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How Can I Become an EMT-Intermediate?

Explore the career requirements for EMT-Intermediates. Get the facts about education and licensure requirements, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you.

What Is an EMT-Intermediate?

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide medical care to individuals at the site of an accident, injury or other emergency situation. Due to their responsibilities, they must be highly trained, have strong communication skills and act calmly under pressure. They must perform a wide variety of medical services, such as assessing a patient's condition, performing CPR and administering medication or first aid, all while transporting patients to hospitals as quickly as possible. EMT-Intermediate, also known as an advanced EMT, is the second level of EMT training. These individuals have has completed the initial requirements for the EMT level as well as coursework in more advanced medical procedures. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Postsecondary non-degree award
Key Responsibilities Respond to emergency situations,
Treat patients at scene of accident or other disasters,
Transport patients to medical facilities
Licensure/Certification Required Licensure and certification required, specifics vary by state
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 7% for all EMTs and paramedics*
Average Salary (2018) $37,760 for all EMTs and paramedics*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

How Can I Help People as an EMT-Intermediate?

Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate (EMT-Intermediate or EMT-I) is one of several levels of emergency medical service (EMS) providers. As the job title suggests, this is a mid-level EMS field; it requires more advanced training than the certified first responder or EMT-Basic levels, but is lower than the paramedic level.

As an EMT-Intermediate, you respond to a variety of different medical emergencies and traumas. Your specific job duties depend heavily upon the state you're licensed to work in; however, this is generally considered the entry-level for providing advanced life support. You might specialize in a particular area like cardiac care or shock-trauma. Once you become certified and licensed, you might work for a private ambulance service, hospital or even the local government.

What's the Training Program Like?

You need to complete a training program in order to become certified or licensed as an EMT-Intermediate. You need a high school diploma to enter such a program, and you may also need current EMT-Basic certification. Many different schools and organizations offer training programs for this field, including technical schools, community colleges and community organizations.

Because training requirements vary from state to state, an EMT-Intermediate training program can include anywhere from 30 to 350 hours. Training programs for this field involve much more than just classroom lectures, often including laboratory simulations and practical skill labs. You typically also complete supervised clinical experiences at a hospital and in a pre-hospital care environment. Topics of study include advanced skills in patient assessment, airway techniques and life support. Additionally, you learn how to start IVs and administer certain medications, such as those used to treat shock or diabetic emergencies.

You typically need to pass written and practical exams in order to successfully complete such a program, for which you might earn a certificate or technical diploma. Given that the training program you've selected meets the qualifications set forth by your state, successful completion also deems you eligible to sit for certification exams.

What Are the Certification Requirements?

Completing a training program is just the first step in becoming an EMT-Intermediate; this field also requires certification and licensure. Some states offer their own certification exams and requirements, but 46 out of the 50 states rely on the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) to certify at least one level of their emergency medical services (EMS) workers (www.nremt.org). Because certification requirements vary by state, you should check with your state EMS office before starting the training process.

The NREMT certifies EMT-Intermediates at both the 1985 and 1999 levels. In order to apply for either level of certification, you need current state or national certification at the EMT-Basic level or beyond. You also must have completed your EMT-Intermediate training within the past two years, and the program must meet the curriculum standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation. National certification through the NREMT requires you to complete both a written and practical exam; passing these exams certifies you as an EMT-Intermediate for one year, at which point you need to apply for recertification.

Do I Need to Become Licensed?

Becoming certified demonstrates your ability to provide emergency medical services, but you also need a license to work as an EMT or paramedic in all 50 states. In most states, NREMT certification is a requirement for licensure, but some states may require you to complete a state exam. Typically, you must fulfill continuing education requirements and renew your license every 2-3 years in order to remain qualified to work as an EMT-Intermediate.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Firefighters must have the same level of education as EMTs. They also must be quick thinkers as they too respond to emergency situations in addition to putting out fires. Registered nurses can enter the career field with a diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree. They care for and educate patients about their health or ailment and provide advice to family members.