Considering a career as an emergency medical technician (EMT)? You might have questions about the job and the process required to become one. When investigating the EMT job description, it’s important to take into account all of the duties of this life-saving profession. Are you considering a career as an EMT? Here’s what you can expect from start to finish. Click To Tweet
Becoming an EMT or Paramedic is not as easy as filling out an application and walking onto a job. EMS is a professional level career that requires you to become licensed as a medical professional. Licensing will vary depending on what state you are in. Here is the general EMT timeline from start to finish:
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
- You should have completed a state-approved EMT training program.
- You must possess a valid CPR certificate.
- You may be required to pass the NREMT examination.
- US citizen is usually required.
- Candidate must be in good health.
- Must be fluent in English.
- No criminal record.
- Up to date on immunizations.
Levels of Training
- Basic EMT: Also called EMT-B, this is an entry-level position where you learn basic life-saving skills and health care knowledge needed to provide pre-hospital care. At this level you are typically paired with a higher-level provider in ambulances, on fire trucks, or in the emergency department. Certification requires at least 154 hours of classroom and practical education. Many colleges will offer one-month, three-month, or semester-long courses that allow you to become trained and certified.
- Intermediate/Enhanced EMT (EMT-I): This is an intermediate position that does not exist in all states, but it expands the scope of practice for the EMT-B with more skills, medications, and knowledge. It requires basic EMT training and some experience in the field.
- Paramedic (EMT-P). This is the most advanced pre-hospital provider. Paramedics have broad healthcare knowledge and an advanced life-saving skill set. This training can require a minimum of 700 hours of classroom training, as well as a significant amount of field experience, but these medics can work in any setting, including airborne (helicopter) and wilderness EMS.
Pro Tip: Advanced EMTs, called paramedics, must have significantly more experience and training, but can work anywhere, including airborne (airlifting).
Any edge you can give yourself when applying for a job as an EMT will help your chances. CPR certification and NAEMT (National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians) certifications such as Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) will give you the skills and confidence you need to move forward in the field.
A Rewarding Career
Working as an EMT is an extremely rewarding career. EMTs have incredibly personal interactions with patients and their families. Moreover, they have the phenomenal ability to make a positive impact in their community and to truly serve those in need.
Contact Us to register for CPR classes or to learn more about EMT requirements.