The steps you’ll need to take to earn paramedic certification may depend on the jurisdiction in which you plan to work. In general, however, you’ll need to start out by earning a high school or general educational development (GED) diploma. Then, you’ll usually need to earn certification as an emergency medical technician (EMT) as well as in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). With these credentials secured, you may then enroll in a paramedic certification training program. Finally, you may have to pass practical and written tests to earn paramedic certification, and a medical examination may be part of the process as well.
If you want to earn paramedic certification, you’ll likely need to earn a high school diploma as a prerequisite. Any science courses you take during high school may help prepare you for this career. Biology and anatomy courses may prove particularly helpful as you work toward paramedic certification. Additionally, participating in activities and taking courses that help you develop better communication skills may help you prepare for this people-oriented position. You may also prepare for paramedic certification by earning a GED, but a high school diploma is typically preferred.
In many places, aspiring paramedics have to meet prerequisite requirements before they can enter a paramedic training program. For example, you may be required to earn certification as an EMT before you can begin paramedic training that leads to certification. You may also need CPR certification as well as a clear drug screening. Additionally, you may be required to submit to a medical exam.
As part of the process of earning paramedic certification, you’ll typically have to complete a paramedic training program that is approved by the health department or a similar authority in your jurisdiction. The exact contents of such a program may vary, but you’ll typically need to take classes that cover such areas as medical terminology and the legalities involved in providing emergency care. The classes you take may also cover defibrillation, life support, and intravenous therapy. You may also learn about pharmacology and procedures for dealing with a range of emergencies.
After you’ve completed paramedic training, you’ll likely need to take an exam or series of exams to earn paramedic certification. The exact requirements you'll face may depend on the jurisdiction in which you are seeking certification. Most jurisdictions require aspiring paramedics to pass both written and practical exams, however.