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E M T Certificate Programs

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are often the first responders to medical crises. The skills that students may obtain in EMT-Basic certificate programs allow them to administer critical first aid and life support to ill or injured patients.

Essential Information

These programs are often completed in three weeks to four months, and students can learn basic life support, first aid, wound care, and emergency rescue procedures. These programs combine classroom education with clinical training and typically require students to complete a minimum number of hours training in real-life, on-the-job settings. All EMTs must obtain certification to gain employment in the field.

  • Program Levels in Emergency Medical Technology: Certificate programs
  • Prerequisites: High school education or equivalent, current CPR certification, minimum GPA, completion of science-related courses, previous volunteer experience, at least 18 years of age
  • Program Length: Three weeks to four months
  • Experiential Learning: Clinical and on-the-job training

Certificate Programs in Emergency Medical Technology

These programs cover basic body and emergency related topics. Students also learn how to use common tools of the job. Common course topics include these:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Trauma assessment
  • Anatomy
  • Pharmacology

In addition to coursework, students learn common skills such as these:

  • Performing CPR
  • Administering medicine
  • Providing wound care
  • Establishing respiratory air flow
  • Conducting patient interviews

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Emergency services, fire departments and other government agencies are common employment spots for emergency medical technicians, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS expects an above-average growth rate for EMT and paramedic careers from 2012-2022, with a 23% increase in employment during that span (www.bls.gov). An aging population and rotating personnel within the industry will help fuel this job growth.

The BLS states that the mean annual salary for EMTs of all levels, including paramedics, was $35,110 in 2014. The bottom-paid ten percent made $20,690 or less annually, which is less than $10.00 per hour. However, EMTs in the top-paid ten percent made $54,690 or more per annum. Heavily populated metropolitan areas employ more EMTs than other locations. Washington D.C., Hawaii, and the state of Washington paid their EMTs the best average salaries in the United States in 2014.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Students who complete an EMT certificate program must obtain certification through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, or NREMT (www.nremt.org). The NREMT administers an exam in order to obtain certification required for gaining employment. Students who pass the exam must complete continuing education coursework as part of a recertification process once a year. EMTs may also need to meet additional state requirements in order to be legally eligible for employment.

EMTs can complete additional emergency services education in order to enhance their education, potential income, and career opportunities. EMTs can become paramedics, the highest level of EMT available, by completing a paramedic training program and passing additional certification. Some EMTs may also attempt to enter other healthcare-related careers, such as nursing. Healthcare careers are among the most booming industries throughout the coming decade.

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