Based upon the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Emergency Medical Technician field is projected to grow at a 15% clip across the nation through the next decade. Thanks to this demand, this is the ideal occasion for anyone who is interested in becoming an EMT.

Members of the class of professionals together called “first responders”, Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics give emergency medical care and transportation to the sick and injured. Their quick thinking and skills are crucial as they’re relied on to help save people’s lives in many of the most extreme-pressure scenarios possible. Because of these benefits, it really is not surprising that these specialists are regarded as invaluable contributors to their communities.

What do EMTs in California do?

While the broad role of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics is to care for the sick and injured, there is more to their roles. Here are a number of their specific job duties.

How you can become an EMT in California

Becoming an Emergency Medical Technician in California requires graduating from a formal training program. California requires that all EMTs and Paramedics employed in the state be professionally certified. Although each state may have differing criteria for EMT certification, the five steps listed below are very typical.

Step 1: Complete high school or earn your G.E.D.

Earning your high school diploma is a basic fundamental to finding work in any type of professional job. This is also true when it comes to most jobs in healthcare. Even in cases where it is possible to find a position without your high school diploma, the positions usually do not offer much in terms of pay or opportunities for growth.

Furthermore, all Emergency Medical Technician programs call for applicants to be high school graduates or G.E.D. holders as part of their admissions requirements. Take the time to finish this first basic step, and you’ll prevent a huge number of obstacles over your career.

Step 2: Register for, and complete, an accredited EMT school in CA

To become eligible to sit for for certification, you will need to first off graduate from a state-approved EMT course. Candidates need to have completed the course within the previous two years and supply verification of successful course completion on the National Registry website (details below).

Emergency Medical Technician training is offered at a number of institutions, among them: community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals and conventional universities. It is often also possible to get courses at academies for firefighters and police officers.

You’ll be able to review a current listing of approved programs close to you by clicking here.

Taking an EMT online training

General courses can be finished online, but the majority of your training takes place in a hands-on environment. If you are still planning on finishing any of your EMT training online, you will want to speak with your preferred program and request information on their program.

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

Depending on the particular program, EMT programs can often be completed in between 2 and six months.

Typically required training hours for EMT candidates are detailed below.

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

Step 3: Become CPR-BLS certified

In addition to completing your EMT training course, you have to also be CPR-BLS credentialed prior to taking your certification assessment. The American Heart Association sets the standards for all Basic Life Support (BLS) and CPR training. The American Red Cross is considered one of the country’s most well-known providers of training classes.

Step 4: Pass the National Registry EMT Exam

The EMTs certification assessment is administered in two halves: the National Registry Cognitive (knowledge) and Psychomotor (skills) tests. The Cognitive Exam is given in an online, multiple-choice format, while the Psychomotor Exam is offered at a physical venue under the observation of an evaluator. We discuss the two test sections in detail below.

Cognitive Exam

The Cognitive Exam is the practical knowledge-based section of the EMT assessment, and it is presented in a CAT (Computer Adaptive Test) format. The two-hour, timed examination consists of between 70 and 120 multiple-choice questions. The exam typically addresses the topics 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)

Psychomotor Exam

The Psychomotor Exam calls for you to demonstrate the skills you’ve learned. The test will evaluate you on every element of the position. Each area of skills included on the test is detailed below.

  • 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

Inside of 30 days of finishing your Emergency Medical Technician training, you’ll have to have your name put on the National Emergency Medical Technician Registry. To become listed, you will be asked to pay an $80 fee. This last step makes you eligible for employment as an EMT.

What’s the median EMT salary in California?

Nationwide, Emergency Medical Technicians earned an average salary of $33,380 in 2017 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The table below shows all of the salary and hourly pay information for EMTs in California.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.52$16.05$27.40
Redding, CA MSAHourly$14.90$29.32$37.66
Salinas, CA MSAHourly$11.15$28.01$36.52
Yuba City, CA MSAHourly$13.90$22.48$31.05
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA MSAHourly$11.34$21.89$31.65
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan DivisionHourly$11.82$19.85$38.08
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA MSAHourly$12.01$19.29$31.38
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA Metropolitan DivisionHourly$11.56$19.06$35.30
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA MSAHourly$11.02$18.15$29.59
Bakersfield-Delano, CA MSAHourly$12.20$16.98$28.37
Mother Lode Region (BOS)Hourly$12.75$16.36$22.53
Fresno, CA MSAHourly$12.88$15.39$23.38
North Coast Region (BOS)Hourly$10.94$14.86$23.66
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSAHourly$12.42$14.81$29.84
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSAHourly$10.75$14.75$22.42
Northern Mountains Region (BOS)Hourly$11.48$14.53$26.74
Hanford-Corcoran, CA MSAHourly$10.95$14.19$21.79
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.86$14.02$24.69
Modesto, CA MSAHourly$10.79$14.01$27.06
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA Metro AreaHourly$10.79$13.96$18.49
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSAHourly$10.67$13.77$29.88
Stockton, CA MSAHourly$10.82$13.76$23.10
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA MSAHourly$10.63$13.69$25.82
Eastern Sierra Region (BOS)Hourly$10.87$13.50$18.96
Visalia-Porterville, CA MSAHourly$10.22$13.33$22.65
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.57$12.06$22.11

What’s the job outlook for EMTs and Paramedics in California?

Thanks to the population increasing and the Baby Boomer Generation hitting retirement age in such large numbers, the healthcare industry overall is seeing record growth in California. The rate of growth for EMTs and Paramedics in California is anticipated to be healthy as well, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 24% increase in new jobs around the state through 2026.