Staff Writer

Staff Writer

MN Office of Higher Education

Health care is a great career choice if you are passionate about helping others. Nowadays, emergency responders are in high-demand in Minnesota, especially highly-skilled paramedics. Have you ever thought of of this career path? Here’s how you can get there and receive funding along the way. 

Female and male paramedic inside ambulance attending a person.

With a new scholarship becoming available in 2024 and the role in high demand, now is the time to enroll in a paramedic program and move forward on an exciting vocation that will positively impact your community. Find answers to common questions about this career path and guidance for steps to take below, along with important scholarship information.

What’s the Difference Between an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and a Paramedic?

EMTs are an important part of the healthcare system. They provide life-saving treatments on the scene of a health crisis and on the way to hospitals. A paramedic provides the same life-saving care, but can to provide more advanced care like administering medication, inserting IV lines, and providing more complicated procedures to patients who are being moved from ambulances to hospitals. 

Step 1: Get Your EMT Certificate First

To become eligible for paramedic programs, you must first get your EMT certificate. To become certified, you need to take a basic EMT course. This two-year instruction is offered at several Minnesota institutions and prepares you to pass the written and practical National Registry examinations. Once you’ve received your certifications, you must apply to the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board to obtain your State Certification. For a list of Minnesota organizations and schools offering this certification, visit

Step 2: Apply for a Paramedic Program

To become a paramedic, you must complete a state-approved paramedic program. These are one to two-year diploma and associate degree programs that provide classroom education, hands-on training, and clinical instruction. Approved courses for paramedic training are offered at nine community colleges across Minnesota.

While all paramedic programs in Minnesota require applicants to be a current EMT license holder before enrolling, each institution has its own additional prerequisite requirements for starting their courses. Take care to review the requirements at your desired institution.

Step 3: Become Certified

The purpose of the training programs mentioned above is to prepare you to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) paramedic certification exam. You must pass this certification and apply for state licensure through the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board.

Get Financial Support with the Minnesota Paramedic Scholarship

The Minnesota Paramedic Scholarship is a temporary program for Minnesota residents completing a paramedic diploma or degree. This program will be provided to 600 students with awards of $5,000 each. The application is open now, and will be distributed starting in Fall 2024 and ending in June 2026.

In order to become eligible, you must be a Minnesota resident attending an approved paramedic program, currently taking paramedic courses, and plan on working as a paramedic in Minnesota. There are no income requirements, so you should apply if you are a Minnesota resident already attending a participating institution. Once you’ve applied, applications are reviewed in order of date submitted alongside confirmation of enrollment from your college. The Minnesota Office of Education will award and notify students. This scholarship can be awarded to the same student a maximum of two times.

Eligible Programs:

  • Rochester Community and Technical College

  • Minnesota North College

  • Century College

  • Anoka Technical College

  • Ridgewater College

  • Saint Cloud Technical and Community College

  • Northland Community and Technical College

  • South Central College

  • Inver Hills Community College 

If you have any academic or program-specific questions, it’s best to reach out to your desired institution directly. For more information on the Minnesota Paramedic Scholarship here. Or contact the Office of Higher Education: or (651)-642-0567.


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