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.

Category: Become an EMT, EMT Requirements, EMT Training, Paramedics