EMT vs Paramedic: What’s the Difference? | Health Street

EMT vs Paramedic: What’s the Difference?

EMTs and paramedics are both vital to rescuing victims of an accident or disaster. You can find them in ambulances, hospitals, fire trucks, and even in helicopters. Both work in a variety of roles and are typically the first on the scene to give help. Both EMTs and paramedics have the skills and knowledge to transport patients and provide them with emergency care, but there are differences between the two.

Differences Between EMT and Paramedic

Considering working in emergency medical services but unsure about the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic? Find out to ensure you select the proper education program. Click To Tweet EMTs and Paramedics both provide care for patients in the ambulance before they arrive at the hospital, but they are not the same. So, what is the difference between EMT vs Paramedics? Read on to learn how they differ.


EMTs are the most common types of providers for emergency medical services and are the entry-level patient care providers.

Training Hours: A basic or intermediate EMT goes through 120-500 hours of education.

Responsibilities: Offers basic life support, patient care, and are also able to drive an ambulance.

Medical Training: Administer oxygen, glucose, nitroglycerine, salbutamol, ipratropium bromide, epinephrine, glucagon

Restrictions: Cannot give shots or start intravenous lifelines


Paramedic training builds on the concepts of an EMT program and may be completed as an add-on to EMT training, or at one time. Paramedics are responsible for providing both basic and advanced life support, as well as giving supportive care to patients and maintaining them after resuscitation.

Training Hours: Paramedics must go through advanced training of 1200-1800 hours.

Responsibilities: Basic and advanced life support and managing patient care.

Medical Training: Paramedics are trained to use over 30 medications to keep patients breathing.

Restrictions: None.

Know the Difference: EMT vs Paramedic

EMTs and paramedics both have the knowledge and skills to transport patients and provide them with emergency care. The biggest difference between the two is the amount of education they receive and what the scope of their practice. 

Pro Tip: Both emergency medical technicians and paramedics are crucial in the fast treatment of injured people.

Contact us to learn more about the differences between EMTs and Paramedics or inquire about the EMS Academy.