best paramedic programs in north carolina

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by

Individuals in North Carolina have a decent range of schools from which to choose when searching for a paramedic program. They may earn a certificate, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in the field; a couple of schools have bridge programs designed for currently certified paramedics interested in pursuing a degree for career advancement. All paramedic students will complete clinical or practicum requirements, in addition to classroom instruction and lab training.

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Best Paramedic Programs In North Carolina

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

This technical school, located in Asheville, is currently seeking approval for its program through the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions. Successful completion of the associate’s degree curriculum may qualify students to take both state and national paramedic certification exams. To be eligible for the program, students must have a current driver’s license, be 18 years old by the end of the first semester and have either a GED or high school diploma. Students will need to pass criminal background checks prior to beginning their clinical studies. The curriculum is composed of 76 credit hours of studies, including a clinical practicum and an EMS capstone. There’s also a bridge program that will help those who are already paramedics earn an associate’s degree.

Catawba Valley Community College

This Hickory-based school has a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) that may qualify students for both state and national paramedic certification exams. The associate’s degree program consists of 72 credit hours of study, and students with lower placement scores can still participate, provided they complete an additional 14 credit hours of developmental courses. EMT-Basic training is covered in the first semester. The certificate was created for certified paramedics returning to school, and these students may earn advanced placement status or transfer previously earned credits towards the program.

Coastal Carolina Community College

This school in Jacksonville offers an associate’s degree program that presents EMS training in 3 stages over the course of 5 semesters. The first semester prepares students to take EMT-Basic exams. Completing the first summer session qualifies students to take the EMT-Intermediate exams, and once students complete the entire program, they’ll be qualified to take paramedic exams from the state and the NREMT. Accepted students must submit to a criminal background check and medical health exam before the first day of the program. The school also offers continuing education courses for paramedics in the evenings.

Davidson County Community College

The curriculum at this Thomasville school offers an associate’s degree for aspiring paramedics and a bridge option for current paramedics interested in earning their associate’s degree. Students with current certification may qualify for advanced standing depending on the experience and education previously attained. Before students can participate in the clinical portion of the associate’s degree program, they must first pass a criminal background check. Courses cover studies in areas such as EMS pharmacology, cardiology, life span emergencies, advanced trauma emergencies and special needs patients. An EMT medical science certificate program is also available.

Fayetteville Technical Community College

An Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science degree is offered at this Fayetteville school. The curriculum is presented through classroom lectures, lab practice, clinical experiences and field internships. Students can complete the program through 5 semesters of full-time study. After the first semester of study, students should be able to take the EMT-Basic exams through the OEMS and the NREMT. This school also has a bridge program that will help currently licensed paramedics earn their associate’s degrees. Additionally, there is also an Emergency Medical Science Certificate.

Forsyth Technical Community College

The Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science degree at this Winston Salem institution is a 6-semester program that includes 2 summer sessions. The first semester focuses on EMT-Basic skills. By the second semester, students begin adding clinical experiences and field internships to their study plan. The program was designed to prepare students for both state and national certification exams.

Gaston College

This associate’s degree program in Dallas has been accredited by the North Carolina Office of EMS and meets national training standards for paramedics. The program’s curriculum is presented through lectures, lab practice, clinical practicum and field experiences. Before students begin the clinical portion of the program, they’ll need to pass criminal background checks, and affiliated facilities may deny a prospective student entry on the basis of the results. Students must receive at least a C in all core and related courses to earn this degree. A diploma program is also available.

Guilford Technical Community College

To enter the associate’s degree program at this college in Jamestown, students must have a high school diploma or GED and meet the school’s math and communications standards. Once in the program, students will need to pass drug screenings and background checks, meet health standards and have a North Carolina driver’s license as well as an EMT certification before beginning clinical and internship studies. The program takes about 5 semesters of full-time study to complete. Students who have current paramedic certification can earn this degree through a bridge program that requires completion of general education classes and only 3 paramedic courses.

Wake Technical Community College

Continuing education courses at this Raleigh school might appeal to current EMTs who want to become paramedics but aren’t interested in earning a degree. This is a series of non-credit classes that are offered during the evenings and weekends that will qualify the student to take the state OEMS exams for credentialing. Another program at this school allows students to earn an associate’s degree, and students can begin taking classes when they’re 16 years old. The program requires 5 semesters of study, and prerequisites will be required, such as meeting the program’s math and English skill-level criteria. Credit may be awarded to students with previous EMT or paramedic experience. These EMS programs have approval from the OEMS.

Western Carolina University

This university in Cullowhee was the first to create a baccalaureate program for paramedics. The program allows students to choose a concentration in either health services management or science, the latter of which may be useful for those who plan on attending medical school or graduate programs. On-campus and online formats are available. Students who currently hold or are eligible for and in the process of getting their EMT license may enroll in this program. There are 60 credit hours of study that must also be completed before beginning the program. The entire program can be completed in 8 semesters.

