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Iowa EMT Training and Classes with School Options

There are 12 schools within Iowa that have EMT training programs. Read an overview of the ten largest schools' programs, requirements, and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

Twelve schools in Iowa offer emergency medical technician (EMT) training programs at varying levels. Diploma and basic certificate programs are entry-level and for prospective EMTs, but there are advanced certificate and associate's degree for those with experience. Some schools offer evening and weekend EMT programs. Students should expect to complete classroom and clinical training.

A high school diploma or GED, CPR certification, a background check and liability insurance are some of the common admissions requirements. Paramedic programs at all schools require that applicants to the programs be currently certified EMTs in Iowa.


Des Moines Area Community College

Located in Ankeny, Des Moines Area Community College offers students a choice of three award programs at two different levels. The Emergency Medical Technician certificate can be completed in one course, worth six credit hours. Two paramedic programs are offered: a certificate program and a degree program. The paramedic certificate program requires the completion of 46 credit hours of coursework and 275 hours each of clinical and field internships. Students may be interested in continuing their education to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree as a paramedic specializing in one of three tracks: clinical, fire science, or public administration. The degree programs require the completion of 80-81 credit hours, depending on the emphasis. All programs conclude with NREMT testing for certification by the state.

Eastern Iowa Community College

Davenport-based Eastern Iowa Community College has an Emergency Medical Technician certificate, an Advanced EMT certificate, and an Associate in Applied Science in EMS degree. The EMT program prepares students to take the NREMT certification exam at the basic level, following the completion of 9.5 credit hours of coursework over one semester. Students interested in being certified as an advanced EMT can take the basic course in addition to the advanced course, for a total of 24.5 credit hours. Finally, the A.A.S. degree mandates that students earn at least 62.5 credit hours of classes over four semesters, including specialized classes such as neonatal resuscitation and advanced cardiac life support.

Indian Hills Community College

In addition to an emergency medical responder (EMR) certificate program, Indian Hills Community College administers three EMT training programs at its Ottumwa campus. The EMT certificate program prepares students to take the NREMT certification exam at the basic level in just two semesters. An advanced EMT certificate program is also available, requiring the completion of eight credit hours in two terms and readying students to take the NREMT test at the advanced level. The paramedic program offers two tracks. Students working toward an Associate of Applied Science must earn 79.5 credit hours in courses taken over eight terms (24 months), or students may complete only the paramedic core classes to earn a diploma in seven terms (21 months). Learners pursuing an AAS also have a dual major option; those who earn an additional 18 credit hours in specified courses will earn an Associate of Arts degree as well.

Iowa Central Community College

Students attending Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge have a number of academic programs to choose from that lead to careers in EMS, including an EMR program. The EMT - Basic training course is worth eight credit hours and includes 32 hours of clinical skills practice in the field. The college does offer an advanced EMT course, but the program is a non-credit earning track. The Associate in Applied Science in Paramedic program is also offered and requires the completion of 76 credit hours of coursework. All programs prepare students to take the NREMT certification exams at the appropriate levels.

Iowa Western Community College

Based in Council Bluffs, Iowa Western Community College has four EMT training programs, in addition to an EMR course. The EMT - Basic course requires that students be at least 17 years old and CPR-certified before enrolling. The EMT class is available in three formats: traditional, online, and hybrid. Currently certified EMTs may enroll in the advanced EMT class, the EMS diploma program, or the AAS in EMS: Paramedic program. The EMS diploma is available in two formats; students may complete 27.5 credit hours of coursework over two semesters in a traditional format or select the hybrid option that merges online learning with five in-person skills sessions. The Associate of Applied Science in EMS: Paramedic program takes three semesters and one summer term to earn the required 64 credit hours.

Kirkwood Community College

Located in Cedar Rapids, Kirkwood Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Paramedic program in addition to basic and advanced EMT certification classes. The EMT courses are provided by the school's Regional Center for EMS Education, an organization formed through a partnership between Kirkwood Community College, Area Ambulance Service, Mercy Medical Center, and St. Luke's Hospital. The paramedic degree program requires the completion of 74.5 credit hours of coursework and includes clinical opportunities as well as fieldwork. The college also has a dual-enrollment program for high school students to become certified as EMTs.

