Launch your Emergency Medical Service (EMS) career!
Begin as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and complete as a fully-qualified Paramedic. We have the training to get you there! Thrive in a fast-pace environment. Each shift is unique, this career path is fast-paced and comes with a ton of versatility. First responders work as firefighters, in ambulance companies, in hospitals, as trainers and more. Work in a rural setting, busy metropolis or even travel around the world. Southwestern’s unique environment allows hand-on training to prepare you for multiple rescue scenarios.
- Basic EMT: Get the basic credentials to start your career in just 3-7 months.
- EMT Pathway: Get job-ready. This one-year certificate serves as a bridge to the paramedicine program.
- Paramedicine: Become a fully certified paramedic with this two-year degree.
Tuition & fees at Southwestern are half that of major state universities.
Need help with costs?
Ask about possible support through SNAP Training & Employment Program (STEP)
Degrees & Certificates
Specific overview, class descriptions and courses you’ll take for each degree/certificate.
A REWARDING CAREER SAVING LIVES
This fast-track training gets you into the workforce quickly.
Find employment as a firefighter, in an ambulance company, or in a hospital.
Hands-on training in sand, water, urban, and wilderness rescue.
MEET OUR STUDENTS
“Southwestern gave me the skills required to be successful in the EMS field. Instructors taught me to think critically during stressful situations. The self-confidence I gained from training translated great into my career as a Firefighter/Paramedic. Every day on the job I lean on the foundation SWOCC helped me build.”
–Trenton McGahan, Paramedic Graduate
$36,000 is the average annual southwestern Oregon EMT wage.
$46,700 is the average annual U.S. Paramedic wage.
Increase of 240 EMT jobs in Oregon between 2022 and 2029
Increase of 146 Paramedicine jobs in Oregon between 2022 and 2029
7% increase in job openings in the EMS field over the next 10 years.
Source: Oregon Employment Department, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, Lightcast
MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR
“If you are a person who likes routine, this job is NOT for you.” That’s advice from Southwestern’s Paul Casler, who trains students as emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Likewise, if you like action and saving lives, this job IS for you. “If you have a certification, you will have a job!” Casler says. “There’s a huge need in this community.”
There are a variety of opportunities for EMTs and paramedics. With certification you can find employment in doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, medical clinics, fire departments, and more. No experience is required to enroll in the program, just a desire to help people in crisis.
And, you will get to learn with Casler. Paul received his Bachelor of Science from Western Oregon University and then spent 15 years as a paramedic in Denver. Then one day he realized his best days on the job involved working with students. He was ready for a change and decided to pursue his love of teaching. Impressed by Southwestern’s support and commitment to the EMS program, Casler joined the faculty fall term of 2022.
“I believe in the community college model for entering the profession. Getting that degree is crucial,” says Casler. His love and passion for this profession are evident when you see him in the classroom.