|What is a Paramedic?
||Paramedics provide more extensive pre-hospital care than an EMT. A paramedic may administer medications, interpret EKGs, perform intubations, and use monitors and other complex equipment. A paramedic may work for local government, ambulance services, or in the hospital emergency room. Starting salaries are approximately $35,000 per year. Learn more about the career at nremt.org. The Gwinnett Tech Paramedicine program was Georgia’s first nationally accredited program.
|Length of Program
||3 semesters (not including prerequisite courses); Program courses must be taken in sequence within the prescribed time frame.
|Semester Program Begins
||Lawrenceville campus: Summer semester; Day classes 3/week.
Alpharetta-North Fulton campus: Spring semester; Day classes; 3/week.
|Minimum Age Requirement
||Age 18 at the time program starts.
|General Admission Application Process
- Apply to Gwinnett Technical College at GwinnettTech.edu, submit all transcripts from high school and previous college work, and take the Accuplacer test, if required. Students must be accepted into Gwinnett Technical College prior to applying to a program of study.
|Program Application Process
- Applicants are required to submit a copy of current certification and/or licensure as an: EMT I/85; EMT I/99; AEMT; or EMT and successful completion of all AEMT coursework.
- All applicants are required to submit a program form. Forms are available online at http://www.gwinnetttech.edu/enrollment/forms-documents/.
- Program director approval is required to enroll.
- Summer application deadline: March 22
Prerequisite deadline: End of spring semester
- Spring application deadline: October 10
Prerequisite deadline: End of fall semester
(Minimum 2.0 GPA)
|All of the following:
*These courses cannot be more than 5 years old at time of program application.
||Successful completion of all prerequisite courses; current certification and/or licensure as an: EMT I/85; EMT I/99; AEMT; or EMT and successful completion of all AEMT coursework; and submission of program form. Criminal background checks and drug screens are required based on the requirements for participation in clinical experiences.
|Program Costs and Requirements
||A student can expect to pay on top of tuition: approximately $850 for: Uniforms; malpractice insurance; textbooks; criminal background checks & drug screening; Platinum Planner; immunizations for clinicals; National Registry Exam; National Registry practical exam site fee; Georgia state licensure & Background check; other incidental costs. All costs are approximated and are subject to change.
|For more information, contact:
||Kim Smith, program support specialist, KimberlySmith@GwinnettTech.edu, 678-226-6966.
|For admission and enrollment, contact:
||Enrollment Support Center in Building 100 at the Lawrenceville campus, or Building A at the Alpharetta-North Fulton campus, or email HealthTeam@GwinnettTech.edu.
Lawrenceville Campus: 4th Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m., Building 200, Room 271
Alpharetta-North Fulton Campus: 1st Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., by appointment only
Please contact Kim Smith, KimberlySmith@GwinnettTech.edu to make an appointment
|2017 Median pay
|| $33,380 per year/ $16.05 per hour
|Entry level education
|| Associate degree, diploma
|Number of jobs, 2016
|Job growth, 2016 - 2026
|| 15% (Much faster than average)
Nature of the Work
Paramedics and EMTs represent the first response of the emergency medical system. Paramedics provide more extensive pre-hospital care than do EMTs. In addition to carrying out the procedures of the other levels, paramedics administer medications, interpret EKGs, perform endotracheal intubations, and use monitors and other complex equipment. Specific duties that paramedics are permitted to perform vary by state regulations.
Once they arrive on a scene, paramedics and EMTs assess the nature of the patient’s condition, while trying to determine whether the patient has any pre-existing medical conditions. Following protocols and guidelines, they provide emergency care and transport the patient to a medical facility. Paramedics and EMTs operate in emergency medical services systems where a physician provides medical direction and oversight.
Paramedics and EMTs use special equipment, such as backboards, to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers and securing them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility. These workers generally work in teams. During the transport of a patient, one drives, while the other monitors the patient’s vital signs and gives additional care, as needed. At the medical facility, paramedics and EMTs help transfer patients to the emergency department, report their observations and actions to emergency department staff, and may provide additional emergency treatment.
Paramedics work both indoors and out, in all types of weather. They are required to do considerable kneeling, bending, and heavy lifting. These workers are at a higher risk for contracting illnesses or experiencing injuries on the job than workers in other occupations. They risk noise-induced hearing loss from sirens and back injuries from lifting patients. In addition, paramedics may be exposed to communicable diseases, such as Hepatitis-B and AIDS, as well as to violence from mentally unstable or combative patients. The work is not only physically strenuous but can be stressful, sometimes involving life-or-death situations and suffering patients. Many paramedics are required to work more than 40 hours a week. Because emergency services function 24 hours a day, paramedics may have irregular working hours.
Paramedics and EMTs held about 248,000 jobs nationally in 2016. Employment of paramedics and EMTs is expected to grow 15 percent between 2016 and 2026.
Median annual wages nationally of EMTs and paramedics were $33,380 in May 2017. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,860 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $55,110.
Research the Career
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, EMTs and Paramedics, on the Internet at
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/emts-and-paramedics.htm (visited August 31, 2017).