Aspiring professionals in emergency medical services commonly earn associate degrees or certificates to become emergency medical technicians (EMT) or paramedics. However, some universities offer bachelor's degree programs in the field that can provide a more expansive background in the healthcare system as well as technical training in emergency medicine.
Some programs are designed for students who've already earned EMT-Paramedic certification and who are solely interested in the healthcare management side of the field. Others prepare students to take the EMT exams.
Common prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED. Some programs require prior experience with paramedic studies or licensure as an EMT or paramedic. Other programs have no professional prerequisites.
Bachelor's Degree in Emergency Medicine
A typical bachelor's degree program in emergency medicine provides an overview of clinical EMS techniques and tools. Depending on the program, students might get hands-on experience in emergency medicine. They also gain a background in healthcare administration and management. Coursework may cover:
- Basic emergency care
- EMS clinical
- Patient assessment
- EMS administration and legal issues
Popular Career Options
Bachelor's degree graduates are eligible for a few advanced positions in emergency medical services. Individuals who gain national certification can obtain EMT positions as well. Some options include:
- Emergency medical technician
- Paramedic operations manager
- Emergency medical services supervisor
- Emergency services executive director
- Healthcare administrator
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a faster than average job growth rate of 7% for EMTs and paramedics for the 2018-2028 decade and reported a mean annual wage of $37,760 for these professionals in May 2018. Medical and health services managers were also expected to see good job growth at 18% for the 2018-2028 period. They made $113,730 on average in 2018, according to the BLS, though one should keep in mind that this category encompasses many job titles and includes individuals with master's degrees. PayScale.com reported that emergency medical services supervisors in the 10th-90th percentile made salaries ranging from $40,000-$71,000 in June 2019.
Emergency medical service technicians can gain certification at the EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic levels. Students who graduate from a bachelor's degree program in emergency medicine should be qualified to sit for national EMT-Paramedic certification. They may have to complete additional hours of clinical experience before they can qualify.
Bachelor's degree programs in emergency medicine are available to students who've completed related certificate or associate degree programs as well as students interested in entering this career field. These 4-year programs can provide students with a thorough understanding of management in emergency medicine.