In a position statement, published in this month's issue of Prehospital and Emergency Care, the National Association of EMS Educators and other national organizations proposed that as EMS agencies move into the year 2020 they consider the minimum required training for new paramedics to be an associates degree and certification as a paramedic. The authors site evidence for other heath care professions and paramedic training in other countries as evidence that a formal degree program (associates or bachelors degree) is likely to improve long term provider job satisfaction and performance.
The position paper goes on to state that for sub-specialty EMS providers (critical care paramedics, community paramedics, etc.) additional training through a 4 year bachelors degree program should become the standard. While acknowledging that economic limitations are a significant consideration and any new requirements should only be applied to new paramedics, the authors state that "Higher education institutions should be encouraged to experiment with bachelors and/or masters level programs such as those currently being developed internationally.”
You can learn more about on the new University of Arizona Bachelors of Science program in EMS here