Paramedic Training Programs in California with Course Overviews

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) seeking paramedic certification in California can find comprehensive training programs at some community colleges in the state. These studies most often result in a certificate, though associate degree programs are also available.

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Schools and Training Programs

Paramedic training in California provides extensive classroom and clinical instruction at the certificate and 2-year degree levels. Prospective students of these programs are typically required to hold current EMT certification. Certificates can be earned in one year. Hundreds of hours of clinical experiences and internships in real-life emergency care settings must be completed during paramedic training. Graduates are eligible for paramedic licensure by the National Registry of EMTs. Two large community colleges in California, one located in San Francisco and the other near Los Angeles, and their paramedic programs are profiled below.


Riverside Community College's Paramedic Training Program

Riverside Community College (RCC) provides learner-centered instruction, career development, associate's degrees, professional certificates, transfer programs and technical training to more than 36,000 students on three campuses. The paramedic training program at RCC is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Paramedic Certificate

In this yearlong program, students are trained to handle medical emergencies in a pre-hospital environment. Coursework includes instruction in professional standards and regulations, patient assessment, emergency pharmacology, toxicology, trauma management, emergency surgical procedures and communication operations. Prerequisites include EMT-I certification, CPR certification, a high school diploma or GED and a minimum of one year and 2,000 hours of experience.

Associate of Science in Paramedic

Students who successfully achieve the paramedic certificate will be awarded an associate's degree upon completion of several general education requirements. These include courses in math, natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, humanities and language arts.

Contact Information

  • Address: 3845 Market St., Riverside, CA 92501
  • Phone Number: (951) 222-8000

City College of San Francisco's Paramedic Training Program

City College of San Francisco has ten campuses providing academic programs and occupational training to more than 100,000 students each year. Its Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic (EMTP) program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP). Graduates are eligible for jobs in California fire departments, private ambulance corps and city emergency service units.

Certificate of Achievement in Paramedic

Candidates must have EMT-I certification and preferably a minimum of six months of experience. The program combines classroom instruction and hands-on lab practice with clinical and field training. Coursework covers diverse topics such as human anatomy and systems, trauma, drugs, IV therapy and airway management. Students receive more than 150 hours of clinical experience in a hospital setting and nearly 500 hours in a field internship.

Associate of Science in Paramedic Training

Candidates who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in paramedic training classes and complete additional general education courses with a GPA of 2.5 or better are awarded an associate's degree in paramedics. Graduation requirements include courses in communications, writing, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, humanities, history, health, ethnic studies and mathematics.

Contact Information

  • Address: 50 Phelan Ave., San Francisco, CA 94122
  • Phone Number: (415) 239-3000
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