Paramedic School: How to Become a Paramedic & Training

Paramedic School Information and How to Become a Paramedic

Paramedic school is integral part of a paramedic career as all certified paramedics have EMT certification and training, but not all EMT professionals have the knowledge and experience of trained paramedics. While both types of first responders work together to safely and effectively deal with emergencies and transportation paramedics have more extensive training background,  as well as a greater number of certifications and qualifications.

The first step

The first step in this career path is to get EMT certified. In order to register and participate in EMT classes an individual must Paramedic school and paramedic traininghave a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent, be at least eighteen years of age with a clean record, and have acquired a certain skill set. A few crititcal skills that will lead to success in an EMT career include having physical strength, being a compassionate person, and having the ability to communicate and listen in an efficient manner.

If a person meets the criteria above they are ready to seek out certification. Some paramedic schools offer all-in-one courses that will cover everything a participant needs to be an emergency medical technician and a paramedic. If a person doesn’t have the resources for a program like that, there are other options. There are many online classes and in person course opportunities available that will prepare students for the NREMT (or EMT certification exam). During these courses topics such as CPR training will be taught- a student must be proficient in certain areas in order to pass the exam. The amount of time spent training for the exam is usually around 120- 150 hours. It is usually a good idea to take an NREMT practice test to get a feel for the format and test your knowledge retention.

Field experience is extremely valuable in determining the path your career takes

After an individual has received their EMT certification it is a good idea to gain a good amount of experience in that field. It is never too late for an emergency medical technician to go back to school and pursue his or her continuing educational goals so this initial time in the field should be embraced. After gaining that important initial field experience and finding that you still wish to pursue this career it is time to enroll in a paramedic school. These schools offer programs that are administered both through online classes and in person training. During this time a student will gain more in depth medical knowledge including classes on advanced human anatomy, cardiology, and becoming I.V. certified. In order to excel in these classes participants much pass college level math, English, and biology classes. In addition to all of these courses paramedics must take an ambulance-training course that will usually be offered within the program.

When all of this next phase of training is complete, and students pass yet another certification exam, it is then time to apply for a State Paramedic License. Specific requirements and qualifications are dependent on the state where one registers. Paramedic training definitely takes longer than EMT training, but that work and extra time is shown through that fact that paramedics are allowed to do more in the field and have a more advanced knowledge of medical procedures.

Becoming a paramedic takes a lot more training than being EMT certified, in total it can take anywhere between 1,200 and 1,800 hours to complete.

Depending on the city and state where an individual applies there can be different qualifications and benefits. Take for example the City of New York- to become a NYC paramedic the procedures are simple: have a valid EMS-Paramedic Certification, a high school diploma or equivalent, and a New York State driver’s license. Once a candidate receives a job they’ll be performing tasks such as emergency response where they drive in an ambulance to accidents, crime scenes, etc. When the paramedics arrive they are expected to analyze the scene and decided if a patient needs to be taken to the hospital or if can be treated at the current location. Depending on how dire the circumstances around the event are the paramedic may have to perform medical care.

Schools and programs typically offer the specific certification that is required to become a professional in the local area around where the school has a physical presence. Students should check to make sure the specific certification they are interested in receiving will be adequate in their ideal living location. Wages for this career are above the average for all fields with the average starting salary being $37,346 in NYC. Five years into the job in New York City it rises to roughly $50,501. Along with salary paramedics are given benefits including pensions and vacation days. As you can see, this advanced career takes a lot more training and time than by simply staying an EMT, but the amount of work put into certification is definitely reflected through the difference in salaries and overall benefits- making it an option worth exploring.

Paramedic Salary Summary

RegionMedian Annual Salary
U.S.$31,020
New York City NYC$46,703
*As of 2012
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