About Paramedics

What does a paramedic do?

Paramedics (and EMTs) care for sick and injured patients at the site of an emergency.  They also often transport patients to a hospital or other medical facility to receive further care.  Paramedics may perform any of the duties an EMT performs.  In addition, Paramedics can also provide more extensive prehospital care to patients.  Some  of these duties may include giving medications orally and intravenously, interpreting EKGs, and using other monitors and complex equipment while triaging and treating patients.

Where do paramedics work?

Paramedics can be found working in several different settings.  They may work for ambulance companies, fire departments, and even hospitals.  Some Paramedics (and EMTs) may even be contracted by local venues to work at large-scale events.

How much does a paramedic make?

The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics has helpful information on various occupations, including median salary information.  The information for EMTs and Paramedics can be referenced by visiting this page:  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/emts-and-paramedics.htm#tab-1.

It’s important to note that the information listed here is National information, so it’s pooled together and not specific to any particular geographic location.  It also includes information on all EMTs and Paramedics regardless of their experience on the job, their work setting, etc. 

Are EMTs and paramedics the same?

EMTs and Paramedics are not the same.  While both are members of the EMS team, Paramedics have more advanced education and skills than an EMT (often referred to as an EMT-Basic) and their scope of practice in the field is greater than that of an EMT’s.

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between an EMT and a Paramedic, check out our blog, EMT vs Paramedic | What’s the difference?

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Becoming a Paramedic

Is this a good career choice for me?

When asking yourself, “is this a good career choice for me?” it’s important to ask yourself if you could see yourself doing this type of work (regardless of what the occupation may be).  The work Paramedics do daily can be extremely rewarding.  That’s because they perform a vital role within our communities, and in times of an emergency, they can be the difference between life and death.  Many may choose to pursue a career as an Paramedic because they want to take their EMS career to the next level and they enjoy making a difference and giving back in their local community.  At the same time, a career as a Paramedic can also be challenging.  No two days are likely the same when you work in the EMS field, and you’re often thrust into a variety of emergency situations.  While the work can be stressful, many take great pride in knowing that the work they do is meaningful and helps people in their local community.  Paramedics may also be seen as leaders as they may often work shoulder-to-shoulder with EMTs and help guide and mentor them on-the-job.

How do I become a paramedic?

To become a Paramedic, the first step one must take is making sure they meet the requirements for enrolling in a Paramedic program.  In some cases, this may be as simple as having attended an EMT-Basic training program.  In other cases, you may need to have your EMT license already.  It’s important to research this in advance to know what to expect.  Once you’re clear on the requirements, you want to enroll in a Paramedic training program.  You will want to choose a Paramedic training program approved by the state in which you wish to become licensed, and work.  Once you successfully complete your Paramedic training, you’ll need to challenge the NREMT exam for Paramedics.  Upon successfully completing this exam, you can pursue licensure as a Paramedic with the state.  In Michigan, licensure is required to obtain gainful employment as a Paramedic.

What training do you need to be a paramedic?

To become a Paramedic, you’ll want to seek out a training program that helps build on the knowledge and skills obtained during your EMT training.  Paramedic training is designed to not only help you obtain the knowledge, but also develop the skills needed to succeed in your career as a Paramedic.  Since Paramedics perform more advanced duties than an EMT does on the job, a good training program will expose students to these topics and skills to help prepare them for what they will face once they are licensed as a Paramedic and working in the field.

How long is paramedic school?

Generally speaking, Paramedic school takes 1-2 years to complete.  This may be based on a variety of factors including the school you select and how classes are scheduled. 

Will I be able to find a job?

There are a number of factors that may influence a candidate’s ability to obtain gainful employment in their respective field.  As such, it’s always a good idea to look at the occupation you’re considering to see if the job outlook is positive.

According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of EMTs and Paramedics is projected to grow 5% from 2022-2032.  This projected growth is faster than average for all occupations.  1

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Dorsey College paramedic program

What will be covered in the program?

The Paramedic program at Dorsey College is designed to prepare students with the  knowledge, communication skills, and technical skills to respond to, assess, and triage emergent, urgent, and non‐ urgent requests for medical care working in emergency medical services. The Paramedic training program includes fundamental skills needed to save lives in emergency medical situations. The Paramedic program builds on the knowledge attained in the emergency medical technician (EMT) program with an even greater emphasis on pathophysiology of the human body. The curriculum includes the necessary skills to analyze a patient’s signs and symptoms and determine an appropriate course of treatment. Paramedics can perform skills (in addition to those skills learned in EMT) such as intravenous access, endotracheal intubation, cardiac monitoring and electrical therapy, medication administration, pleural decompression, and emergency airway access (cricothyrotomy).  In addition to these skills, team leadership benchmarks are incorporated into the Paramedic program.

Is the program hands-on?

Yes! Students in the Paramedic program will have opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in class and during unpaid clinical hours.

How long is the program?

The Paramedic program at Dorsey College is designed to be completed within the time frame of 14-16 months (based on a 10-12 hour per week schedule), as published in the school catalog.

Why should I choose Dorsey College?

Students choose Dorsey College over other career training schools for a variety of reasons. You can learn more by visiting The Dorsey Difference page.

Which Dorsey College campuses offer my program?

The Paramedic program is offered at the following Dorsey College campus locations:  

How do I enroll?

If you’re interested in enrolling in the Paramedic program at Dorsey College, the first step you should take is meeting with one of our Admissions Representatives.  Request information online and a member of our team will be back in touch with you shortly.   You can read more about our Admissions process on our Admissions information page.


Will the program prepare me for licensure?

Yes.  The Paramedic program at Dorsey College is designed to prepare students to challenge the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam for EMT-P after successfully completing our program and meeting the necessary requirements to apply for the exam.  

Dorsey College has determined that its Paramedic training program curriculum is sufficient to fulfill educational requirements for licensure in the State of Michigan only. No educational determinations have been made for any other state, district, or US territory in regards to licensure requirements.

Is your school accredited?

Yes, you can read more by visiting our Accreditation page.

What are the tuition and fees for the program?

Information regarding the current tuition and fees for the Dorsey College Paramedic program can be accessed by visiting our Student Consumer Information page by clicking here

Can you help me find a job after graduation?

Dorsey College offers Career Services assistance to all program completers, however, job placement is not guaranteed by Dorsey College. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page.

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Additional Information

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, EMTs and Paramedics,

at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/emts-and-paramedics.htm (visited December 21, 2023).