How To Virtually Guarantee Yourself A Flight Interview

And Get Noticed By Every Air Medical Company In The Country

What does it really take to fly air medical? Are flight crew jobs as competitive as everyone claims?

The answer to the second question is easy.

In a word…


The International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics (IAFCCP) estimates 250 applicants for each flight paramedic opening. The result is a fiercely competitive job market.

But before you give up without even trying…

Remember that competitive doesn’t mean impossible.

Competitive means the job is as good (or better) than you imagined.

Competitive means the prize is worth the effort.

How To Stand Out From Your Competition

Standing out from your competition is almost always about laser focusing your efforts on the right things at the right times.

Knowing where to focus your effort is key.

This article explains one way to virtually guarantee yourself a flight interview.

But for my answer to make sense, I need to share a quick story with you.

Here goes:

At Flight Safety Network we turned getting a flight crew job into a step-by-step, connect-the-dots system. We’ve successfully coached hundreds of nurses, paramedics, and EMS pilots into air medical careers.

I’m not saying that to impress you. I’m saying it to impress upon you what really matters when it comes to getting a flight job.

What Matters Most for Flight Jobs

What matters the most for flight jobs? What will help you the most when trying to get a flight job?

What will help you the most is watching what applicants before you did to earn their flight jobs.

Once you know what they did, it’s just a matter of following in their footsteps as closely as possible.

This article gives you the one specific action that led to the most flight paramedic jobs.

We keep data on all our coaching students. We use it to help future coaching students and to improve our coaching programs.

We know what works, and sometimes even more importantly, we know what doesn’t work, when it comes to getting a flight medic job.

What Works Best for a Flight Medic Job

What’s the best thing you can do to make yourself competitive for a flight medic job?

Here it is:

Take and pass the Flight Paramedic Certification (FP-C) exam.

Depending on your experience – and love or hate of certification exams – this may be good or bad news for you.

Either way, our data proves it’s hands-down the best thing you can do.

It’s interesting to watch the reaction of coaching students when I share these facts. I’ve learned from experience to not even try and predict individual reactions. Everybody is different. Every person’s reaction is different.

But some people are put out by the facts.

Flight Paramedic Certification (FP-C) Reality

“But shouldn’t I wait until I get hired?” is the question I often get asked after recommending the FP-C exam to a coaching student.

“I heard the hospital will pay for my FP-C if I wait until after I get hired. I also heard the exam questions make more sense after you’ve been flying awhile and have some hands-on experience with what the test questions are really asking you.”

Let me be very clear.

Both statements above are absolutely true.

Almost all flight programs will pay for your FP-C certification. And of course the exam questions are easier once you have real-world experience with the actual scenarios on the exam.

All good. All true.

But if you find yourself asking these questions, you really need to ask yourself the difficult question we ask our coaching students.

The Real Issue

What’s the real issue?

Are you really concerned about the money for the exam? Or are you just trying to avoid the work?

What I see in most cases is people trying to avoid the work. They hide behind the expense of the exam, and real-world experience arguments to justify not doing the work.

And make no mistake about it, earning your FP-C takes time and effort. It takes work. There’s no other way to say it.

But it’s also the one action that virtually guarantees your progress to the next phase of the “Get a Flight Job” process –a flight interview.

I have seen this happen time and time again at Flight Safety Network.

Here is the typical scenario:

A paramedic with 3-5 years Advanced Life Support and Critical Care experience applies for a flight job. He has all the typical “alphabet”


  • BLS
  • ACLS
  • PALS Instructor
  • ITLS Instructor
  • EMT-P
  • Etc, etc

The result is about 2 in 6 paramedics get called in for a flight interview –not a horrible percentage, but not great either.

Now, change nothing above but time (say 6 months) and add in the FP-C credential.

The call back rate for flight interviews jumps to a whopping 99 percent. That’s not a typo.

99 percent!

That’s impressive!

That’s the reason you should start working toward FP-C certification now. Note: you can also state you’re working toward FP-C certification (on your resume) before you acquire the actual certification.

Why FP-C Matters So Much

Why does FP-C certification make such a difference?

Employers know better than anyone that it’s still not a guarantee of future flight crew success.

So why then is the call back rate for interviews so much higher?

Why do FP-C resumes always get moved to the top of the stack? Why do FP-C paramedics almost always get called for interviews?

Three reasons:

  • FP-C demonstrates commitment
  • FP-C proves academic ability
  • FP-C increases your confidence (and performance in your flight interview)

The combination is powerful. The results are powerful.

If you’re serious about flying air medical, you owe it to yourself to at least consider beginning work on flight paramedic certification. It’s a proven technique for getting a flight interview.

What’s your personal experience with FP-C exams? Share it in the comments.


Check out the Flight Safety Network free Training Videos here.

Sign up for free Crew Newsletter here.

Troy Shaffer
Troy Shaffer

About the Author: Troy is an Air Medical Career Expert passionate about a team approach to improving air medical safety from the ground up. Troy is a former Army medic, Army pilot, Coast Guard pilot and EMS pilot. Troy has taught hundreds of wannabe flight medics, flight nurses and EMS pilots the exact steps needed to launch air medical careers.

    21 replies to "How To Virtually Guarantee Yourself a Flight Medic Interview"

    • Brian Hatch

      Good to know, thanks! I am taking a CC class next month, which should allow me to sit for the FP-C test.

      • Troy Shaffer


        Kudos to you for taking the FP-C exam. As you know from reading the article, it will absolutely move your resume to the “call back” pile.

        Let us know how you make out.

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

    • Troy Shaffer


      You’re welcome! Good on you for taking a critical care class. Let us know how you make out on the FP-C exam. Study hard and best of luck!

      Clear Skies & Tailwinds

    • Kevin Brown

      Gwynne Smith-Baerns check out this article. It will help you!

      • Troy Shaffer


        Thanks for sharing with a friend.

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

    • Danny Murdock

      Jared Hier you need to read this article!

      • Troy Shaffer


        Thanks for passing this article on to a friend. Think how much Jared will appreciate you if he lands a flight medic job because of you?

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

    • Jared Hier

      I will have to read this. Thank you!!

      • Troy Shaffer


        You can ask questions here or use the contact page to get more information.

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

      • Troy Shaffer


        Thanks for the link to MedSouth.

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

    • Stacey Thiel

      Mike Thiel read this article. It will help you!

      • Troy Shaffer


        Thanks for sharing with Mike. It’s never too late to get started with an air medical career.

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

    • Jamie Watts

      I wish I could have done this!

      • Troy Shaffer


        It’s never too late . . .

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

    • Keith Carter

      Attend C4 Heli-Lab !!

    • Betty Suarez-Arauz

      Jonathan Aráuz read this if you want to fly.

      • Troy Shaffer


        Thanks for recommending my article. I hope it helps.

        Clear Skies & Tailwinds

    • Charles Locke

      Lacie Evans, Stefany Costello and Denise Eastman you need to read this!

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