The demand for new EMTs is at record levels, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasting a 15% increase in new positions by 2026. Because of this demand, now is the ideal occasion for anybody who is thinking about becoming an EMT.

EMTs and Paramedics are emergency responders who’re sent into urgent medical settings to attend to the sick and injured. Required to think fast on their feet and stay calm under extreme pressure, they are among the most important members of any medical facility. This set of added benefits makes the EMT and Paramedic careers particularly popular with people who want to answer the call of duty to their area.

What do EMTs do in Illinois?

Whereas the general role of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics is to treat the sick and injured, there is far more to their duties. Here you will see some more-detailed descriptions of the occupation’s role.

What are the steps to become an EMT in Illinois?

Becoming an EMT in Illinois calls for graduating from a professional training program. It’s a legal prerequisite that any Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic employed in the state hold a professional certificate. The following five steps will be required to become an EMT in any state.

Step 1: Get your high school diploma or GED

The first step towards whatever career you pursue really should be getting a high school diploma. This is true with regards to most jobs in healthcare. Even in cases when it is possible to find employment without finishing high school, the jobs often do not offer much in compensation or chances for growth.

Furthermore, all Emergency Medical Technician classes require students to be high school graduates or have a G.E.D. in their admissions requirements. So, regardless of your ultimate professional career goal, make sure that you take this first step.

Step 2: Graduate from an Emergency Medical Technician training class in IL

If you want to become eligible to sit for for certification, you will need to first complete a state-accredited EMT program. Students need to have finished the course within the past 24 months and provide verification of successful program finalization on the National Registry website (more info below).

EMT training is usually provided by junior colleges, technical schools, hospitals, and universities. Some training courses are also available at fireman and police training academies.

You’ll be able to see a current list of approved programs in your area by clicking here.

Taking an EMT training online

It is possible to pursue an EMT certification online, but you will nevertheless need to complete most of your hands-on training at a physical venue. To learn more info on taking an EMT course online, you’ll want to contact one of the featured institutions directly.

How long does EMT training take in Illinois?

It is commonplace for EMT training to take about two to six months, depending upon the training venue and the number of hours of courses that are scheduled every week.

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 CPR-BLS certification

Along with finishing your EMT training program, you must also be CPR-BLS credentialed prior to taking your certification examination. To be recognized, a certification training course needs to be endorsed by the American Heart Association. Courses are provided through a number of institutions, such as the American Red Cross.

Step 4: Sit for the National Registry’s EMT Cognitive and Psychomotor assessments

There are a couple of different components to the EMT certification examination: The Cognitive Exam (testing your general knowledge) and the Psychomotor Exam (testing your skills). The knowledge portion is generally finished online while the skills test is done on location and in-person. We cover the two exam segments in detail below.

Cognitive Exam

The National Registry Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Cognitive Exam is a computer adaptive test (CAT). The two-hour, timed exam contains between 70 and 120 multiple-choice problems. The composition of the exam is highlighted 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 skills demonstration part of the exam is called the Psychomotor Exam. You will be examined in all areas for the position. Each area of skills found on the exam is noted 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: Become registered on the National EMT Registry

After finishing EMT training, all candidates will need to become added on the National Emergency Medical Technician Registry within 30 days of becoming certified. A fee of $80 has to be paid in order to have your name posted to the registry. Getting your name included on this list is the final step required to be eligible for hire as an Emergency Medical Technician.

How much do Emergency Medical Technicians earn in Illinois?

The median U.S. salary for EMTs and Paramedics was $33,380 in 2017 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The following data table features Emergency Medical Technician salary in Illinois in better detail.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.52$16.05$27.40
Danville, IL MSAHourly$11.43$17.56$26.48
Elgin, IL Metropolitan DivisionHourly$11.03$17.35$35.89
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan DivisionHourly$10.12$17.14$51.38
Cape Girardeau-Jackson, MO-IL MSAHourly$12.49$16.52$22.22
St. Louis, MO-IL MSAHourly$9.63$16.03$24.83
Northwest Illinois BOSHourly$9.51$14.85$20.14
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan DivisionHourly$11.80$14.45$29.59
Champaign-Urbana, IL MSAHourly$9.87$14.42$19.27
Rockford, IL MSAHourly$10.01$14.30$20.12
West Central Illinois BOSHourly$9.12$14.30$27.08
Peoria, IL MSAHourly$10.01$13.85$21.85
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL MSAHourly$9.87$13.79$22.90
East Central Illinois BOSHourly$9.85$13.60$23.63
Carbondale-Marion, IL Metro AreaHourly$9.13$12.83$18.48
Decatur, IL MSAHourly$9.84$12.11$19.96
South Illinois BOSHourly$9.13$12.07$18.49
Springfield, IL MSAHourly$10.09$12.05$15.34
Bloomington, IL Metro AreaHourly$8.66$10.83$18.72

What’s the job outlook for Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics in Illinois?

The healthcare industry as a whole in Illinois is enjoying extraordinary growth, keeping with the national trend. This phenomenon applies to EMTs and Paramedics too, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 9% surge in the number of new jobs for these professionals throughout the state by 2026.