Paramedic Degrees, AS, AAS
Begin an in-demand career as a paramedic with San Juan College's two degree options:
- Associate of Science (AS) degree in Paramedic
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Paramedic
Complete either degree in just two years and begin work as a paramedic in the emergency medical services (EMS) industry.
In our hybrid program, you will attend in-person lectures and online classes and gain hands-on experience through clinical hours and a field internship. Become an effective and compassionate paramedic through the Paramedic program at SJC.
Please note that applicants must already be an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) or eligible to become one.
Why Enter a Paramedic Training Program?
Earning a paramedic associate degree equips you with the skills needed to enter this essential field. Study how to assess and treat various medical emergencies, and get real-world training so you can make a difference from day one. Your training will lead to a rewarding and high-demand career as a paramedic. Work in a range of settings, including ambulance services, fire departments, and hospitals. Be ready to work with first responders and other medical professionals to save lives and help those in need.
Should I Choose the Paramedic AS or AAS Degree Program?
Be ready to transfer to a four-year college or university with the Paramedic AS degree program. You'll complete paramedic-specific coursework, including clinical experience, and take general education courses. After two years, you can apply to transfer to earn a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as emergency medical services, with two additional years of study.
With the Paramedic AAS degree program, you can start your career as a paramedic after graduation. Build paramedic knowledge and skills in classroom and clinic environments, completing the AAS in two years of study. The Paramedic AAS degree may also transfer to four-year baccalaureate degree programs in EMS. If you wish to transfer your AAS degree, we strongly encourage you to check with your advisor and carefully coordinate the required coursework
Why Earn a Paramedic AS or AAS Degree at San Juan College?
Practical Training With Advanced Equipment
SJC's Paramedic associate degree programs offer hands-on experiences that enhance your critical thinking and clinical skills. They include:
- A state-of-the-art simulation laboratory
- High-fidelity mannequins and live patient simulations
- The latest cardiac monitors for cardiology and EKG training
- The latest ultrasound devices that assist in patient diagnoses
Interact and treat patients through our partnership with San Juan Regional Medical Center (SJRMC). SJRMC's EMS is the only one in New Mexico to receive the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Plus Gold Award in 2022. That means you'll get a top-tier education by learning alongside professionals who will train you during your clinicals and internships at SJRMC.
You'll also build skills at other clinical sites such as:
- Cardiology labs
- Emergency rooms
- EMS agencies
- Nursing homes
- Psychiatric units
Proven Track Record
SJC's instructors are highly experienced in the EMS industry and in the teaching environment. Our courses meet or exceed the New Mexico EMS Minimal Curriculum Standards, the National EMS Education Standards, and the National Registry Standard Curriculum.
Our paramedic students have a 100% first-time pass rate on the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians Paramedic test for licensure! You'll be confident in your skills with an associate degree from SJC.
Because of SJC's low tuition rates, our Paramedic degrees are a great investment for you. You'll receive a rigorous, high-quality education that will prepare you for the rest of your academic and career journey. You may also qualify to get your degree tuition-free through the NM Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships.
What You'll Learn in Your Paramedic Program Courses
At San Juan College, you'll learn from our expert instructors in a hybrid program. That means your classwork will be a combination of in-person and online. You'll also spend time outside of the classroom gaining experience in real-world settings, such as hospitals and clinics.
Both the Paramedic AS and AAS have the same program core requirements. In your courses, you learn about the following:
- Airway management: Practice caring for patients who are having trouble breathing.
- Medical emergencies: Study how to manage common medical emergencies, including strokes, heart attacks, and mental distress.
- Operations: Learn how to transport patients safely and efficiently.
- Patient assessment: Discover how to evaluate the medical needs of a patient.
- Pharmacology: Practice how to provide medication in the prehospital setting.
- Shock and resuscitation: Study how to manage and resuscitate patients in critical condition.
- Special patient populations: Learn how to care for specific groups of patients, from children to the elderly.
- Trauma emergencies: Discover how to care for patients who have experienced trauma, such as hemorrhage and burns.
You will also be prepared to obtain the following certifications:
- Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
- Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS)
The AS and AAS programs can be completed in two full calendar years. The Paramedic AS program includes additional general education courses that afford you additional critical thinking and communication skills.
Please note: Selection into the Paramedic program is competitive with limited available seats. See the curriculum pages below for information about prerequisites and the admission process.
Transfer Options for Paramedic AS Students
Be on track to earn a bachelor's degree at a four-year university with SJC. A bachelor's degree in emergency medical services and similar fields will open doors to better job opportunities with higher pay. With a Paramedic AS or AAS degree, you can enter as a junior, meaning you can graduate with a bachelor's degree after two more years of study.
Make sure to meet with your academic advisor if you wish to transfer to pursue a four-year degree. You will need to coordinate your coursework at San Juan College with the transfer institution's requirements.
Previous Paramedic AS students have enrolled in:
- Eastern New Mexico University Roswell (BAAS in Emergency Management)
- The University of New Mexico (Bachelor of Science in EMS)
As a paramedic student, you'll gain hands-on experience in our Health Sciences Simulation Center. Our supportive faculty will guide you as they provide in-depth instruction. Each room has cameras, microphones, and monitors so your teachers can spot problems and suggest improvements.
The facilities include:
- Emergency room
- Intensive care unit
- Nurses station
- Labor and delivery unit
- Control room equipped with Simcapture technology
- Adult, pediatric, and neonatal patient simulators
Careers and Outcomes
Paramedics are a crucial link in our healthcare system as they provide emergency medical services to patients. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the overall employment of paramedics to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031. With your paramedic associate degree, you'll be able to find a career in various settings, such as:
- Ambulance services
- Doctors' offices
- Emergency rooms
- Fire departments
- Flight centers
- Police departments
Graduates of our program have gone on to work for:
- Durango Fire & Rescue
- Jicarilla Emergency Medical Services
- Los Pinos Fire District
- San Juan Regional Medical Center
- Upper Pine River Fire Protection District
Have a Paramedic Certificate?
Those who graduate with a Paramedic Certificate from SJC may transfer credits into one of the San Juan College associate degree programs. Learn more about the Paramedic Certificate from SJC.
Paramedic Program Accreditation
The paramedic training programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).
Minimum Expectations Goal: To prepare competent entry-level Paramedics in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains with or without exit points at the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and/or Emergency Medical Technician and/or Emergency Medical Responder levels.
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Paramedic Program Outcomes
CAAHEP Accredited Paramedic Programs and CoAEMSP Letter of Review (LoR) Programs track and report outcome measures annually to the Committee on Accreditation for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).
The most current CoAEMSP Annual Report was for the calendar year 2023. The most recent success rate for the National Registry of EMT Paramedic/State Cognitive exam was 100%. The most recent positive placement rate for graduates was 100%.
Positive placement is defined by the CoAEMSP as ‘Employed full or part-time in a related field and/or continuing his/her education and/or serving in the military.’ Positive placement is measured at the completion of the program.
The most recent retention rate was 88%.
Learn about the application process and program requirements. Read through our Paramedic application packet for more information.
Take the next step to your Associate of Arts in Paramedic or Associate of Applied Science in Paramedic degree. Apply to San Juan College via our online application. Be sure to also submit the Paramedic Application if you are applying to either degree program.
If you are already a student at San Juan College, we encourage you to talk to your advisor about our Paramedic degree programs before applying.