Paramedic Training in Pennsylvania: Information and Requirements

Jan 02, 2019

Research paramedic training programs in Pennsylvania, which currently has 14 schools offering these programs. Read overviews of the degrees and certificate programs and get some quick facts for two Pennsylvania schools to decide which program is right for you.

Pennsylvania Schools Offering Paramedic Training Programs

Aspiring paramedics must complete advanced training and obtain professional certification and state licensure before seeking employment. In Pennsylvania, this type of training is offered mainly at the certificate and associate's degree levels by community colleges. To enter a paramedic program, applicants might be required to already hold state EMT-Basic certification and have completed at least 100 emergency calls. Graduates are prepared to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam to become certified paramedics.

Details about two colleges and their paramedic training programs are found below. Read about required coursework and hands-on clinical experiences. Find helpful facts about each school in the table.

  • Delaware County Community College offers a certificate and an associate's degree for paramedic training. The college's main campus is located in Media, PA, 25 miles west of downtown Philadelphia.
  • Harrisburg Area Community College's main campus is found within downtown Harrisburg. EMTs can earn a certificate or associate's degree in paramedic studies.

Comparison of Schools

If you are interested in training to become a paramedic, you might examine specific programs as well as information about the schools offering these programs. Below are statistics and figures regarding each school's tuition, population, acceptance rates, financial aid and more.

Delaware County Community College Harrisburg Area Community College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 11,030 18,681
Campus Setting Large suburb Small city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $5,291 (in-district)
$9,075 (in-state)
$12,830 (out-of-state)
$6,473 (in-district)
$7,725 (in-state)
$9,225 (out-of-state)
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 66% 78%
Acceptance Rate (2017) 100% (open admissions) 100% (open admissions)
Retention Rate (2017)* 58% 56%
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students who began in 2014)* 17% 11%

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Delaware County Community College

Delaware County Community College is a 2-year public school with five campuses, and several are within driving distance of Philadelphia, PA. Total student enrollment is just over 11,000 and the student-to-teacher ratio is 17:1.

Certificate of Proficiency - Paramedic

This certificate program teaches students the skills necessary to become a paramedic. Students learn to manage physical and emotional stress, function on a pre-hospital team and safely drive an emergency vehicle. The 40-credit program covers anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, airway ventilation and management, patient assessment skills, cardiology and basic EMT skills. Students will also complete clinical rotations.

Associate in Applied Science in Paramedic - Advanced Life Support

Students take 70-71 credits during this 2-year degree program, learning nursing mathematics, anatomy, advanced life support, patient assessment, airway management and medical emergency skills. Additional classes in the humanities, English composition and psychology are also required. To obtain clinical experience, students rotate through hospitals in Delaware County. This program is offered as a part-time program for those who work.

Harrisburg Area Community College

Harrisburg Area Community College is a 2-year public school with a student population of more than 18,000. Besides the main campus in Harrisburg, PA, the school has four other campuses and three satellite locations in southeast Pennsylvania.

EMT Certificate

The EMT certificate program takes approximately 220 hours to complete. Students take classes in advanced life support and rescue as well as human biology, illnesses and disease. Classes take place at the Harrisburg campus. Learning is reinforced with both hospital and field experiences. Upon completion, 30 credit hours can be applied toward an associate's degree in the health sciences.

Associate in Applied Science in Health Science, Paramedic Track

The Associate in Applied Science in Health Science has a paramedic track that requires applicants to already hold certification as a paramedic, and 30 credits will be applied toward the degree for this certification. In the program, students learn about rescue, EMS systems, psychology and sociology. Students can complete the traditional classroom portion of the paramedic program online. Besides participating in field and hospital experiences, paramedic students also complete an externship. This 62-credit program takes roughly six semesters to complete.

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