EMT - 3: Educational Requirements

Sep 26, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an EMT-3. Get a quick view of the educational requirements as well as details about training, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

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Intermediate emergency medical technicians must have gone through basic EMT training and hold state licensure as well as professional certification.

Essential Information

EMT-3, also known as EMT-Intermediate, is the middle level of training for emergency medical technicians (EMTs). These professionals are trained to administer fluids through an individual's veins, work manual defibrillators and assist those who are having trouble breathing by using advanced airway procedures. Often, as first responders to emergencies, EMTs use these strategies during transport of the patient to a hospital emergency room. EMTs must be licensed and certified.

Required Education EMT-Basic training
Other Requirements Licensure, certification
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 7% (for all EMTs and paramedics)*
Median Salary (2018) $34,320 per year (for all EMTs and paramedics)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements


All EMTs must be at least 18 years old and have a basic, high school level education in order to be admitted into any training program. EMTs may need to be CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certified in order to begin training for this career. Solid physical dexterity and fitness will also be required to complete any EMT training program. Additional requirements, such as current vaccinations, may be necessary depending on the school.

Education Information

Emergency medical technicians must receive formal training by attending a certified emergency medical services program. There are essentially three levels of EMT training possible. Each training level builds upon the previous one, though they do not necessarily need to be completed in order. The levels are:

  • EMT-1 or basic
  • EMT-2 & 3 or intermediate/advanced
  • EMT-4 or paramedic

In some cases, EMT-3 is also referred to as EMT-Intermediate 85 or 99. To advance to the EMT-3 level, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that students must be registered as an EMT-1, complete classroom assignments and discussions and have experience working in a clinic or hospital (

During EMT-intermediate training, which requires anywhere from 30-350 hours of emergency service practice learning, students gain practical experience in applying emergency medical services in the field. While EMT-1 training can be completed in 3-12 weeks, intermediate training usually requires up to six months of time to finish. Common topics include:

  • Using defibrillators
  • Stopping patient bleeding
  • Administering medication
  • Supporting patients in trauma
  • Immobilizing a patient's spine

Licensing and Certification Information

After completing an EMT program, students are eligible for licensing and certification, which is necessary to work in every state. To receive certification, students must pass an exam of both written and practical skills. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians provides testing for EMTs of all training levels. Additional licensing requirements may also be necessary depending on the state in which an EMT works.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS reports that jobs for EMTs and paramedics are expected to grow rapidly, at a rate of 7% from 2018-2028. May 2018 salary data from the BLS showed a national median salary of $34,320 for EMTs and paramedics. It should be noted, however, that this figure includes all levels of EMTs. Actual salaries for EMT-3's will likely be lower than those for EMT-4's (paramedics).

In addition to meeting the prerequisites of having completed basic EMT training and holding appropriate licensure and certification, one must also have a specified number of hours in EMT training, have on-the job experience, and complete classroom assignments.

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