Emergency Medical Technician Courses and Schools

Learn about the functions of an emergency medical technician, and get information about training programs leading to this career. Find out about the typical classes and work duties, along with tips on choosing a program. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) has the responsibility of providing first responder medical treatment in stressful and sometimes traumatic situations. Some short-term postsecondary education is required for these jobs, and the training and class work is intensive.

Courses EMT fundamentals, trauma emergencies, special considerations, medical emergencies, advanced pharmacology, intravenous therapy
Schools Community colleges, universities, technical institutes
Training On-the-job training, training programs
Certification National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification; must complete a certified education program and pass the national exam
Median Salary (2017)* $33,380 (emergency medical technicians and paramedics)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn in an Emergency Medical Technician Program?

Training programs for emergency medical technicians (EMT) typically progress through three levels: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic. At the EMT-Basic level, your program will focus on fundamental medical skills such as assessing and treating patients in various settings, including emergency rooms, fire trucks and accident scenes.

As your training progresses, you will typically gain the experience necessary to respond to various emergency situations, like childbirth or cardiac arrest. You will then need to pass written and practical examinations to become licensed in your state.

Upon completion of an EMT-Basic program, you will be qualified to continue your training at the EMT-Intermediate level, where you can learn more advanced skills like administering intravenous fluids. Depending on your state, this will generally take an additional 30 hours of training. Paramedic programs typically last one to two years and can lead to the completion of an associate degree program.

What Courses Will I Need to Take?

EMT-Basic programs are generally completed in one semester, and your classroom training may be combined with experience in hospital and ambulance settings. Through this combination of time in the field and coursework, the program can familiarize you with respiratory and cardiac emergencies, patient assessment, trauma situations, and transporting patients.

You will also learn to use medical equipment that will help you care for and transport your patients. Stretchers, backboards and splints may be among the equipment that you will learn to operate in your studies. If you go on to further licensure as an EMT-Intermediate or Paramedic, you will take more advanced courses in areas that include:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Trauma life support
  • Pharmacology

How Do I Find a School?

Most community colleges offer EMT programs, with courses offered multiple times a year. Many hospitals and universities also offer the program. Because certification by the National Registry of Emergency Technicians (NREMT) is required for employment in most states, it is a good idea to make sure the program you choose is a state-approved. This will ensure that you are enrolled in a quality program, and that obtaining your certification will not be a problem.

Here's a snapshot of schools that offer EMT programs:

  • Durham Technical Community College
  • Arapahoe Community College
  • University of Utah
  • American River College
  • Community College of Aurora
  • Aims Community College

Can I Take Courses Online?

If you're interested in online options, you may find schools that offer multiple courses either partially or entirely over the Internet, including textbook reading assignments and streaming instructional videos. Due to the hands-on nature of EMT training, you'll typically be required to perform hands-on training in order to complete a full program.

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Prerequisites for EMT programs vary by school, so be sure to review the requirements of the program that you chose. Generally, programs require a criminal background check, high school diploma or equivalent and CPR certification.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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