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 how to go about becoming an emergency medical tech and what the overall job outlook is for the career 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.
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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 110-180 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 From the NREMT
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.
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.
Step 5 – 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!
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
EMT Training Information by State
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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
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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!