EMT 2: Job Duties, Career Outlook and Education Prerequisites

Research what it takes to become an EMT-2, or EMT-I. Get the facts about the education and training required, job outlook and potential salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an EMT-2?

As an emergency medical technician, an EMT-2 or EMT-Intermediate works closely with paramedics and provides more advanced life support and pre-hospital care than do EMTs with basic certification. Your main role is to provide medical aid at the scene of an emergency and transport patients to a hospital. You must assess the condition of a patient, treat them, keep documentation of the treatment given and then report their condition and treatment to the medical professionals after arriving at the hospital. Unlike an EMT-Basic, you'll be able to administer intravenous fluids and medications to patients if necessary. Additional duties include maintaining and replacing the medical supplies and equipment inside the ambulance. Because of the nature of this career, individuals should be able to react quickly during life threatening and emergency situations. Refer to the table below for an overview of important information about entering this field.

Education Required EMT-B and EMT-I training program
Licensure/Certification EMT-Basic license and Advanced Emergency Medical Technician certification
Key Responsibilities Respond to emergency calls, assess patients' conditions and determine best treatment, assist in the transport of patients to emergency care facilities, relay information about patients' conditions to other medical personnel
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 24% increase (for all EMTs and paramedics)*
Median Salary (2015) $31,980 (for all EMTs and paramedics)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are My Job Duties as an EMT-2?

As an emergency medical technician (EMT)-2, you respond to emergency situations under the supervision of an EMT-Paramedic. You are qualified to administer the same medical support as an EMT-Basic, but you can also administer IVs, employ advanced airway management techniques and use defibrillators. Your specific job duties as an EMT-2 can vary considerably by state.

As an advanced EMT, you may be qualified to take on more responsibilities, including cardiac monitoring and administering certain medications. As you respond to emergencies, you may provide pre-hospital care for fractures, wounds, breathing trouble and cardiac arrest.

What Is The Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for EMTs and paramedics was expected to increase by 24% over the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). An aging population and overcrowded emergency departments may be responsible for this growth. Your main employers are ambulatory health services, local governments and hospitals. The BLS also reported that the median yearly salary for these professionals was $31,980 as of May 2015.

What Are My Educational Prerequisites?

Your first step to becoming an EMT-2 is obtaining licensure as an EMT-Basic. You usually need to have a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old to complete an EMT-Basic training course, which is often offered by community colleges and health provider services. These courses will include practical emergency department experience and cover basic medical aid, such as keeping airways clear and assessing a patient's condition. You need to pass both a cognitive and practical exam administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) to complete EMT-Basic certification (www.nremt.org).

As an EMT-Basic, you are now eligible to enroll in an intermediate EMT course, which develops your existing medical expertise and introduces you to more advanced life support skills. Your areas of study can include pharmacology, clinical assessment, ventilation procedures, trauma management and intravenous access as well as clinical rotations. The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician exam offered by the NREMT covers both cognitive and psychomotor components. After passing the exam, you can keep your EMT-2 status by meeting continuing education credits.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Individuals who are interested in careers as EMT-2s are also qualified to work as EMT-Basics, as the certification for an EMT-2 is more advanced. They also may be interested in other healthcare-related careers as nurses, physical therapy assistants or medical assistants. For those who like working under pressure, they may wish to pursue jobs as firefighters, detectives or police workers.

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