A paramedic's job is harrowing enough on solid ground. It's even more so when in flight. Helicopter medics are trained professionals capable of responding to a variety of medical emergencies and are responsible for transporting patients to the appropriate medical facility via helicopter. Becoming a helicopter medic requires an immense dedication to education and hard work.
Complete all training programs to become an emergency medical technician, or EMT. A high school diploma will be required to enter any EMT training program. Once EMT certification is acquired, procure a job within the field to begin building experience. This experience will be necessary to qualify for paramedic certification.
Begin training for the more advanced level of the profession: paramedic. Paramedic courses will typically be offered through a technical school or college. An associate's degree is not necessary, but may be maintained during this training. However, because the position of helicopter medic is a competitive one, a degree may provide an edge during the application process.
Obtain your national and state paramedic certification. Any paramedic training program will offer details on licensure, which is required nationally and in every state.
Begin a job as an on-the-ground paramedic, and gather between three and five years of experience before applying to become a helicopter medic. It will be most beneficial to work within a more chaotic medical setting, as this will better prepare you for the career as an in-flight medic. This will also make you a more appealing candidate to employers.
Search and apply for any job openings for a helicopter paramedic. Be aware that this profession is highly competitive. For each air medic position, approximately 250 applications will be received, according to the International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics, or IAFCCP. Take any additional courses, or volunteer to teach as an instructor to boost your chances of landing a job as a helicopter medic.
- Photo Credit Keith Brofsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images