In the event of an accident or disaster, a paramedic is often the first one on scene to help the victims. If you like to help others in their time of need, you may wish to pursue a career in this field. Not only will you provide immediate care for someone who is sick or injured, you will also be responsible for transferring them to a medical facility and working with the doctors to provide emergency treatment if needed.
This is a rewarding field that is expected to grow as fast as other occupations do on average in the United States. One thing to keep in mind when looking at becoming a paramedic is the fact that emergency medical services operate 24 hours a day so your hours will most likely be irregular. If this exciting career path is on your radar then your first question should be how to become a paramedic. Becoming a paramedic requires specific education and licensing requirements so read on to find out the specifics.
In order to become a paramedic, you must first obtain a high school diploma. This is a requirement for most, if not all, formal training programs. There are three basic levels of emergency medical technicians with paramedic being the highest. Here you will need to study physiology and anatomy along with other advanced medical skills. Technical schools and community colleges offer programs designed to help you achieve this goal and many will reward you with an associate degree. Expect to spend one to two years on your schooling. When coursework is complete, you will then need to take the NREMT exam.
Licensing is required in the District of Columbia and all 50 states. Requirements do vary by state and most demand that the NREMT exam been completed successfully. Some states will offer their own exam and you may be given the option of which test to take. Your license must be renewed periodically. Most states have you complete the certification process every two to three years and continuing education or refresher courses are a part of this process.
In order to become fully licensed all prospective paramedics must pass a criminal background check.
As a paramedic you can expect to make a median hourly wage of $14.10 as of May 2008. Those in the bottom 10% earned a median wage of less than $9.08 while those in the top 10% earned higher than $23.77 an hour. Local government tends to pay more than ambulatory health care services. All should be considered before you determine if this is the right career choice for you.
Good Qualities To Have
- Emotionally stable with the ability to handle extreme situations
- Good dexterity
- Great agility
- High level of physical coordination
- Ability to lift and carry heavy loads
- Good eyesight (non color blind)
Good Intro Video On What You Should Do In Order To Become A Paramedic