We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Become a Paramedic?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PracticalAdultInsights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are a vital part of getting health care to people who need it. Paramedics are at the highest rung of EMT training, and capable of providing a wide number of medical interventions designed to stabilize patients while they are brought to a hospital. Paramedics work on ambulances, helicopters, and in emergency rooms to assist in providing care. Although becoming a paramedic requires extensive training, depending on which level you intend to certify to, the work is very rewarding.

Individuals interested in becoming a paramedic should be aware that because emergency services operate on 24 hour schedules, they may find themselves with irregular job schedules. The work is varied, but can also be very emotionally draining, especially in areas with high incidents of injury. Competition for positions as a paramedic varies, but tends to be the most intense in urban areas, which pay their paramedic staffs better.

To be a paramedic, you must be physically fit. Paramedics often extract patients from physically demanding situations, and must be able to lift and carry a substantial amount of weight. In addition to the weight of the patient, paramedics also carry heavy bags of gear to treat patients. If you are a paramedic on an ambulance, you will also have shifts driving the vehicle, which requires special training for safety.

Becoming a paramedic begins with the training. Standards for training vary from state to state, but generally begin with EMT-1, which is first responder training. EMT-1s can provide limited patient interventions, take vital signs, and offer basic life support including administration of oxygen and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). EMT-1s cannot administer injected medications. EMT-2s and EMT-3s can offer more life support services, as well as offering injected and oral medications. A paramedic, or EMT-4, has the highest level of training.

Paramedics are able to provide advanced life support, interpret diagnostic equipment, use medical devices which assist in breathing, and use stomach suction equipment. The range of drugs they can use under the direction of a physician is more broad. Becoming a paramedic reflects an advanced level of training and field work.

Training to be an EMT begins in the classroom, where courses range from a few weeks for EMT-1s to full two year programs for some paramedics. In the classroom, students learn about anatomy and physiology. They also learn about how to intervene in medical emergencies, what sort of drugs they can use to assist patients, and how to handle a wide variety of social situations which may accompany medical emergencies. After a set amount of classroom training, trainees are permitted to ride along in ambulances, where they observe and assist with patient care.

After training, an examination is administered. A successful pass results in certification as a paramedic. Paramedics can work in a wide variety of environments, or can go back to school for further training. Some paramedics decide to pursue careers as doctors, nurses, or hospital supervisors. The range of opportunities for certified paramedics is wide, and employment is available all over the United States. A career as a paramedic, as in many fields of health care, can be very rewarding.

PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a PracticalAdultInsights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon257714 — On Mar 28, 2012

I just really want to do this but I don't know where I would go to school.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
PracticalAdultInsights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PracticalAdultInsights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.