Online EMT Certification Program Overview
EMT (emergency medical technician) training programs equip students with the skills needed to become an EMT. These programs contain a mandatory skills session that must be completed in-person and for this reason, there are no fully online programs in California or anywhere in the country. Students who want an online program can instead consider hybrid programs that blend distance learning with occasional on-campus sessions.
Hybrid programs can be found in California, with admissions requirements usually consisting of a high school diploma and CPR certification. Graduates will be prepared to sit for official EMT certification, which is offered through the National Registry for Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). In order to obtain EMT certification in California, candidates must complete a training program, pass the two NREMT exams that focus on mental and motor skills, and apply for certification at a local agency.
Description of EMT Training Programs in California
California is home to many schools that offer blended EMT training programs, which cover the exact same topics as on-campus programs and take a few months to complete, on average. Coursework focuses on the essential practices and theory associated with providing emergency care.
The University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA's Center for Prehospital Care offers an eight-week EMT training program that is available in a hybrid format and includes self-paced lessons, skill labs, and other interactive assignments. In addition to on-site skills training, candidates also have the opportunity to gain practical experience by accompanying EMS agencies on ride-along shifts in the Los Angeles area.
College of the Desert
The EMT training program at College of the Desert makes use of the Canvas and the Navigate2 learning platforms to provide students with an interactive experience that covers the critical components of the EMT training process. The hybrid program mixes online lessons with in-person lectures and the school also offers an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) training program for candidates who wish to learn EMR skills.
Orange County Emergency Medical Training
The EMT program at Orange County Emergency Medical Training is taught by firefighters and provides a comprehensive review of the most important skills and knowledge areas needed to work as a firefighter, EMT, or a range of other related careers. The hybrid program provides a well-rounded education through 144 hours of didactic instruction along with 24 clinical hours for a total of 168 hours of instruction that prepares graduates for the NREMT exams.
Job Prospects for EMT Training Program Graduates
After completing a training program and taking the required exams to earn NREMT certification, graduates in California will need to apply for certification with a local EMS agency. This final step may involve a background check and an additional fee, and once approved, candidates will be certified and ready to begin work. Those interested in further education can pursue the Advanced EMT (AEMT) credential or enter a paramedic training program to gain new skills and open up new career paths. Employment in the EMT and paramedic field is stable and should remain so moving forward, as the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that EMT employment should increase by 7% nationwide from 2018-28, due in large part to an aging population that will need increased emergency medical care as time passes.
California, in particular, is an excellent place to be an EMT, as the BLS reports that the state employs the highest number of EMTs and paramedics in the country, with 21,430 professionals in the state. Professionals in this state had a mean salary of $39,350 per year in 2018, which is slightly higher than the national average of $37,760.
Students looking to become emergency medical technicians in California have the option to attend hybrid programs that teach the same topics as full on-site programs but with the added convenience of online learning. These programs cover essential skills and prepare candidates for the required certification exams.