CPR Instructor Certification Programs with Career Info

While CPR instructor certification programs don't typically grant students certification, these programs can train them to take the certification examination. Learn more about these programs ahead, including information on requirements, courses and career prospects.

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Essential Information

CPR instructor certification programs prepare candidates to teach and certify individuals in CPR courses. Participants typically don't get certified through the program, unless it is a program offered by a certifying agency, and must go through certification steps to complete their training. After completing a program and certification process, individuals are ready to perform CPR procedures and explain how to perform those procedures to others. Some CPR instructor courses may also include instruction in first aid and usage of Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Depending on the program, applicants may need to be a certain age, be previously certified in CPR and have completed prior instructor training. Upon completion of a program, participants are able to demonstrate the correct CPR techniques, define the related terminology, recognize and explain the warning signs of heart attacks, strokes, and other life threatening conditions, explain the steps and processes of administering life-saving techniques to infants, children, and adults, correctly use visual and instructional aids to explain life-saving procedures, and evaluate others who are learning CPR.

Education Prerequisites

To enroll in a CPR instructor program, individuals usually have to meet minimum age requirements and hold a current CPR certification. Some instructor programs may be selective in who is admitted into a program, requiring individuals to pass a pre-approval screening. Some programs require students to complete a core or fundamental instructor program and exam before being enrolled in the main instructor program.

Course Topics

Programs are usually completed over 1-3 days and involve classroom instruction and a hands-on portion where students demonstrate their skills and proficiency in CPR. Topics covered in a program may include:

  • CPR techniques for infants, children, and adults
  • First aid for children and adults
  • Basic principles of teaching
  • Instructor organization
  • Emergency response strategies
  • Safety procedures for emergency care
  • AED techniques

Popular Career Options

Individuals who are trained CPR instructors are prepared to teach others to perform life-saving procedures in a variety of settings. Instructors may be physicians, nurses, paramedics, or other medical personnel. Some instructors are not employed in a medical field and instead work as volunteers for agencies, like the American Red Cross and American Heart Association, or provide instruction through their workplace safety programs. Places where a certified instructor may work include:

  • Hospitals
  • Businesses
  • Medical schools

Continuing Education Information

Certification agencies typically require instructors to complete a training program, demonstrate their skills and complete an exam to earn certification as an instructor. Some agencies may require student teaching assignments, as well. CPR instructor certification must be renewed on a regular basis, depending on the certifying agency's policies.

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