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You may not have heard, but a paramedic is the highest level of EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) there is. Unless you count anything mixed with a paramedic such as: pilot/paramedic or fire/paramedic. There are thousands of hours that go into becoming a paramedic. And we'll discuss later how many hours exactly it takes to become a paramedic in Washington. We'll also cover topics such as: a paramedic salary, the Dept. of Health information, and the certifications that are required in the state of Washington.

Educating oneself how to become a paramedic takes a lot more discipline than some people first think. There are programs that you must excel in. There are exams you'll have to successfully pass. It's not an easy career to excel in, but it is worthwhile. Becoming a paramedic can be the most satisfying feeling you'll ever experience. And you'll not only be helping yourself, but your fellow man and community as well.

If you're curious what exactly an EMT or a paramedic does on a daily basis, here are a few things:

  • Responds to emergency calls
  • Assesses patients
  • Provides immediate care as needed
  • Medication administration
  • Advanced airway support
  • Administration of IVs
  • Minor surgical procedures
  • Advanced Life Support

These are some of the actions taken by a paramedic on a daily basis. Paramedics are responsible for providing advanced life support from one area of the city to the main hospital for permanent care and treatment.

Enough already, you're probably dying to get into the meat of the article and find out what it takes to become a paramedic in Washington. Well…let's go!


This is probably the most important section to you. I don't blame you. A paramedic's salary can be quite motivating. But you don't get there overnight. It takes years of training, education, and experience to become a well-paid paramedic. But everybody has an equal chance to do so. Below is the average paramedic salary for an employee in Washington.

Salary: $41,830/yr

Hourly: $20.11/hr

One thing to keep in mind is the fact that not all paramedics make the same amount. Your salary depends upon your experience, schooling, and the amount you negotiate for in your interview. You can always ask for more! Another thing to think about is that most EMTs and paramedics are paid hourly. And there is plenty of room for overtime. Thus allowing for income well over the average.


Office of Community Health Systems, EMS and Trauma Section
P.O. Box 47853
Olympia, WA 98504
Telephone: (360) 236-2830


Primarily, you'll need to know the basic qualifications for any EMT:

1. At least 18 years of age.
2. Hold a high school diploma or GED
3. Possess your state's driver's license.


1. First Responder

  • Estimated Training: 54 hrs and 5 patient contacts.

2. EMT-Basic

  • Estimated Training: 110 hrs and 10 hrs hospital observation.

3. Intravenous Therapy Technician

  • Estimated Training: 50 hrs plus clinical and field internship.

4. Airway Management Technician

  • Estimated Training: 50 hrs plus clinical and field internship.

5. IV/Airway Technician

  • Estimated Training: 70 hrs plus clinical and field internship.

6. Intermediate Life Support Technician

  • Estimated Training: 100 hrs plus clinical and field internship.

7. ILS and Airway Technician

  • Estimated Training: 100 hrs plus clinical and field internship.

8. Paramedic

  • Estimated Training: 1200-2000 hrs plus clinical and field internship.


1. Complete a Washington-approved training program.

2. Obtain NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) registration. You need to pass the practical exam through the NREMT

3. Send in an application for the Washington state certification.

4. Employ yourself with a Washington state EMS service.

5. Have your EMS supervisor verify papers and sign certification.

6. Have the County Medical Program Director (MPD) sign certification on application.

7. Submit photo ID which contains date of birth.

8. Complete Continuing Medical Education (CME) and pass Washington written exam.


You can choose to take an exam on the computer if it's eligible in Washington. Pearson Vue allows you to locate a testing center in your area. See below for specific directions on how to setup an examination with the National Registry for Emergency Medical Technicians. This exam is done for the NREMT, but through Pearson Vue.


If you're already an EMT, you'll at one time or another need a license recertification. The Washington Dept. of Health should provide you with a recertification application six months prior to your expiration.


1. You'll have to register with the NREMT and indicate which Washington training program you attended (you can find directions for training programs on that site as well).

2. You'll then need to visit the Pearson Vue website where the test can be taken online.

3. Your training course instructor will need to verify your knowledge and skill competence at the NREMT website.

4. Once the above are completed you will be able to schedule a time to take the Computer Adaptive Testing.

* Individuals seeking a practical exam for the NREMT registration should seek out a Washington state training program and schedule a time to take the practical exam.


Following is a list of applications, rosters, and schedules. Some are empty forms to simply be filled out as you progress in your training while others are to simply be read. Hopefully these will be helpful in providing you with extensive information on how to become a paramedic in Washington. If there are any other needs or recommendations, please feel free to provide the suggestions in the comment section below. Thank you!

Again, I hope this article has helped in steering you toward a satisfying vocation for you. If you find that anything may be missing or not helpful, please let me know and I'll change things accordingly. You are most welcome to provide extra information as well. To your future in a profession that promotes life and safety among your community in Washington.