How To Become A Paramedic – General Info

In the world of Emergency Medical Technicians there is a very clear and achievable career path that greatly helps people to decide on where they want their careers to go. Many EMTs find that once they have achieved their EMT license and gain some experience, they want to extend the amount of help they are allowed to provide their patients. In addition the motivating factor is also the higher wages that come with greater training and experience.

In this article we will provide you with some very general rules and requirements that you should be aware of. If you do decide to take the step towards becoming a Paramedic then you should use the map below to take you to your state specific requirements and information about the training and application process.


The General Requirements

There are some requirements and restrictions that all states have, and these include being at least 18 years of age, having a criminal background check, taking an approved Paramedic course and passing the relevant exams. The process for these differs from state to state, but you should at least know that these are general requirements prior to planning to become a Paramedic.


Criminal Background Check

While the process for the criminal background check varies from state to state, what does remain the same is that certain criminal convictions will not allow you to become a licensed Paramedic. Some states publish the specific felony crimes they do not allow, while others suggest contacting the local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency for further details. In all states, however, applications with criminal convictions are reviewed on an individual basis to assess the details of the crime. If you have a criminal conviction it definitely makes sense to find out first if the crime would make licensing impossible.


Approved Training Course

It is very important that you only sign up for state approved training courses. This is relevant to both the Paramedic and CPR course, if required by your state EMS Agency. Before you register and pay for a Paramedic course it is recommended that you check with the EMS Agency in your state and verify that the training provider is indeed approved by the state.

Course length varies from state to state and among training providers but generally the training is spread over a 1 to 2 year period which includes a clinical field placement.



Almost all states require that you pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exams in order to obtain a Paramedic license. The NREMT examination is divided into a practical exam and a written/cognitive exam. The written exam is provided through computer based testing, while the practical exam will require you to demonstrate procedures learnt during training.

For more specific information for the state that you live in, please click on the map below which will take you to a state specific information page. This page will include requirements and information on approved training providers as well as information on the application process.