Paramedics are healthcare professionals who are able to provide advanced levels of care outside of the hospital setting. Paramedics are considered to be paraprofessionals, working under medical oversight, providing care between an accident scene and an emergency room. Paramedic training, therefore, is rigorous, but varies from state to state.
- The first step in paramedic training is to obtain basic EMT training. This level is often available at community colleges across the United States. Most individuals require about six months to achieve the necessary 120 to 150 hours of training.
- One must take a state certification test.
- Those seeking to become paramedics generally work as EMTs in the field for a few years before seeking further training.
- Paramedic training requires an additional 1200 to 1800 hours of study and field work, and some programs require a certain level of EMT experience for admission.
Paramedic training is often the equivalent of two years of education at a community college, followed by passing a state licensing exam. Paramedic training, while more extensive, will provide greater career opportunities than the EMT level, as well as a larger salary and greater responsibility. Paramedic training can take one beyond working in an ambulance, including working on a life support helicopter. Those who enjoy the career would say that paramedic training was well worth the time and effort.