Red Cross CPR Certification Information

Red Cross CPR certifications can demonstrate specialized competence in cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedures. Continue reading for an overview of the requirements for certification, as well as the job growth and salary info for a few career options for certified professionals.

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To obtain CPR certification, students must pass courses that teach the necessary skills to recognize, identify the type, and treat breathing emergencies. Courses can be taken that focus on adults or on children and infants. Specialized courses are also available for emergency personnel, such as firefighters and paramedics.

Essential Information

Students can earn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification through the American Red Cross by completing a training class taught by a certified instructor. Classes for performing CPR on infants, children and adults all offer detailed instruction on assessment of an emergency situation, CPR skills and other first aid skills. These classes may be taken by professionals who are required to earn CPR certification as part of their job, such as lifeguards and EMTs, or by those who elect to learn the skill, such as parents.

Required Education Completion of an American Red Cross CPR training class
Required Skills Chest compression, rescue breathing
Specialized Options Adult, child and infant CPR classes
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 5% to 8% for lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers*; 24% for EMTs and paramedics**
Median Salary (2015)** $19,500 for lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers; $31,980 for EMTs and paramedics

Sources: *O'Net Online, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Red Cross CPR Certification Overview

The American Red Cross provides CPR certification courses. These certification courses provide students with the skills needed to recognize breathing and cardiac emergencies and administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Red Cross CPR certification courses are offered in both adult CPR and child and infant CPR and are available to coaches, parents, babysitters, lifeguards and anyone else interested in being prepared for an emergency situation. In addition, some classes are intended specifically for emergency medical technicians, paramedics and rescue personnel.

Typical Certification Curriculum

For adult CPR training, participants will learn how to communicate with EMS and other officials in the event of an emergency. CPR techniques like chest compression and rescue breathing are taught and practiced, as is the use of external defibrillators (AEDs) in cardiac arrest situations. Information on blood-borne pathogens and safety is also covered. The adult CPR course length is usually four hours or so.

For those interested in learning CPR for use on children and infants, training is given in recognizing emergencies in children under 12, CPR techniques, choking care and disease transmission protection. The combined child and infant CPR course length is a minimum of five hours.

Classes in adult, child and infant CPR include written, verbal and visual instruction, practice of rescue techniques and skills testing. Individuals who successfully complete all parts of the class are given an American Red Cross CPR certification, which is nationally recognized and is good for one year.

CPR classes from the American Red Cross incorporate regulations from Occupational Safety and Health Administration's OSHA and the National Safety Council regulations. Instructors are always certified and up-to-date on all procedures for first aid and cardiopulmonary emergencies. CPR classes are offered at local Red Cross chapter offices, but can be taught at other locations as well. There is an online option from the Red Cross that combines computer instruction with in-person practice in order to complete the necessary coursework to receive certification (

CPR certification is obtained upon completion of a CPR course by an instructor certified by the American Red Cross. Classes are open to anyone who wishes to be certified, whether they are professionals (such as paramedics or life guards), or individuals wishing to be better prepared, such as parents. Though length of time required to earn your certification varies depending on the type of CPR, classes do not take more than a few hours.

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