How Long Does It Take to Become a Paramedic?

By Beth Greenwood; Updated July 05, 2017
Paramedic taking care of victim in ambulance
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Paramedics undergo three levels of training, that encompasses emergency medical technician (EMT) and advanced medical training . EMT training typically takes about one year and provides the basic skills in emergency management, trauma care and field work. Advanced EMT training takes an additional 300 hours and includes complex airway management, intravenous fluids and administration of some medications. After completing the first two levels, advanced medical skills training is required to become a paramedic.

What's Involved in the Training

Paramedic programs are typically offered by technical-vocational schools, community colleges and universities. A high school diploma or GED is typically required. Emergency response organizations may also offer paramedic training. Typical courses include anatomy and physiology, emergency response management and vehicle extraction techniques. Programs last approximately 1,200 hours or one year, and many offer an associate degree. In addition to the basic tasks of EMT training, paramedics learn more complex skills, such as stitching wounds, and may be authorized to give intravenous medications. Although specific requirements vary by state, all states require paramedics to be licensed. In some states, a certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians qualifies the worker for a license, while others require passing a licensing exam.

About the Author

Beth Greenwood is an RN and has been a writer since 2010. She specializes in medical and health topics, as well as career articles about health care professions. Greenwood holds an Associate of Science in nursing from Shasta College.