Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics provide medical care for sick or injured individuals in emergency medical situations. Their work can be physically strenuous and may involve life-or-death situations. General job responsibilities of EMTs and paramedics include:
- Responding to 911 calls for emergency medical assistance
- Treating and stabilizing patients at the scene of an emergency
- Transporting patients from the scene of an emergency to a medical facility
- Reporting the medical care given to a patient to medical facility staff
The BLS predicts faster than average job growth for EMTs and paramedics from 2010 to 2020. The country's growing middle-aged and elderly population is increasing the need for EMTs and paramedics who can respond to health emergencies. There is also a steady demand for part-time and volunteer EMTs and paramedics in rural and smaller metropolitan areas.Read More
Job Growth for
Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic
Becoming a Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic
EMTs must complete formal basic or intermediate or advanced training, usually through a technical institute, community college, or emergency care training facility. A high school diploma and certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are required for most formal EMT training programs. Paramedics must complete advanced EMT and additional medical skills training. Paramedic programs typically last two years and graduates may receive an associate's degree.
Formal training may include field work in a hospital or ambulance setting. EMTs and paramedics usually take an additional course in ambulance driving. Some typical classes you may take in an EMT training program include:
- Trauma Assessment
- Basic Prehospital Care Principles
- Prehospital Care Pharmacology
- Basic and Advanced Life Support
All states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed. Specific requirements for licensure will vary by state, but in most states, certification by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) will qualify a graduate of an EMT or paramedic training program for licensure. A small number of NREMT-approved, online EMT certification programs do exist, but these programs require completion of field work at an emergency care training facility.