Overview of Online Certification Programs in CPR
CPR certification programs teach individuals how to provide emergency medical care to patients suffering from breathing or cardiac problems. Earning this credential requires an in-person skills assessment and, as such, there are no programs that offer completely online instruction. Despite this, plenty of schools, including many in Pennsylvania, offer blended programs that allow students to complete a portion of the program online. In this method of instruction, students complete virtual lessons before attending an on-site session led by an instructor.
Candidates looking to earn CPR certification will not need to satisfy any entry requirements. Certification is valid for two years, and candidates looking to maintain certification will need to take a renewal course in order to keep their credentials. These refresher courses are also offered in blended formats for those who wish to continue learning online.
Online CPR Certification Programs in Pennsylvania
Blended CPR certification programs in Pennsylvania provide the exact same content and quality of instruction as fully in-person programs. Online courses can usually be completed in a matter of hours, and the in-person component is also a one-day course, meaning candidates can quickly earn this certification before moving on to look for work.
University of Pennsylvania
Penn's Campus Recreation department offers first aid/CPR/AED training that includes an online lesson teaching students how to provide care to patients who are experiencing cardiac and respiratory emergencies. After completing the online portion of the program, candidates attend an in-person session to complete the final step and receive certification from the American Red Cross. The in-person class lasts an hour and a half.
Students, alumni, and employees at Temple have access to Adult CPR/AED, Adult CPR/AED with Standard First Aid, and Adult and Pediatric CPR/AED/Standard First Aid certification programs from the American Red Cross. Students in these blended programs complete self-paced lessons online before coming to campus for the in-person skills session. The in-person component lasts around three hours.
The Adult First Aid/CPR/AED program at Elizabethtown teaches candidates the skills and knowledge needed to respond to a range of breathing, first aid, and cardiac emergency situations. The online component takes about two hours to complete. Once students finish this section they come to campus and attend one of the school's instructor-led sessions.
Career Opportunities for CPR-Certified Graduates
CPR certification is rarely sufficient to find work by itself, but it can satisfy entry-level requirements for other job training programs. In order to enter EMT training programs, for example, candidates must have CPR certification and a high school diploma. Exact education requirements can vary depending on location, but paramedics and police officers are commonly required to have some college education in addition to CPR certification. Candidates must earn EMT certification before pursuing work as firefighters.
The EMT and paramedic job market in Pennsylvania is a strong one, as the state employs the fourth-most professionals in this field (12,730 individuals as of May 2018), according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The market should remain steady, as the BLS predicts employment in this field to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028 due to an aging population that will require medical services. This rate is faster than the national average for all professions and is projected to create 18,700 new jobs. Firefighter and police officer job opportunities are expected to increase by 5% during the same span, which would create 17,600 and 37,500 job openings, respectively.
Pennsylvania is home to a number of schools that offer blended CPR certification programs that include a mix of in-person and distance learning. After earning this certification, candidates with a high school diploma can pursue further credentials to find work in a number of first responder careers.