According to the latest statistics from bls.gov the EMT field is growing at 15% nationally, therefore, enrolling in to EMT training and becoming an EMT is a wonderful decision!
(EMTs) Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics are called in to emergency medical settings to care for the sick and or injured. The job is very important for peoples lives are often saved by the quick thinking and work from EMTs and paramedics. A community is made much safer with good emergency medical technicians and paramedics and it is one of the best medical field jobs to have.
EMTs and paramedics are sent to the scene of an emergency by 911 operators and they often work with the police department and the fire department. Below we go over what it takes to become an EMT and what the overall job outlook is for the job as a whole.
What is the process to become an EMT?
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics must complete a postsecondary educational program. All states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed. Each state may have differing requirements for their EMT certification. Below we cover the 4 steps in detail.
STEP 1 – Be 18 and have your H.S. diploma or GED
It is a mandatory requirement and there are no exceptions.
STEP 2 – Finish an EMT Training Program
Finish an accredited state-approved Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training program. Candidates must have completed the course within the past two years and provide verification of successful program completion on the National Registry website (details below).
Accreditation of paramedic programs is granted by (CAAHEP) the Commission on Accreditationof Allied Health Education Programs. The National Registry Board of Directors has identified CAAHEP as the single National EMS Accreditation agency. The Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE) (Formerly known as CECBEMS) also recommends attending EMT training accredited by CAAHEP. Below is a link to the full CAAHEP database of accredited EMT programs.
About online EMT classes
Basic courses can be taken online but a majority of your training is done in a hands on environment. Check with your prospective school for any online availability.
How Long is EMT Training?
It is common for EMT training to take anywhere from 2 to 6 months depending on the training site and hours of training that are individually scheduled per week. Below are the most common requirements for EMT candidates.
Emergency Medical Responder 40 hours of training
EMT 110 hours of training
Advanced EMT 200-400 hours of training
Paramedic 1,000 or more hours of training
Step 3 – Have current CPR-BLS for “Healthcare Provider” or Equivalent
Candidates must have a CPR-BLS certification for “Healthcare Providers” for EMT candidacy.
Step 4 – Pass EMT Cognitive and Psycho-motor Exams
The EMT certification exam is given in two parts. The National Registry cognitive (knowledge) and state approved psychomotor (skills) exams. The knowledge portion is typically done online and the skills test is done on site and in person. We cover the two test portions in detail below.
What does an EMT do?
As we covered above, EMTs and paramedics care for the sick or injured in emergency situations. Below we look at the job duties for the job in detail.
Respond to 911 calls for emergency medical care
Assess patient’s condition/determine treatment
Provide first-aid treatment/life support care if necessary
Transport patients by ambulance
Transfer patients to hospital or other healthcare facility
Report their observations/treatment to physicians, nurses, or other healthcare facility staff
Document all care given to patients
Clean supplies and equipment after each use
The National Registry Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) cognitive exam is a computer adaptive test (CAT). There are 70 to 120 different items on the test and it usually takes about two hours. The test typically covers the areas below.
Airway, Respiration & Ventilation – 18%-22% of exam – 85% Adult/15% Pediatric
Cardiology & Resuscitation – 20%-24% of exam – 85% Adult/15% Pediatric
Trauma – 14%-18% of exam – 85% Adult/15% Pediatric
Medical – 27%-31% of exam – 85% Adult/15% Pediatric
EMS Operations – 10%-14% of exam – NA Adult/N/A Pediatric
The psychomotor test is testing your actual skills at the job. Here is a link to a guide to EMT licensing by the National EMT Registry. This shows you have passed the necessary classes to test. You will be tested in all areas for the job. The areas that will be tested are listed below.
Patient Assessment / Management – Trauma
Patient Assessment / Management – Medical
BVM Ventilation of an Apneic Adult Patient
Oxygen Administration by Non-Rebreather Mask
Spinal Immobilization (Seated Patient)
Spinal Immobilization (Supine Patient)
Bleeding Control / Shock Management
Cardiac Arrest Management / AED
Long Bone Immobilization
Here is a link to all the psychomotor test portions and detailed information by the National Registry for EMTs.
Get Listed in the National EMT Registry
After completing your EMT training all candidates must get listed in the National EMT Registry within 30 days of getting certified and pay the $80 fee to get listed. After getting listed you are on your way to become an EMT!
EMT Training Information by State
Find EMT Training Near you Today!
About Emergency Medical Technician salary
The section below covers all the details about the salary and data for emergency medical technicians. From state by state salary to the national average, we cover it all!
What is the average salary for a EMT?
The data below shows all the salary and hourly wage details for EMTs.
The average pay for EMTs are $33,380 per year and $16.05 per hour.
EMT salary by state
State Name / Hourly mean wage / Annual mean wage
Alabama 13.78 28670
Alaska 26.1 54290
Arizona 17.03 35430
Arkansas 13.83 28770
California 18.16 37770
Colorado 20.33 42280
Connecticut 22.27 46320
Delaware 18.82 39140
Florida 27.84 57900
Georgia 15.27 31750
Hawaii 15.88 33030
Idaho 23.89 49680
Illinois 17.96 37360
Indiana 20.12 41840
Iowa 15.93 33140
Kansas 16.27 33850
Kentucky 14.23 29590
Louisiana 14.83 30840
Maine 16.09 33470
Maryland 19.86 41320
Massachusetts 19.07 39660
Michigan 15.03 31260
Minnesota 18.68 38850
Mississippi 16.99 35330
Missouri 16.43 34170
Montana 15.98 33240
Nebraska 15.37 31970
Nevada 17.98 37400
New Hampshire 18.29 38030
New Jersey 18.01 37460
New Mexico 16.47 34250
New York 19.78 41140
North Carolina 16.42 34150
North Dakota 15.37 31960
Ohio 14.94 31070
Oklahoma 14.08 29290
Oregon 18.83 39170
Pennsylvania 16.1 33480
Rhode Island 18.18 37820
South Carolina 15.85 32970
South Dakota 14.38 29900
Tennessee 17.24 35850
Texas 17.24 35870
Utah 16.29 33890
Vermont 17.23 35840
Virginia 16.01 33310
Washington 31.4 65320
West Virginia 14.84 30870
Wisconsin 14.83 30850
Wyoming 16.72 34780
What is the job outlook for EMTs and Paramedics?
With the population growing and baby boomers being such a large portion of society we think that EMTs have a bright future. Not only do we think that but BLS.gov supports that theory with facts! Growing at 15% the field has a lot to look forward to in the future!