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 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.