The nationwide need for EMTs is expected to rise by 15% over the upcoming 10 years per the most recent figures provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you think that you may be interested in a future as an EMT, this means now is the ideal occasion.

When an emergency happens where lives are at stake, you can be sure that EMTs and Paramedics will be among the first professionals summoned to the scene. Their quick thinking and skills are indispensable as they’re counted on to save people’s lives in some of the most high-pressure scenarios you can imagine. Thanks to these features, it really is no wonder that these specialists are considered to be invaluable contributors to their communities.

What does an EMT do in Alabama?

While the broad purpose of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics is to treat the sick and seriously injured, there is a lot more to their duties. Here are some of their specific job responsibilities.

How you can become an EMT in Alabama

Becoming an EMT in Alabama calls for the completion of a professional training course. Alabama requires that all EMTs and Paramedics working in the state be professionally certified. Despite the fact that EMT certification prerequisites may vary slightly between states, the five steps illustrated in the next section are pretty common.

Step 1: Get your high school diploma or GED

Regardless of the profession you decide to pursue, receiving a high school diploma should always be considered the first step. This really is true with regards to most positions in medical care. And even in the few cases when it is possible to find employment without finishing high school, the jobs often do not offer much in terms of salary or chances for promotion.

Where EMT training programs are concerned, you’re going to also find quickly that all authorized programs want applicants to supply proof of a high school diploma or G.E.D. before starting classes. For that reason, if you’re considering working in healthcare, it’s a good idea to accomplish this important first step.

Step 2: Graduate from an EMT training course in AL

You have to complete an accredited, state-authorized Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training program. Applicants must have finished the class within the past 24 months and provide verification of successful program completion on the National Registry website (more information below).

Emergency Medical Technician training is available at a variety of institutions, such as: community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals and traditional universities. Many training courses are also available at fireman and police training academies.

You can find a current listing of accredited programs in your area by clicking here.

Getting EMT training online

It is possible to pursue your EMT certification online, but you’ll still have to complete the majority of your hands-on training at a traditional venue. If you’re still considering taking any of your EMT classes online, you’ll want to get in touch with your chosen school and request information on their program.

How long does EMT training take in the State of Alabama?

You should plan on spending no less than two to six months in training to become an Emergency Medical Technician.

Below are the most-typical training hour requirements for Emergency Medical Technician candidates.

  • Emergency Medical Responder – 40 hours
  • EMT – 110 hours
  • Advanced EMT – 200 to 400 hours
  • Paramedic – 1,000+ hours

Step 3: Hold a current CPR-BLS certification for “Healthcare Provider” or equivalent

Students will need to have a CPR-BLS certification for “Healthcare Providers” for Emergency Medical Technician candidacy. To be recognized, a certification program has to be approved by the American Heart Association. Among the largest, and most-popular providers of certification training is the American Red Cross.

Step 4: Pass the National Registry EMT Exam

There are a couple of distinct components to the EMT certification assessment: The Cognitive Exam (based upon general knowledge) and the Psychomotor Exam (centered on skills). The knowledge portion is typically finished online whereas the skills demonstration is completed on-site and in-person. The two segments of the National Registry EMT Exam are looked at in more detail directly below.

Cognitive Exam

The Cognitive Exam is the knowledge-based portion of the EMT test, and it’s presented in a CAT (Computer Adaptive Test) format. You will find 70 to 120 different items on the examination, and you will have two hours to complete it. Below you will find a detailed breakdown of the material covered on the exam.

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)

Psychomotor Exam

The Psychomotor Exam requires you to show the skills you will have mastered. The examination will test you on each aspect of the job. Listed below are the unique skill topics covered on the assessment.

  • Patient Assessment and Management – Trauma
  • Patient Assessment and 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 and Shock Management
  • Cardiac Arrest Management / AED
  • Joint Immobilization
  • Long Bone Immobilization

Step 5: Get your name added to the National EMT Registry

The last step in becoming an EMT is getting your name included on the National Emergency Medical Technician Registry inside of 30 days of graduating from your training. In order to get listed, you will be asked to pay an $80 fee. This final step allows you to be eligible for work as an EMT.

What is the median EMT salary in Alabama?

According to the current Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for EMTs in the United States was $33,380 in 2017. The median income, along with more regional data for Alabama, is highlighted in the following table.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.52$16.05$27.40
Columbus, GA-AL MSAHourly$12.20$17.51$28.07
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL Metro AreaHourly$11.37$16.09$19.30
Gadsden, AL MSAHourly$9.05$15.92$18.86
Montgomery, AL MSAHourly$9.36$15.25$21.48
Dothan, AL MSAHourly$8.46$15.22$18.31
Birmingham-Hoover, AL MSAHourly$10.87$14.95$18.87
Huntsville, AL MSAHourly$9.77$14.70$20.42
Southwest Alabama BOSHourly$9.17$14.36$19.06
Mobile, AL MSAHourly$11.95$14.34$22.77
Anniston-Oxford, AL MSAHourly$10.23$14.07$18.32
Northwest Alabama BOSHourly$8.59$13.47$18.92
Northeast Alabama BOSHourly$8.94$13.31$17.91
Tuscaloosa, AL MSAHourly$8.16$12.93$18.01
Southeast Alabama BOSHourly$8.15$11.95$17.87
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL MSAHourly$8.38$11.77$16.64

What’s the employment outlook for Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics in Alabama?

The healthcare industry as a whole in Alabama is enjoying extraordinary growth, adhering to the nationwide trend. The growth for EMTs and Paramedics in Alabama is expected to be good as well, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasting a 32% rise in new opportunities around the state through 2026.