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What are EMT Requirements?

Emergency Medical Technician Training

For one to become a paramedic, he or she must be at least 18 years of age. Academic requirements also include at least a GED or a high school diploma. Candidates must also be able to pass a criminal background check and several screening for certain diseases such as hepatitis B and tuberculosis.

Basic Training for EMT Technicians

EMT-Basic training is a necessity for paramedic certification. Individuals can obtain the certification from colleges, universities and community colleges. There are even hospitals that provide the course.

The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has produced the EMT Basic Training Course, which covers airway management, trauma and patient assessment and cardiac emergencies. Those that take this course will learn how to assess, aid and assist choking victims, victims of trauma by administering first aid.

Intermediate Training for EMT Technicians

Intermediate training for EMT technicians covers skills developed in the basic training course. Each state has different requirements for EMT cadets.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are two nationally recognized intermediate levels, EMT-INTERMEDIATE 1985 and EMT-INTERMEDIATE 1999. Training can range between 30 to 350 hours for students to complete. Once certified, an EMT-Intermediate can analyze heart rhythm, administer intravenous fluids and proper medications.

Paramedic Training for EMT Technicians

EMT Requirements

Technicians training in the EMT-PARAMEDIC training program will acquire advanced medical skills, knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology. The training course usually takes two years to complete. Competent students, however, may complete training in one year.

In this course, students will actively participate in ambulance exercises and clinical rotations. Students who complete the requirements of the course will advance and become that much closer to becoming a paramedic.

At this point, such students have furthered the abilities they’ve learned from previous training courses on top of knowledge and practice in using a wide range of sophisticated equipment and apparatuses. They will also be performing endotracheal intubations and will be reading EKGs.


Full completion of the entire National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) certification exam will warrant students a paramedic certificate. Students must take the exam within two years of completing the course and pay the non-refundable examination fee.

The test covers every objective of the required course such as airway, breathing and cardiology; trauma, obstetrics and pediatrics; and EMS operations.

Passing this test grants technicians a basic certificate and places them in a position to treat accident victims suffering from trauma, while being transported from the scene of accident.

Students who fail may take the test up to six times. Unfortunately, if they do not pass the test on the sixth try, they must take the EMT-Basic course over again, which can be done by remitting the non-refundable fee.

Around the country, some states offer their own certification exams for paramedics and require paramedic licenses to be renewed every 2 to 3 years. Technicians must meet all EMT requirements before receiving a license.

What is an Emergency Medical Technician?

An Emergency medical technician (EMT) is a health care provider who has received professional training that enables him/her to provide basic life support services (BLS) to people en-route to a medical facility due to sudden injuries and/or the onset of life-threatening illnesses.

There are currently three major EMT classifications in the United States: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic. The services an emergency medical technician provides will vary based on his/her classification and state laws. However, the services these health care workers provide will typically include removing airway obstructions and administering oxygen; utilizing automatic external defibrillators; stabilizing fractures and applying spinal immobilization devices; controlling blood loss; medication administration; and emergency childbirth assistance.

Educational requirements

As of the date of this article, prospective EMT students in the United States must have a high school diploma or a GED in order to be matriculated. The amount of time it takes to complete training and become certified is based on a number of factors such as skill level and location. Nevertheless, a typical EMT-Basic program will consist of almost 200 hours of training. An EMT-Intermediate program will include nearly twice as many hours of professional training. Likewise, an EMT-Paramedic program will consist of several additional hours of instruction, which may take up to two years to complete. Upon successfully completing any of the EMT programs, students will need to pass a competency exam in order to become certified.

Other requirements

What is an Emergency Medical Technician

Prior to becoming certified, EMT students will often be required to obtain appropriate health insurance and show proof of immunization. Students may also be asked to submit to and pass criminal background checks and drug screening tests.

Due to the mental and physical demands of the job, it is imperative that EMTs try to get at least six hours of sleep per day/night. Building endurance through regular exercise is also encouraged. Similarly, dietary changes may be necessary in order to improve general well-being.

Employment options

EMTs can choose to work from an ambulance or a hospital. Work hours can vary in either setting. For example, an EMT may decide to work nonstop for twenty-four hours and then take two days off. Conversely, another EMT may choose to work a traditional forty-hour work week followed by two off days.

