Emergency Medical Tech Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

An emergency medical technician (EMT) program trains students to provide critical care for injured or ill people. Emergency medical techs are licensed by their states and generally need national certification as well. Community colleges and vocational schools typically offer EMT classes.

Emergency medical services training is offered at three levels - EMT Basic, EMT Intermediate and Paramedic. Every state mandates licensure for EMTs, and most states require certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) as part of the licensing process.

Top Schools with an Emergency Medical Tech Program

These certificate programs prepare students to become EMTs and include both classroom work and field training.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Miami Dade College Miami, FL 4-year, Public Certificate $2,834 in-state, $9,661 out-of-state
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate $1,632 in-district,
$3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale, VA 2-year, Public Certificate $5,138 in-state, $11,055 out-of-state
Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX 2-year, Public Certificate $1,504 in-district,
$3,184 in-state, $3,544 out-of-state
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, Public Certificate, $2,805 in-state, $9,450 out-of-state
Tarrant County College District Fort Worth, TX 2-year, Public Certificate $1,320 in-district,
$2,064 in-state, $4,920 out-of-state
Portland Community College Portland, OR 2-year, Public Certificate $3,766 in-state, $8,374 out-of-state
Austin Community College District Austin, TX 2-year, Public Certificate $2,550 in-district,
$9,210 in-state, $11,340 out-of-state
Valencia Community College Orlando, FL 2-year, Public Certificate$2,474 in-state, $9,383 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics

School or College Selection Criteria

Students may want to consider the following when choosing an emergency medical tech school:

  • Students should look for a school or college that offers programs relevant to their career goals or needs, whether they need training to get started in the field, a program to advance in their career or continuing education to maintain licensure.
  • Students might want to see if the school or college offers refresher training for EMTs and paramedics, which typically is required every 1-2 years for maintenance of state licensure and national certification.
  • Prospective students might research which schools' graduates exhibit high NREMT exam passage rates, as well as those whose students perform well the first time they take the exam.
  • Some schools offer non-credit programs that won't transfer to a degree program, so students should determine whether or not they plan on pursuing further education after an EMT program.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs for aspiring EMTs provide the lecture-based and hands-on training that students need to take state licensure and/or NREMT certification exams. They usually take a year or less to complete. Over the course of these programs, students learn about fundamental topics in emergency care, such as medical and trauma response. Graduates can start working as EMTs, or they can pursue further education by enrolling in a paramedic certificate or associate's degree program.

Associate's Degree Programs

Some schools offer EMT training within broader associate's degree programs in emergency services. In addition to preparing students for EMT Basic certification, these programs usually provide the education necessary for students to take the NREMT's Paramedic certification exam as well. Students in these programs must also take general education classes. Upon completion, graduates can find work as emergency service providers, or they can enroll in a bachelor's degree program in a related topic, such as public safety or health administration.

Accredited EMT certificate programs are offered at many community colleges, as well as some 4-year colleges, and will prepare students for state certification and licensure. Students should assess their goals, such continuing on to a degree program, and compare costs in order to select a school.

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