Career Requirements

For initial credentialing, a prospective North Carolina paramedic must be 18 years old, complete an education program that’s been approved by the Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) and pass the state OEMS exam or an approved alternative. Infant, child and adult CPR certification is also required. OEMS approves curriculum that meets U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards and testing that meets the standards of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

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School Comparison: At a Glance

School NameSchool Type and SettingParamedic Programs OfferedUndergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College2-year, public; small cityAssociate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science,
Emergency Medical Science Bridge Program
$2,632 in-state,
$8,776 out-of-state*
Catawba Valley Community College2-year, public; small cityCertificate Paramedic Advancement Program,
Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science
$2,347 in-state,
$7,723 out-of-state*
Coastal Carolina Community College2-year, public; small cityAssociate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science$2,462 in-state,
$8,606 out-of-state*
Davidson County Community College2-year, public; rural fringeAssociate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science,
Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science (Bridging Option),
Emergency Medical Science Certificate
$2,588 in-state,
$8,732 out-of-state*
Fayetteville Technical Community College2-year, public; midsize cityAssociate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science,
Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science (Bridging Option),
Emergency Medical Science Certificate
$2,544 in-state,
$8,688 out-of-state*
Forsyth Technical Community College2-year, public; midsize cityAssociate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science$2,199 in-state,
$7,215 out-of-state*
Gaston College2-year, public; midsize suburbAssociate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science – Paramedic (Associate of Applied Science track and Diploma track)$2,704 in-state,
$8,848 out-of-state*
Guilford Technical Community College2-year, public; midsize suburbAssociate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science,
Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science – EMS Bridging Program Option
$2,319 in-state,
$7,695 out-of-state*
Wake Technical Community College2-year, public; large suburbParamedic Training Courses,
Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science
$2,768 in-state,
$8,912 out-of-state*
Western Carolina University4-year, public; distant ruralBachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Care$3,926 in-state,
$7,926 out-of-state*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator

If you’re interested in becoming a paramedic in North Carolina, here are a few general prerequisites you’ll need to meet before applying to a paramedic training program:

  • One must be a high school graduate who is at least 18 years old.  If you’re not a high school graduate, a GED will suffice.
  • One must have completed an EMT-Basic course.
  • You will also need to have proper CPR certification.  And at some schools, like Catawba Valley Community College, one must have successfully completed an Anatomy and Physiology course, as well.
  • Each paramedic program requires different things from their prospective students.  Immunizations are certainly required (since you’ll be getting hospital experience throughout the course). You’ll likely need to go through a criminal background check and drug screening, too.  Written references may or may not be required by the school.
  • You will want to make sure that whichever paramedic training program in NC you select is an accredited program.

paramedic programs in nc

Below, please click on a school to get admissions information on their programs:

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College  – Asheville, NC
340 Victoria Road
Asheville, NC – 28801

Blue Ridge Community College  – Flat Rock, NC
180 West Campus Drive
Flat Rock, NC – 28731

Catawba Valley Community College  – Hickory, NC
2760 Hwy 70 SE
Hickory, NC – 28602

Central Piedmont Community College/Carolinas Medical Center Consortium – Charlotte, NC
Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic Program
Carolinas Healthcare
PO Box 32861
Charlotte, NC 28232

Cleveland Community College – Shelby, NC
Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic Program
137 South Post Rd
Shelby, NC 28152

Durham Technical Community College – Hillsborough, NC
Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic Program
Orange County Campus
525 College Park Rd
Hillsborough, NC 27278

Fayetteville Technical Community College – Fayetteville, NC
Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic Program
2201 Hull Road
PO Box 35236
Fayetteville , NC 28303

Gaston College  – Dallas, NC
201 Highway 321 South
Albright Public Safety
Dallas, NC – 28034

Guilford Technical Community College  – Jamestown, NC
601 High Point Road
PO Box 309
Jamestown, NC – 27282

· Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center – Ft. Bragg, NC
3004 Ardennes St
Fort Bragg, NC – 28310

Lenoir Community College – Kinston, NC
Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic Program
PO Box 188
231 Hwy 58 South
Kinston, NC 28501

Piedmont Community College  – Roxboro, NC
P.O. Box 1197
1715 College Drive
Roxboro, NC – 27573

South Piedmont Community College – Monroe, NC
Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic Program
4209 Old Charlotte Hwy
Monroe, NC 28110

Southwestern Community College – Sylva, NC
447 College Dr
Sylva, NC – 28779

Western Carolina University  – Cullowhee, NC
4121 Little Savannah Road
410 Health and Human Sciences Bldg.
Cullowhee, NC – 28723

Where can I find an accredited paramedic training program in North Carolina?

Make sure you visit the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) to find an accredited paramedic training program.  This is important, because as of January 1, 2013, all students will need to complete paramedic education at an accredited school in order to take the paramedic NREMT exam.

Do I need EMT experience to apply to a paramedic training program?

Typically, no, experience is not required to be admitted into a paramedic program.

How long will it take me to become a paramedic?

This really depends on the college and training program you select.  Typically, a paramedic program can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete.

How much will a paramedic training program cost?

All paramedic courses are a bit different and vary college to college.  But, typically, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 for a quality and thorough paramedic training course.  Some programs can most certainly exceed that cost, however.

TAKING THE PARAMEDIC NREMT EXAM

After you successfully complete the required paramedic training course, you will need to pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam.  This is both a computer adaptive test (cognitive examination) as well as a skills test (psychomotor examination).

Cognitive Examination

The cognitive examination will cover the entire spectrum of EMS care.  This includes Airway, Ventilation, Oxygenation, Trauma, Cardiology, Medical,s and EMS Operations.  The maximum amount of time you will be given to pass this portion of the exam is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Psychomotor Examination

The psychomotor examination consists of 12 separate skills laid out in a scenario-type format to approximate the abilities of the EMT-Paramedic to function in the out-of-hospital setting.  Those taking the test are actually allowed to bring their own equipment to the exam provided it is approved for testing by the National Registry Representative in attendance at the examination.

The psychomotor exam portion of the paramedic NREMT exam will test your knowledge and competency in each of the following skills: Patient Assessment-Trauma, Ventilatory Management, Cardiac Management Skills, IV and Medication Skills, Oral Station, Pediatric Skills, and Random Basic Skills.

PRACTICING AS A PARAMEDIC

Upon successful completion of your paramedic program of choice, you will eligible to apply for NREMT certification or EMT-Paramedic certification in North Carolina.

How much money does a paramedic make annually?

An average paramedic salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011, is about $34,030 per year.


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