Career Pathway

The Paramedic is an allied health professional whose primary focus is to provide advanced emergency medical care for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. This individual possesses the complex knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation. Paramedics function as part of a comprehensive EMS response, under medical oversight. Paramedics perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance. The Paramedic is a link from the scene into the health care system.

[From National EMS Scope of Practice Model]

Becoming a paramedic actually starts by becoming an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) first.  Achieving this certification takes about 13 weeks (or one college semester) to complete.  This training introduces you to the basics of EMS (Emergency Medical Services) and the 911 system.

After becoming an EMT you can apply to become a paramedic.  Paramedic training lasts much longer (typically anywhere from 18 months to 2 years – our course takes approximately 14 months – to complete).  Once finished, paramedics can work as medical providers in clinics, medical offices, hospitals, on ambulances, and for a variety of public and private entities.

After achieving paramedic certification, paramedics may qualify for other positions within EMS or other career fields entirely.  Some examples of these other healthcare programs, or jobs, are:

  • REGISTERED NURSE (Nursing School)
  • EMS EDUCATOR OR MANAGER (Associates Degree)
  • PHYSICIAN (Medical School)
  • FLIGHT PARAMEDIC (Critical Care Certification)

The average Paramedic salary varies from state to state.  In Idaho, the average salary is $43,906 as of November 23, 2022, but the range typically falls between $39,553 and $49,092. Salary ranges can also vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

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