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Become An Emergency Medical Technician

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Working As An Emergency Medical Technician

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Stressful

  • Make Decisions

  • $33,413

    Average Salary

What Does An Emergency Medical Technician Do

The Emergency Medical Technician is the first person who assesses the condition of the patient and determines the necessary course of action. They also prepare patients' care reports and keep records of the medical treatment given to them.

How To Become An Emergency Medical Technician

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics must complete a postsecondary educational program. All states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed; requirements vary by state.


Both a high school diploma or equivalent and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification typically are required for entry into postsecondary educational programs in emergency medical technology. Most of these programs are nondegree award programs that can be completed in less than 1 year; others last up to 2 years. Paramedics, however, may need an associate’s degree. Programs in emergency medical technology are offered by technical institutes, community colleges, and facilities that specialize in emergency care training.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs offers a list of accredited programs for EMTs and paramedics, by state.

Programs at the EMT level include instruction in assessing patients’ conditions, dealing with trauma and cardiac emergencies, clearing obstructed airways, using field equipment, and handling emergencies. Formal courses include about 150 hours of specialized instruction, and some instruction may take place in a hospital or ambulance setting.

Programs at the Advanced EMT level typically require about 400 hours of instruction. At this level, candidates learn EMT-level skills as well as more advanced ones, such as using complex airway devices, intravenous fluids, and some medications.

Paramedics have the most advanced level of education. They must complete EMT and Advanced EMT levels of instruction, along with courses in advanced medical skills. Community colleges and technical schools may offer these programs, which require about 1,200 hours of instruction and may lead to an associate’s degree. Paramedics’ broader scope of practice may include stitching wounds or administering intravenous medications.

High school students interested in becoming EMTs or paramedics should take courses in anatomy and physiology.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certifies EMTs and paramedics. All levels of NREMT certification require completing a certified education program and passing the national exam. The national exam has both written and practical parts.

All states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed; requirements vary by state. In most states, an individual who has NREMT certification qualifies for licensure; in others, passing an equivalent state exam is required. Usually, an applicant must be over the age of 18. Many states require background checks and may not give a license to an applicant who has a criminal history.

Although some emergency medical services hire separate drivers, most EMTs and paramedics take a course requiring about 8 hours of instruction before they can drive an ambulance.

Important Qualities

Compassion. EMTs and paramedics must be able to provide emotional support to patients in an emergency, especially patients who are in life-threatening situations or extreme mental distress.

Interpersonal skills. EMTs and paramedics usually work on teams and must be able to coordinate their activities closely with others in stressful situations.

Listening skills. EMTs and paramedics need to listen to patients to determine the extent of their injuries or illnesses.

Physical strength. EMTs and paramedics need to be physically fit. Their job requires a lot of bending, lifting, and kneeling.

Problem-solving skills. EMTs and paramedics must evaluate patients’ symptoms and administer appropriate treatments.

Speaking skills. EMTs and paramedics need to clearly explain procedures to patients, give orders, and relay information to others.

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Emergency Medical Technician Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Portuguese

  • Russian

  • Arabic

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • Italian

  • Hindi

  • Korean

  • Japanese

  • Polish

  • Vietnamese

  • Dakota

  • Urdu

  • Hebrew

  • Carrier

  • Gujarati

  • Cantonese

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Emergency Medical Technician

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Emergency Medical Technician Education

Emergency Medical Technician

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Real Emergency Medical Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Emergency Medical Practitioner South Louisiana Medical Associates Houma, LA Aug 13, 2012 $286,000
Emergency Medical Physician (Family Physician) Trinity Health Mason City, IA Aug 13, 2015 $285,667
Manager Contract Administration EMT Florida Power and Light Company Juno Beach, FL Oct 01, 2010 $92,000
EMT Manager Anthony Anazonwu Houston, TX Oct 01, 2009 $52,000
Advanced Field Paramedic/Emt Deutsch Williams Brooks Derensis and Holland, PC MA Jan 26, 2010 $45,914
Advanced Field Paramedic/Emt Eamaritan Ems, LLC MA Jan 12, 2010 $45,538
Advanced Field Paramedic/Emt Samaritan Ems LLC MA Jan 12, 2010 $45,538
Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic Acadian Ambulane Service, Inc. Humble, TX Apr 21, 2014 $37,566
EMT Paramedic American Medical Response Ambulance Services, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Jun 01, 2016 $34,632

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Top Skills for An Emergency Medical Technician


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Top Emergency Medical Technician Skills

  1. Ambulance Transport
  2. Patient Care Reports
  3. Emt-B
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitor ill or injured person s condition status and perform any necessary medical interventions during ambulance transport.
  • Aided, treated, and transported sick and injured patients Prepared patient care reports
  • Certified EMT-B, performed BLS services from 911 calls.
  • Take Responsibility to promote safety through associate involvement.
  • Follow state and federal curricula in instructing EMS life saving skills.

Top Emergency Medical Technician Employers

Emergency Medical Technician Videos

Hidden Camera - What Would You Do? EMTs refuse to help lady

Emergency Medical Technician & Paramedic programs

EMS - A day in the life