What is an Emergency Medical Technician

Otherwise known as an EMT, an emergency medical technician is usually one of the first ones to arrive at the scene of an accident or emergency. They're the ones in the ambulance, generally. Although, some might get flown in by helicopter. It depends on the emergency.

EMTs respond to 911 calls to provide medical assistance, when it's needed. This could be anything from performing CPR to taping up a wound. When they first arrive on scene, the first thing EMTs do is establish a course of treatment that would best suit the patient's condition.

It definitely can be a hard job. Some of the scenes you'll drive to are things you'll have nightmares about. Becoming an EMT isn't for the faint of heart. You need to be prepared to handle yourself well, so you can save as many lives as you can.

What Does an Emergency Medical Technician Do

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics care for the sick or injured in emergency medical settings. People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care provided by these workers. EMTs and paramedics respond to emergency calls, performing medical services and transporting patients to medical facilities.

Learn more about what an Emergency Medical Technician does

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.

Education

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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Average Salary
$40,092
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
7%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
80,679
Job Openings
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Emergency Medical Technician Career Paths

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Average Salary for an Emergency Medical Technician

Emergency Medical Technicians in America make an average salary of $40,092 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $55,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Salary
$40,092
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Emergency Medical Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Emergency Medical Technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Emergency Medical Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Emergency Medical Technician resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Emergency Medical Technician Resume Examples And Templates

Emergency Medical Technician Demographics

Emergency Medical Technician Gender Statistics

male

57.7 %

female

38.6 %

unknown

3.8 %

Emergency Medical Technician Ethnicity Statistics

White

71.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.4 %

Black or African American

6.2 %

Emergency Medical Technician Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

67.5 %

French

5.9 %

Russian

3.2 %
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Emergency Medical Technician Education

Emergency Medical Technician Majors

9.8 %

Emergency Medical Technician Degrees

Bachelors

35.5 %

Associate

26.1 %

High School Diploma

15.5 %
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Online Courses For Emergency Medical Technician That You May Like

Medical Emergencies: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation
coursera

In this course, you will develop the knowledge and skills to assess and stabilize certain types of patients for transport. By the end of this course, you will be able to: 1) assess a basic medical patient 2) describe general pharmacologic principles and the skills associated with medication administration, 3) explain airway physiology, the assessment of the airway and available interventions for airway management, 4) identify, assess and formulate a plan to stabilize a patient with a respiratory...

Trauma Emergencies and Care
coursera

Welcome to Trauma Emergencies and Care. In this course, you will learn about some of the mechanics and physics of trauma on the human body, and how this can cause injury. You will continue to expand your new vocabulary with medical terminology, and learn how to describe the different injuries you may see. You will also learn about the trauma system itself- and when it is important to transport patients to a trauma center. Then we will dive into specific injuries based on what part of the body ma...

Medical Emergencies: CPR, Toxicology, and Wilderness
coursera

In this course, you will develop the knowledge and skills to assess and stabilize certain types of patients for transport. By the end of this course, you will be able to: (1) Identify the signs and symptoms associated with a patient in shock, to describe the major categories of shock, to assess a patient with signs of shock and formulate a plan for treatment to stabilize the patient for transport, (2) Identify a patient in cardiac arrest and to describe the components of high performance CPR inc...

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Top Skills For an Emergency Medical Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.3% of emergency medical technicians listed cpr on their resume, but soft skills such as compassion and physical strength are important as well.

12 Emergency Medical Technician RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For an Emergency Medical Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an emergency medical technician. The best states for people in this position are Delaware, Oregon, Maryland, and New York. Emergency medical technicians make the most in Delaware with an average salary of $51,636. Whereas in Oregon and Maryland, they would average $49,770 and $49,339, respectively. While emergency medical technicians would only make an average of $47,444 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Emergency Medical Technician Jobs:
197
Highest 10% Earn:
$115,000
Location Quotient:
0.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Delaware

Total Emergency Medical Technician Jobs:
196
Highest 10% Earn:
$86,000
Location Quotient:
1.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Emergency Medical Technician Jobs:
504
Highest 10% Earn:
$57,000
Location Quotient:
2.02
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Emergency Medical Technicians

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Top Emergency Medical Technician Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ emergency medical technicians and discovered their number of emergency medical technician opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that American Medical Response was the best, especially with an average salary of $30,703. United States Army follows up with an average salary of $35,217, and then comes Acadian Ambulance with an average of $30,647. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an emergency medical technician. The employers include Adventist Health System, NASCAR, and NANA Development

Emergency Medical Technician Videos

Updated August 18, 2021