Salary information

According to data culled from numerous employment-oriented websites, EMTs currently earn anywhere from $17,000 to more than $40,000 annually based on skill level, location, etc.

How Long Does it Take to Become an EMT?

Emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) are part of the first response team that arrives in case of an emergency. They administer life-saving medical care in emergency situations on location or en route to a hospital emergency room. Life as an EMT can be thrilling if you have a strong stomach, and often feel very rewarding to save lives.

If you’re looking to become an EMT there are three different recognized levels:

1) First Responder- EMT Basic (EMT-B): First responders or basic EMT’s, are specifically trained to be a part of critical care. While they are not trained in making large medical care decisions they are trained to offer rapid treatment to symptoms presented. For example, they are trained in performing CPR, splinting, operating defibrillators, injecting medications for allergic reactions, etc.

How long does it take to become an EMT Basic?
EMT-Bs can often become accredited in a few weeks- a few months depending on the course load taken by the student. These types of programs through coursework and lectures would teach a student how to manage a trauma situation until they’re able to get their patient to a medical physician.

Become an EMT

2) EMT Intermediate: Intermediate EMTs complete a higher level of training and learn more advanced patient care procedures than that of the EMT-B. They will often learn how to dispense medication to sustain life, and learn intravenous procedures along with airflow treatment.

How long does it take to become an EMT Intermediate?
EMT intermediate programs often take several months to complete, and will usually require several hundred hours of training to be completed. These programs often rely heavily on clinical training over just coursework. Certificates are often awarded upon completion of an intermediate program.

3) Paramedic: This is the most advanced emergency medical technician and therefore requires the most education. Students will often undergo nursing like classes to learn how to offer advanced care to patients in trauma situations. They will learn how to work well with other first responders (police, fire rescue) for special situations and often train to be point person in cases of patient rescue and life-saving care. Training to be a paramedic will often require other general education classes in conjunction with clinical courses.

How long does it take to become a paramedic?
Paramedic certification often takes from 1-2 years and most programs will graduate their students with an associate’s degree in emergency medical services.

It’s important to note when you’re considering becoming an EMT that not only does it require training, but also a license. Licensing involves written and practical exam, and must be obtained through individual states which offer their testing only certain times of the year. This can delay your plan by a few months. Emergency medical techs are an incredibly important part of the medical community and communities in general across the world, working to become one will surely bring you a rewarding life of saving lives.

EMT Basic Training Requirements

If you are looking for a new career and you like helping people, you might want to consider working as an emergency medical technician or EMT. These professionals give medical care to patients in emergency situations. The most entry level designation in this field is called EMT basic and is contrasted with the higher designations of EMT Intermediate and Paramedic.

Professionals with this designation deal mostly with cardiac conditions, respiratory issues, and trauma. While EMT basic is a skilled medical job field, the training for qualification in it is fairly brief and straightforward. Certainly it is quicker and simpler than the training for the higher designations and many other medical job types. The following are the EMT basic training steps you need to follow to become a legally employable EMT basic.

Preliminary Requirements

First of all you will need a high school diploma. This is always a prerequisite for enrollment in an EMT training course. Most people considering a skilled profession such as being an EMT will already have a high school diploma.

If, however, you do not have a high school diploma, you might wish to consider taking a General Education Diploma (GED) test in your state. Upon passing this test you will receive a high school equivalency diploma. This test itself is fairly easy and straightforward, and if you have any concerns about your ability to pass it there are preparatory courses and review materials you can access to make sure that you are well prepared.

Often cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification is also required to enroll in formal EMT training programs. This is easy to achieve by taking a brief course in the skill.

Enroll in an EMT Course

The next step is to find and enroll in an EMT basic training course. These courses are usually three months or less in length. They are offered at a number of different facilities such as the following:

Community Colleges

Community colleges are some of the most common places to find courses that prepare an individual for the EMT basic designation. These courses are usually fairly inexpensive and can be found by calling or visiting your local community college or checking their website.

