The national demand for EMTs is expected to surge by 15% during the upcoming decade according to the most up-to-date data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the demand at such high levels in the near future, the opportunity will never be better to register for EMT school and start working towards a future as an EMT in South Carolina.

EMTs and Paramedics are emergency responders who are summoned into urgent medical situations to treat the sick or seriously injured. Asked to think fast on their feet and remain calm under incredible stress, they’re some of the most essential members of any healthcare facility. Thanks to these benefits, it really is not surprising that these experts are considered to be invaluable members of their communities.

What do SC Emergency Medical Technicians do?

As mentioned previously, EMTs and Paramedics treat the sick or injured in urgent medical situations. Here is a detailed look at a number of EMT job responsibilities.

How to become an Emergency Medical Technician in South Carolina

If you would like to become an EMT or Paramedic in South Carolina, you’re going to be asked to graduate from a professional training program. South Carolina requires that all EMTs and Paramedics employed in the state be professionally licensed. While every state could have different requirements for EMT certification, the five steps below are fairly standard.

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

Receiving your high school diploma is a critical fundamental to finding work in any type of skilled job. With job opportunities in the medical industry, this is particularly true. Even in cases where it’s possible to gain employment without finishing high school, the jobs normally don’t offer much in terms of salary or opportunities for advancement.

Furthermore, all Emergency Medical Technician programs require students to be high school graduates or hold a G.E.D. in their admissions prerequisites. Put in the time to take this first step, and you will prevent a tremendous number of road blocks over your career.

Step 2: Graduate from an EMT training program in South Carolina

You have to finish an accredited, state-authorized Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training program. Candidates must have finished the course in the past two years and present verification of successful program finalization on the National Registry website (details below).

Community colleges, trade schools, hospitals and universities all offer Emergency Medical Technician training classes. You can also find them at fire and police training academies.

You can see a current list of approved schools near you by clicking here.

About online EMT classes

While many basic online EMT courses are available, you should be advised that you’ll be required to complete the majority of your education in-person at a physical location. If you are still interested in finishing some of your EMT training online, you will want to speak with your preferred school and request details on their program.

How long is EMT School in SC?

Based upon the particular training program, EMT programs can usually be finished in between 2 and six months.

The list shown below reflects the standard number of training hours for different kinds of EMT classes.

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

Step 3: Have a current CPR-BLS certificate for “Healthcare Provider” or equivalent

Along with finishing your EMT training course, you need to also become CPR-BLS certified before sitting for your certification test. The American Heart Association manages the guidelines for all Basic Life Support (BLS) and CPR programs. Courses are offered through a number of educators, most notably the American Red Cross.

Step 4: Pass the National Registry EMT Exam

The EMTs certification test consists of a basic knowledge portion (the Cognitive Exam) and a skill demonstration section (the Psychomotor Exam). The knowledge portion is usually completed online and the skills test is done on location and in-person. We address the two exam segments in depth below.

Cognitive Exam

Presented as a CAT (computer adaptive test), multiple-choice exam, the Cognitive Exam is an online examination that tests your overall knowledge. The test contains in between 70 and 120 multiple-choice questions that have to be answered within the allocated two hours. The exam usually includes 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 requires you to demonstrate the skills you’ve acquired. The exam will test you on each and every part of the position. Outlined below are the different skill topics included on the test.

  • 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: Have your name included on the National EMT Registry

The remaining step in becoming an EMT is having your name posted to the National Emergency Medical Technician Registry inside of 30 days of graduating from your coursework. So as to become listed, you’re going to be asked to pay an $80 fee. This final step allows you to be eligible for employment as an EMT.

How much do EMTs make in South Carolina?

As reported by the recent Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for Emergency Medical Technicians in the U.S. was $33,380 in 2017. The data table below highlights the salary and hourly wage information for EMTs in South Carolina.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$10.52$16.05$27.40
South CarolinaHourly$10.21$15.01$23.38
Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC MSAHourly$12.86$18.20$23.99
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC MSAHourly$12.01$17.65$24.87
Columbia, SC MSAHourly$10.37$15.37$23.88
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC MSAHourly$12.01$14.79$24.61
Florence, SC MSAHourly$9.83$14.73$22.87
Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC MSAHourly$10.24$14.57$22.05
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metro AreaHourly$9.53$14.53$18.97
Pee Dee South Carolina BOSHourly$9.96$14.38$21.33
Low Country South Carolina BOSHourly$11.01$14.32$18.68
Lower Savannah South Carolina BOSHourly$10.35$13.70$19.08
Upper Savannah South Carolina BOSHourly$9.54$13.25$20.81

The employment prospects for EMTs in South Carolina

Thanks to the population growing and the Baby Boomers hitting retirement age in such large numbers, the medical industry overall is enjoying record growth in South Carolina. The growth for EMTs and Paramedics in South Carolina is expected to be good as well, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 17% rise in new positions throughout the state through 2026.