Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Program

stethescopeEmergency medical technicians, commonly called EMTs, are those who are responsible for saving your life and also providing care in life threatening and emergency situations. Emergency medical responders (EMRs) and EMTs are the people you see who respond to 911 calls, and they also help transfer patients in between hospitals. EMTs are responsible for stabilizing patients and providing care until the patient reaches the emergency room.

Educational Requirements for an EMT Program

MedicalSymbolMost states require you to be at least 18 years old to work as an EMT. There are four basic levels of EMT training: beginner (EMR), basic (EMT-1), intermediate (EMT-II), and advanced (EMT-paramedic). If you want to be classified as an EMR or EMT-I, you do not need to graduate from high school; however, any EMT category beyond this requires a high school diploma. For many states, in order to become certified as an EMT-II or EMT-paramedic, you must have held your EMT-I certification for a total of one year.

Most EMT programs require that you be free of communicable diseases and physical disabilities, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass physical and mental evaluation tests. Once you complete a training program, you must obtain a license. EMT licensure requirements vary from state to state, and most states require the technician to refresh their certification every two years. Like licensure requirements for practice, educational requirements vary from institution to institution, but most require the applicant to be:

  • 18 years old
  • Free from alcohol or drug addition
  • Able to read and communicate in English
  • Able to lift and carry 125 pounds
  • Free from any physical or mental condition or defect

Emergency Medical Technician Certification

The National Registry for Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) offers certification for EMTs on all levels. These include:

  • Beginner (EMR): An EMR is an emergency medical responder. The test is offered to graduates of an approved EMR course and enables the professional to use the EMR title.
  • Basic (EMT-I): This certification test is given to EMTs who have completed a specified number of hours of training and classroom instruction. In addition to the classroom and hands-on education, an EMT-I certification requires that the student completed clinical training.
  • Intermediate (EMT-II): This certification test a little more extensive and requires more hours of training, classroom instruction, and hands-on learning. Additionally, the student must have advanced life-support training to qualify for this credential.
  • Advanced (EMT-Paramedic): This certification test is the most complex in this field, and only graduates of a paramedic program can achieve this credential.

Emergency Medical Technician Job Duties

EMTs are the first responders to medical emergencies, such as car accidents, victims of strokes and heart attacks, terrorist events, and mass casualties. Typical job duties include basic life support measures, wound care and maintenance, ventilation with oxygen, administering intravenous therapy, controlling hemorrhage, treating shock, immobilizing injured extremities, stabilizing the neck and spine, and assisting with emergency childbirth.

Career Opportunities and Salaries for EMT Professionals

EMTs can find employment with ambulance companies, hospitals, transport corporations, and flight services. Many EMTs teach for the American Heart Association and in the college setting. According to many web sources, EMTs earn an annual salary of anywhere from $20,500 to $50,500. This salary is just an estimate and also depends on your location, knowledge, experience, and also education. To find out more about this profession, visit the website of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).


NAEMT (2013): http://www.naemt.org/
NREMT (2013): http://www.nremt.org/

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