Paramedic training usually requires a high school diploma or equivalent in order to advance with the certification. The process of becoming an emergency medical technician begins with the preliminary certification, known as basic. Subsequent levels include intermediate and the most advanced, paramedic. The basic EMT level focus on emergency skills lie airway, breathing, circulation, acute trauma, cardiac / heart issues, and patient evaluation (triage). Besides class work, candidates are also expected to participate in real world settings such as emergency departments and ambulances.

Once the basic level is completed, graduates must take both a written test and a practical one demonstrating life saving techniques such as CPR, etc. The next level, intermediate, usually requires another couple of hundred hours for proper training. Intermediate EMTs learn intravenous administration of fluids, drug application, and advanced airway devices.

The final level of training is for the paramedic. This instruction requires advanced knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and medical skills. These courses are often offered at a community or junior college, and because they may take up two years, it is possible to graduate with an associate degree. Shorter training programs, on the order of one year, are also available. In order to become a fully licensed paramedic, once against the candidate must pass a national NREMT exam. Besides course work, field practice is an absolute necessity and will be tested as part of the process.