To become a paramedic, you must first meet the requirements set by both the state and the school of your choice. You will then need to graduate a paramedic program, upon which you will take the NREMT-P exams and/or a state licensing exam. Once you officially receive credentials from an EMS agency in your state, you’ll able to work as an EMT-P.
If you’re interesting in pursuing a career as a paramedic, here are 3 steps you must take:
How to Become a Paramedic: The Requirements
Requirements vary from state to state, but generally, the eligibility requirements for most paramedic schools/programs are as follows:
· You must be 18 years old.
· You must be a high school graduate, or have a GED.
· You must have a valid driver’s license.
· You must have certain certifications (CPR, for example).
· You must be a licensed EMT (though actual EMT experience isn’t typically a prerequisite).
From there, the requirements for becoming a paramedic can differ greatly.
In some states, like Oregon, while you need to be at least 18 years old in order to enroll in paramedic program, students will actually need an Associate’s Degree or higher to become licensed to practice.
2) Apply to a Paramedic Program
Figuring out which school to apply to can be overwhelming, but it’s all about selecting a program that you most feel gives you the best education and training.
Whichever program you choose, we highly recommend all paramedic students consider enrolling in an accredited school/program. Come January 1, 2013, all prospective paramedics who want to become Nationally Registered will need to have graduated from an accredited paramedic program in order to do so.
3) Graduate. Get Certified. Become Licensed.
After you graduate from a paramedic program, you’ll likely want to become nationally certified through the NREMT. This requires passing the NREMT exams, which consist of both a computer adaptive test and a skills test.
Passing the NREMT exams is a demonstration of meeting a national certification standard. It also gives you greater flexibility should you move to another state and apply for reciprocity (provided it’s a state that accepts the National Registry as their standard for entry and licensure).
But becoming Nationally Registered doesn’t grant you permission to practice. Only the state you plan to work in can do that, and that’s through licensure. Becoming licensed can oftentimes be as simple as providing the state with a copy of your NREMT card. Some states, however, require those seeking licensure to take a state test.
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