Which California Schools Offer Paramedic Training?

Learn about paramedic schools in California. Get information about programs available and admission requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Depending on which program you select, you could earn a paramedic certificate in six to 18 months. These programs typically provide the training needed to prepare you to pass the certification exam. You could also earn an associate's degree in the field. A degree program takes 2-3 years to complete and includes general education requirements.


Paramedic Certificate Programs in California

American River College

  • Program Name: Paramedic Certificate
  • Program Length: 12 months, full-time
  • Tuition: $46 per credit hour (in-state), $254 per credit hour (non-resident/international) for Fall 2012
  • Prerequisites: 'C' or better in anatomy, physiology, nursing and premed coursework
  • Requirements: Current EMT-1 (Basic) certification, 1 year of EMT experience and high school diploma
  • School Type: 2-year, public; almost 33,500 undergraduate students
  • Address: 4700 College Oak Drive, Sacramento, CA 95841
  • Phone: (916) 484-8843

American River College (ARC) in Sacramento offers a 1-year paramedic certificate program. To earn the certificate, students must complete roughly 36-43 credit hours in classes and labs, as well as field and clinical experiences. Alternatively, ARC offers a paramedic associate's degree program, which requires the completion of additional general education coursework. In addition to tuition, students must pay roughly $1,200 in start-up costs for items like uniforms, malpractice insurance and lab fees.

Foothill College

  • Program Name: Paramedic Certificate
  • Program Length: 12-18 months
  • Tuition: $31 per credit (in-state)
  • Prerequisites: Pass a math course or achieve a satisfactory score on the Foothill College Placement Test
  • Requirements: 6 months of EMT experience, current CPR and EMT-1 (Basic) licenses and high school diploma or GED
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 17,500 undergraduate students
  • Address: 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
  • Phone: 650-949-6955

Located in Los Altos Hills, near San Jose, California, Foothill College offers a paramedic certificate program for students seeking to enter this career field. At least 56.5 units of credit are required to graduate. Due to the intense nature of this program, the college recommends that students work no more than 2-3 days per week while enrolled. Foothill also offers an associate's degree program, which requires 96.5 credits, including general education courses.

City College of San Francisco

  • Program Name: Certificate of Achievement in Paramedic
  • Program Length: About 18 months
  • Tuition: $46 per credit hour (in-state), $233 per credit hour (non-resident/international) for 2012
  • Prerequisites: Score of 75% or higher on EMT review test
  • Requirements: EMT-1 (Basic) certification and 6 months of field experience (recommended)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 33,000 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 50 Phelan Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112
  • Phone: 415-239-3000

City College of San Francisco (CCSF) offers a paramedic certificate program that will prepare you for the national paramedic licensure exam. Coursework includes paramedic theory courses about topics like trauma and cardiac care, job roles and human systems. There's also an associate's degree program that combines paramedic training with general education courses. For both programs, the curriculum includes a 12-credit field experience in addition to classroom training.

Mt. San Antonio College

  • Program Name: Certificate of Completion for Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic
  • Program Length: Just over 6 months
  • Tuition: $26 per credit hour (in-state) for 2012
  • Prerequisites: Passing scores on the school's college placement examination, credit for equivalent coursework or a college degree; completion of EMS-1 Fundamentals for Paramedics
  • Requirements: EMT-1 (Basic) license, 6 months of EMT experience, physical exam, ambulance driver's license and valid CPR card
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 29,000 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 1100 N. Grand Avenue, Walnut, CA 91789
  • Phone: 909-594-5611

Located in Walnut, California, near Los Angeles, Mt. San Antonio College (MTSAC) offers a paramedic certificate program that lasts 29 weeks and offers 3 start dates annually. All students must complete a pre-course before embarking on program training. There are 39 total units in the program, including clinical and field internships. In addition to its certificate offering, MTSAC also allows paramedic students to earn an associate's degree.


Paramedic Associate's Degree Programs in California

American River College

  • Program Name: Paramedic Associate in Science
  • Program Length: Usually 2-2.5 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $46 per credit hour (in-state), $254 per credit hour (non-resident/international) for Fall 2012
  • Prerequisites: Grade of 'C' or higher in anatomy, nursing, physiology and paramedicine coursework
  • Requirements: 1 year of EMT experience, current EMT-1 (Basic) certification and a high school diploma
  • School Type: 2-year, public; nearly 33,500 undergraduates
  • Address: 4700 College Oak Drive, Sacramento, CA 95841
  • Phone: 916-484-8843

The large suburban campus of ARC is located in the northern part of Sacramento. ARC's paramedic certificate program requires just 1 year of full-time paramedic study, but students who'd like to earn an associate's degree must complete a total of 60 credit hours in both paramedic training and general education courses. Students who take 15 credits per semester should be able to complete the program in about 2 years.

City College of San Francisco

  • Program Name: Associate in Science Degree with a Major in Paramedic Training
  • Program Length: Usually between 2.5 and 3 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $46 per credit hour (in-state), $233 per credit hour (non-resident/international) for 2012
  • Prerequisites: Pass EMT review test with score of 75% or higher
  • Requirements: 6 months of field experience (recommended) and EMT-1 (Basic) certification
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 33,000 undergraduates
  • Address: 50 Phelan Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112
  • Phone: 415-239-3000

Completion of CCSF's paramedic associate's degree program will qualify you to sit for local and national paramedic certification/licensure exams. The coursework for the major includes classroom and practical instruction, as well as both field and clinical internships, for a total of 12 classes (53 credits). To earn the associate's degree, though, you'll need to complete a minimum of 8 general education courses in areas like natural science and humanities. You may also need to complete a math course if you aren't able to test out of it.


Paramedic Requirements in California

If you want to become a paramedic in California, you'll need to complete certain steps - there are no shortcuts to acquiring life-saving skills and obtaining work in this growing field. First, you'll need to get trained and certified as an EMT-Basic by completing 120 hours of training in an approved program and passing the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. At this point, you can apply for California EMT-Basic certification if you pass a criminal background check and you're at least 18 years old.

The next step is to complete an accredited 1,090-hour paramedic training program. To enroll, you'll need to meet all of the EMT-Basic requirements and also hold a high school diploma or GED. Most programs also prefer that applicants have 6 months to 1 year of paramedic work experience. After completing your training, you'll need to pass the NREMT exam for paramedics, at which point you can apply for both California state licensure and local accreditation for the county you'd like to work in. You'll need to renew your certification every 2 years by taking 48 hours of continuing education courses.

Salary and Career Outlook Info for Paramedics

The number of jobs for EMTs and paramedics will increase by 33% nationally from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations in the U.S. The BLS also reported that in California, EMTs and paramedics earned a mean annual salary of just over $36,000 per year as of May 2011. This is a bit higher than the national average for this career, which is roughly $34,000 per annum.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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