North Iowa Area Community College

North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City provides two levels of EMT training in addition to an EMR option. Students desiring to enroll in the 130-hour EMT - Basic course must be at least 17 years of age, pass a background check and physical exam, and hold basic life support (BLS) certification at the time of registration. Curriculum includes 12 hours of ambulance ride-along time and 18 hours of skills clinical experience in a hospital setting. The college also administers an advanced EMT course that consists of 113 hours of lab and didactic instruction, 52 hours of hospital clinical experience, and 48 hours of ambulance ride-along time. Only currently certified EMT - Bs are accepted into the advanced course. Students who complete either course earn eligibility to take the NREMT certification exams at the corresponding level.

Northeast Iowa Community College

The Calmar campus of Northeast Iowa Community College has an EMT - Basic certificate program and an Associate of Applied Science in Paramedic degree program. The EMT certificate program consists of an eight-credit hour class and is available in both the fall and spring semesters. Students must be CPR-certified and over the age of 17 before enrolling in the course. Applicants to the paramedic degree program must pass background checks and meet minimum standard testing requirements. The paramedic degree program requires the completion of at least 64 credit hours of general education and core classes.

Southeastern Community College

Located in West Burlington, Southeastern Community College offers students an Associate of Applied Science degree in EMS. Students must earn 79 credit hours in general education and core classes over two years to earn the award. Applicants to the EMS degree program must hold a high school diploma, meet COMPASS test minimum scores, have EMT certification, and pass both a background check and drug screening. Included in the EMS required curriculum is an EMT course consisting of five credit hours of didactic instruction and two credit hours of lab work; students who complete the EMT course are eligible to take the National Registry exam at the basic EMT level.

Western Iowa Tech Community College

Western Iowa Tech Community College (WIT) in Sioux City offers its students a range of choices in EMS training. The Emergency Medical Technician certificate program is a 7-credit hour class that prepares learners to take the NREMT certification exam at the same level. Students may also choose to be trained as an advanced EMT; the basic course is a prerequisite for the advanced EMT program, also worth seven credit hours. Individuals desiring to become paramedics have two options, including a diploma program or an A.A.S. degree program. Students choosing the diploma track will earn 44 credit hours in three semesters; degree-seeking students will earn at least 65 credit hours in four semesters. Currently certified paramedics have an option of completing two, 15-credit hour classes that may be credited towards the degree. WIT also provides an EMR program, an emergency planning certificate, an emergency manager basic skills certificate, an emergency disaster certificate, and emergency and disaster management diploma and degree programs.

Career Requirements

In order to be certified in Iowa as an EMT, an individual must complete an approved training program and pass both a written and practical exam administered by the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT). All certification requirements must be fulfilled and an emergency medical services (EMS) certification application received by the state within two years of program completion.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting EMT Certificate and/or Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Des Moines Area Community College Public, 2-year, large suburb Emergency Medical Technician Certificate,
Paramedic Certificate,
A.A.S. in EMT - Paramedic
$3,913 in-state; $7,825 out-of-state*
Eastern Iowa Community College Public, 2-year, small city Emergency Medical Technician Certificate,
Advanced EMT Certificate,
A.A.S. in EMS
$4,480 in-state; $6,624 out-of-state*
Indian Hills Community College Public, 2-year, remote town EMT Certificate,
Advanced EMT Certificate,
A.A.S. in Paramedic
$3,840 in-state; $5,760 out-of-state*
Iowa Central Community College Public, 2-year, remote town Emergency Medical Technician Certificate,
Advanced EMT Certificate,
A.A.S. in EMT - Paramedic
$4,890 in-state; $7,125 out-of-state*
Iowa Western Community College Public, 2-year, small city Emergency Medical Technician Course,
Advanced EMT Course,
EMS Diploma,
A.A.S. in EMS: Paramedic
$5,216 in-state; $5,376 out-of-state*
Kirkwood Community College Public, 2-year, midsize city Emergency Medical Technician Certificate,
Advanced EMT Certificate,
A.A.S. in Paramedic
$4,194 in-state; $5,034 out-of-state*
North Iowa Area Community College Public, 2-year, remote town Emergency Medical Technician course,
Advanced EMT course
$4,793 in-state; $6,799 out-of-state*
Northeast Iowa Community College Public, 2-year, distant rural Emergency Medical Technician Certificate,
A.A.S. in Paramedic
$4,676*
Southeastern Community College Public, 2-year, town remote A.A.S. in EMS $4,950 in-state; $5,100 out-of-state*
Western Iowa Tech Community College Public, 2-year, small city Emergency Medical Technician Certificate,
Advanced EMT Certificate,
EMS - Paramedic Diploma,
A.A.S. in EMS - Paramedic
$4,104 in-state; $4,128 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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