Career Schools

Career schools are schools that offer training in a number of career fields outside of a traditional college or university setting. These schools often have flexible scheduling so that those with prior commitments can access training conveniently. Career schools can be found by speaking with your local education department, searching online, or speaking to individuals already in the field.


Sometimes hospitals offer EMT training. They may even offer those who have completed their training positions working for the hospital, so this can be a good route for those interested in getting to work in the field quickly.


There are online EMT courses that provide a certain amount of the training necessary to become an EMT basic remotely. However, an individual considering this option should bear in mind that there are practical portions of the curriculum that will still have to be fulfilled at a hospital, community college, or career school.

What the Training Covers

The training programs for this designation usually cover instruction in dealing with clearing airways, quick diagnosis of medical conditions, handling cardiac emergencies, dealing with trauma, and using a variety of emergency medical equipment. Often students must complete some work in actual medical environments such as hospitals and ambulances in order to receive practical experience.

Taking the NREMT Exam

After you have completed the training course, you will need to get certified. This is done by taking an exam offered by a national organization called the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Often this exam is more difficult than exams included in the training course, so it is a good idea to study well and hard for this exam. There are review materials and study courses that can help students to prepare for this certification exam.

Once you have completed the EMT basic training and passed the NREMT exam you will be licensed as an EMT basic and can begin working in the field!

Basic, Intermediate, and Paramedic EMT Requirements

There are a handful of occupations where a person can make a good living, feel satisfaction, and go home knowing they may have saved lives – an EMT is one of those occupations. EMTs are employed by hospitals, private emergency services and fire departments. The formal training and EMT requirements vary from state to state; a license is required for the basic, intermediate or paramedic levels.

Basic Training

Becoming an emergency medical technician requires many hours of training under various conditions. The basic training course typically includes 100 hours of training in situations such as:

- Cardiac Emergencies
- Respiratory Emergencies
- Major Disasters
- Critical Accidents

There are other course instructions that include, but are not limited to: The lifting, moving and transportation of bodies, overview of the human body, resuscitation, blood stoppage, managing trauma situations and case management.

CPR Requirements: You’ll have to check with your program administrator to see if admission requires a CPR certificate beforehand. Some schools will include CPR training with the program, while others won’t.

Intermediate Training

Moving up to the next level, the EMT intermediate program requires more extensive hours of classroom training. As mentioned, each state has their own requirements, and the hours needed can vary widely. Some states require as little as 50 hours of additional training, while other can exceed 300. After graduating from this curriculum a technician will be qualified to:

- Administer Medication
- Administer Intravenous Treatments
- Carryout Life Support Functions

There is also more in-depth training in some of the basic requirements that will prepare students if they wish to go on to the next level – Paramedic.

Paramedic Training

Paramedic training is the highest level of emergency service training the program offers. It can take up to two years (1300 hours training) to complete this program and students generally graduate with an associate’s degrees in EMT-Paramedic. At this level a student will learn: Human anatomy and physiology, paramedic technology, advanced cardiac life support, vehicle extrication, medical terminology and field training.

Educational and Physical Requirements

To qualify for EMT school you must have at least a high school diploma and a clean criminal record. In many states a GED equivalent degree will also suffice. Good eyesight and color perception will be tested as part of your acceptance to an EMT program. A big part of the EMT requirements is physical fitness. Since an EMT will be transporting, moving and lifting patients, it only makes sense that they be fit.

The Final Step – Licensing

All EMTs are required to pass the NREMT certification exam. Each level has its own exam, and the exams consist of written tests, demonstration tests and competency exams. The exception to taking the NREMT exam is when the state itself has their own licensing exams.

Re-certification: Once you become an EMT you must get recertified every 2-3 years. The recertification exams carry continuing education credits used to renew your certification and license.

The basic program can be completed in as little as two months – this will depend on the school you attend. A full-time student attending a trade school can finish the basic course in under two months, where as taking collage courses can take as long as six months. The EMT requirements at the Paramedic level are much more stringent, and the average time frame to complete this program is generally two years.

The job outlook (2010-2020) for EMTs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is an above average increase of 33 percent. If you’re looking for a truly rewarding career with exceptional growth, then take a closer look at becoming an Emergency Medical Technician.