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EMT - 1: Overview of How to Get your EMT Basic Certification

Explore EMT-Basic certificate programs along with certification information. Check the educational prerequisites for admission to this type of program and see the courses that are usually offered. Browse the employment outlook and salary projections for EMTs and paramedics.

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Overview of EMT-Basic Training for Certification

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are classified at the basic, intermediate and paramedic levels. The EMT-1, or EMT-Basic, is the entry-level position that students may prepare for through an EMT-Basic certificate program. Through lecture courses and hands-on experiences, students learn lifesaving procedures, emergency situation assessment and patient transport. A program should prepare students to pursue state-mandated certification, which involves passing an examination.

Education Prerequisites

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many EMT training programs require individuals to have a high school diploma or its equivalent before applying. Additionally, all programs require that students have a valid cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and complete a preliminary emergency medical course.

Course Topics

To earn certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the curriculum for the EMT - Basic program must comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation EMT - Basic National Standard Curriculum. Programs often offer classroom study and hands-on training in medical facilities. Programs generally last less than a year. Topics covered in a program may include:

  • Human biology
  • Anatomy
  • Medical terminology
  • Trauma injury treatment procedures
  • Patient transport techniques
  • Pediatric emergency care
  • Patient assessment
  • Cardiac emergency care
  • Hazardous material management
  • Ambulance operations

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Continuing Education

EMTs are required to obtain certification, but requirements vary for each state. States may abide by the requirements set by the NREMT, which includes completing an approved program, having a current CPR certification and passing an exam. Continuing education is required to keep the certification valid.

EMT - Intermediate and paramedic certificate programs are also available, and the EMT - Basic is typically the prerequisite for these programs. Some schools offer associate degree programs at the paramedic level. Additional certification is required after completing these programs.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS projected that employment for EMTs and paramedics should grow 24% during 2014-2024. Competition should be greatest for jobs in local governments and independent rescue agencies, since these employers offer better incentives. As of January 2016, EMTs and paramedics earned a median salary of $36,342, according to Payscale.com. Those with 0-5 years of experience earned a median of approximately $30,000, while those having 20 years of experience or more earned a median yearly salary of $39,000.

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