EMT Certification in California with Career Information

Research EMT programs in California, which currently has more than 30 schools offering these programs. Read overviews of the programs and get some quick facts for two California schools to decide which program is right for you.

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California Schools with EMT Training Programs

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are the first to arrive in the event of an emergency, assessing patients' conditions and administering pre-hospital medical care. Training in California for this type of work is usually found in certificate and degree programs at 2-year colleges. These programs prepare students to take national and local certification exams or pursue advanced degree studies in this field. Learn about the curricula and hands-on training in two schools' programs.

  • Moreno Valley College, which is a part of the Riverside Community College District, is located east of Riverside, in Moreno Valley. This school offers an EMT certificate program and paramedic certificate and associate's degree programs.
  • City College of San Francisco, situated in San Francisco, offers an EMT basic certificate program in addition to paramedic certificate and associate's degree programs.

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Comparison of Schools

Although there appears to be many similarities in the programs described above, aspiring EMTs may find considerable differences between schools. The table below contains school data, including tuition charges, student population numbers and graduation rates, to help in the decision-making process.

Moreno Valley College City College of San Francisco
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2014) 8,731* 23,610*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $1,416 (in-state)
$7,356 (out-of-state)*
$1,598 (in-state)
$7,554 (out-of-state)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 86%* 55%*
Acceptance Rate (2016) 100% (open admissions)* 100% (open admissions)*
Retention Rate (2013) 67% for full-time students, 47% for part-time students* 70% for full-time students, 38% for part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2011) 23%* 27%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Moreno Valley College

Moreno Valley College is a 2-year, public school in Southern California. EMT programs leading to certificates or degrees are offered through the college's Emergency Medical Services Academy.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certificate

In order to enroll in this California EMT program, a student must be at least 18 years old and have a CPR provider-level card issued by the American Heart Association. The program, which leads to a certificate, includes field experience spent working with ambulance and hospital personnel. EMT students are required to participate in community service work prior to graduating and taking EMT certification exams.

EMT - Paramedic Certificate or Associate of Science

Prior to embarking upon the EMT-Paramedic program, students must be certified EMTs with at least 2,000 hours of work experience. This 1-year program meets Monday through Wednesday and results in a 49.5-credit certificate. Students interested in obtaining an associate's degree must complete general education coursework in addition to the paramedic certificate core. Graduates of either the certificate or degree program are eligible to take the licensure examination given by the California EMS Authority.

City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco, which enrolls over 26,700 students, is a 2-year, public school. The college's School of Health and Physical Education administers two levels of EMT programs, awarding either a certificate or a degree.

Emergency Medical Technician - Basic Certificate

The Emergency Medical Technician - Basic (EMT-B) program trains students in patient assessment, communication and transport. This EMT-B program is available through both day and evening classes and lasts one semester. Upon successfully completing the program and passing the required examination, students may receive EMT-B certification from an authorized California Emergency Medical Services agency.

Paramedic Studies Certificate or Associate of Science

The EMT-Paramedic program prepares students to attain the highest level of pre-hospital caregiving. Students are trained in airway management, cardiac care, pediatric advanced life support and pharmacology. An internship affords the student opportunities to practice evaluating and intervening in emergency situations. Similar to the Riverside program, the City College of San Francisco's program offers both a certificate and an associate's degree option, with the degree requiring extra general education coursework. Upon successfully completing either EMT-Paramedic program option, graduates may take the National Registry examination for paramedic certification.

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