificate program may be completed in three semesters. Applications must be received by July 1 for the fall program start or March 15 to begin classes in the summer. Students accepted to the program must pass a background check, provide proof of health liability and accident insurance, and submit documentation of a completed physical exam. An Associate in Science in EMS (emergency medical services) degree program is also available at BCC for students interested in meeting general education requirements in addition to completing the paramedic program. Currently certified paramedics may transfer credits towards the A.S. degree as long as all qualification requirements are met.

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville offers three training options to students who want to become paramedics. The paramedic technical certificate requires a total of 42 credit hours of coursework to be completed over the course of one year. Students who earn the technical certificate may apply credit hours toward the Associate in Science in EMS degree. The degree program requires the completion of 73 credit hours: 16 credit hours of general education classes, 53 credit hours in professional courses, and 4 credit hours in professional electives. The Florida Coast Career Tech division of the college also offers a paramedic workforce certificate. Based on a different credit scheme and requiring a total of 1,100 contact hours, the workforce technical certificate program is designed specifically to prepare students for the state certification exams.

Hillsborough Community College

Paramedic students at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa may earn a college credit certificate or an Associate in Science in EMS degree. The core curriculum for both programs is identical; degree-seeking students must also complete an additional 20 credit hours of general education courses. Coursework includes classroom-based lectures, skills labs, and clinical training. Applicants to the paramedic program must be certified as EMTs, at least 18 years of age, and free from substance addictions. Currently certified paramedics are also eligible to apply for the A.S. program.

Indian River State College

Indian River State College, located in Fort Pierce, offers a ten-month certificate program that prepares students for careers as paramedics. Applicants to the program must be at least 18 years old, currently certified EMTs in Florida, and able to pass background checks and drug screening tests. The 46-credit hour curriculum includes an internship as well as two courses dedicated entirely to gaining experience in the field. The college also offers an Associate in Science in EMS degree. The 73-credit hour degree program includes all courses required by the certificate program as well as general education and elective courses.

Miami Dade College

Based out of its namesake city of Miami, this college is the largest and most culturally diverse in the country. Its School of Health Sciences offers both a paramedic certificate program and an Associate in Science in EMS degree program. The certificate program requires the completion of 42 credit hours of coursework over three semesters. Comparatively, the 73-credit hour A.S. program can be completed in two years. Both programs are offered at the college's Medical Campus, though clinical hours may be served at a variety of locations throughout Dade County. Applicants to the certificate program must be EMT certified; the degree track has been designed to meet the needs of certified, employed paramedics serving in the field.

Palm Beach State College

Students attending Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth may choose to earn a college credit certificate as a paramedic or work toward earning an Associate in Science in EMS. The curriculum required by the paramedic certificate program is included in the degree program; the A.S. program also requires the completion of general education classes. Applicants to the paramedic program must hold a GED or high school diploma and be certified as an EMT in Florida (or eligible to take the state-required certification exams and pass with a score of 70 or better). Students attending full-time may complete the certificate program in three semesters; the A.S. degree may be earned in two years by full-time students or three years for those attending part-time. Following the completion of the degree program, students may transfer credit hours to the college's Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management.

Seminole State College of Florida

Sanford-based Seminole State College of Florida offers a paramedic technology college credit certificate and an Associate in Science in EMS degree. The 42-credit hour certificate program can be completed in three semesters and is a limited-access program. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, meet minimum testing score requirements, be currently certified or eligible for certification in Florida as an EMT, and pass both a background check and a drug screening. The certificate program curriculum is included in the degree program's coursework; additionally, the A.S. program mandates that students meet minimum general education requirements. Both programs' curriculums include didactic instruction, clinical training, and field internships. The A.S. degree is transferable to the University of Central Florida for students wishing to pursue a bachelor's degree in applied science.

St. Petersburg College

Located in Clearwater, St. Petersburg College offers a 42-credit hour paramedic certificate program and a 73-credit hour Associate in Science in EMS. All courses required by the certificate program are also included in the degree program's required classes list. The paramedic program is divided into four sessions (semesters) and begins in either January or May. Applicants must be currently certified EMTs in Florida, pass a drug screening and background check, and submit completed application materials by September 15 for the spring semester or January 15 to begin in the summer term. In addition to the paramedic program curriculum, degree-seeking students must earn 19 credit hours in general education classes and nine credit hours in support coursework.

Valencia College

Valencia College in Orlando offers a paramedic technology certificate and an Associate in Science degree in EMS technology. The degree program is divided into three parts: an EMT diploma program, the paramedic certificate program, and additional general education and elective classes demanded by the A.S. program. Applicants to the certificate program must provide documentation of a clear background check, drug screening, and immunization record. The 42-credit hour paramedic program is estimated to cost about $5,800 for tuition, fees, and associated expenses. The college's paramedic program is a limited-access program and ranks applicants on a point system, giving special consideration to completed industry-related courses, work experience as an EMT, and GPA. The paramedic program is offered at both the West and Osceola campuses, beginning in the fall and spring, respectively.

Career Requirements

The state of Florida requires that all emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics complete a certification exam to gain licensure to practice. The paramedic certification test is state-developed and is administered by a partner company called Prometric. Candidates must pass the computer-based examination with a score of 80% or better to earn certification.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Paramedic Certificate and/or Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*
Broward College 4-year, public, primarily associate's; large suburb Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$2,830 in-state;
$8,952 out-of-state
Eastern Florida State College 4-year, public, primarily associate's; large suburb Paramedic College Credit Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$2,496 in-state;
$9,739 out-of-state
Florida State College at Jacksonville 4-year, public, primarily associate's; large city Paramedic Workforce Certificate,
Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$2,878 in-state;
$9,992 out-of-state
Hillsborough Community College 2-year, public; large city Paramedic College Credit Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$2,506 in-state;
$9,111 out-of-state
Indian River State College 4-year, public, primarily associate's; large suburb Paramedic Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$2,764 in-state;
$10,201 out-of-state*
Miami Dade College 4-year, public, primarily associate's; large city Paramedic Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$2,838 in-state;
$9,661 out-of-state
Palm Beach State College 4-year, public, primarily associate's; large suburb Paramedic College Credit Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$2,444 in-state;
$8,732 out-of-state
Seminole State College of Florida 4-year, public, primarily associate's; small city Paramedic Technology College Credit Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$3,131 in-state;
$11,456 out-of-state
St. Petersburg College 4-year, public, primarily associate's; small city Paramedic Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$2,682 in-state;
$9,286 out-of-state
Valencia College 4-year, public, primarily associate's; mid-sized city Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.S. in EMS
$2,474 in-state;
$9,383 out-of-state

Sources: *NCES College Navigator.

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