Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are highly trained and skilled medical care workers that can provide individuals with on-site medical attention. Oftentimes, EMTs are hired by communities and cities to provide ambulance care, medical support for fire departments, and additional emergency-based care. EMTs are often required to help maintain a patient’s safety after an accident, transport an individual to an emergency hospital, and help assist individuals who are facing trauma.
With the many responsibilities held by EMTs, the careers are high paying and considered to be stable. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average EMT earns an annual salary between $25,000 and $45,000. In addition, the demand for EMTs is anticipated to continue to grow at approximately 19% between 2006 and 2016, which is higher than the average for all other occupations.
Best of all, nearly all individuals can complete their EMT training and certification through a local community college in less than 2 years.
What Type of EMT Training is Required
As Allied Health Schools explains, individuals seeking to complete their EMT training can generally finish all requirements within six months to two years. The time in which it takes to complete an EMT program depends upon the type of program that a student is choosing to pursue. The longer the training and educational period, the more responsibilities the EMT is trained to manage.
Foremost, to earn an EMT certification, all individuals must complete EMT I-Basic training. EMT I-Basic training generally provides students with practice and information that includes:
- Hand-on experience to complete exams and emergency response duties
- How to assess trauma
- How to administer oxygen and clear an airway
- How to use a defibrillator
Ultimately, EMT I-Basic training teaches individuals how to respond to basic emergency situations.
If individuals are interested in pursuing the EMT training to become certified to handle more challenges, then individuals can continue on to earn their EMT-II or EMT-III certifications. EMT-II and EMT-III professionals are provided with more in-depth coursework and practice. By engaging in the second and third level of training, individuals are taught how to complete medical assistance tasks such as:
- How to use manual deliberators
- How to administer intravenous fluids
- How to use advanced airway equipment and techniques to respond to respiratory emergencies
- How to care for and respond to more complex life-threatening / serious issues
Upon completing the various steps of training, which usually involve both classes and internship experiences, EMTs must also earn their certification, which typically involves registration. All EMTs are required to become registered with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Some states require additional state-based registration, certification, and / or examination, in addition to this national registry. Upon completing all training and certification tasks, EMTs may begin their work in the professional field; however, EMTs must continue to re-register every two years to maintain their certification.
Community College EMT Programs
While almost all community colleges provide local residents with EMT training and certification programs, Tacoma Community College, located Tacoma, Washington, has earned notable recognition for its EMT courses and educational options. Tacoma Community College (TCC) provides students with various levels of training to provide the necessary skills and information to perform medical care assistance outside of a hospital.
TCC’s program provides students with state accredited training through various options. Students can choose from the 1 year paramedic / EMT training pathway in addition to extended EMT training pathways. Students who choose to pursue additional training and education can continue their coursework onto the 2 year program; with this option, once all prerequisites are completed, TCC students can continue to earn their Associate in Applied Sciences Degree by completing a minimum of 37 EMT-based training courses.
Students interested in pursuing EMT training and certification can begin by contacting and researching nearby schools. If students are looking to complete their training quickly, some community colleges may offer programs that can be completed in just six months. Generally, however, if EMT students plan to engage in their training for approximately one year, then they should be legally able to enter into the EMT professional job market. Once a student chooses his or her community college, the school can inform individuals on the various state-specific testing and certification requirements.