EMT Training in the Bay Area with Program Overviews

Jan 02, 2019

Research EMT schools in the Bay Area, which currently has more than 10 colleges offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for 10 of these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

The San Francisco Bay Area, called the Bay Area for short, offers students many opportunities to pursue training to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics. EMT-basic training, also known as EMT-1 training, consists of 110 hours of didactic studies and 10 hours of clinical training. Students who complete EMT-basic training and pass the appropriate exams can move on to EMT-advanced training, where they will complete an additional 88 hours of training and must pass another exam. Upon meeting all requirements for EMT-basic and EMT-advanced levels, individuals can become paramedics by completing an additional 1,090 hours of training, and by passing the necessary exam.

Listed below are 10 of the most prominent schools in the Bay Area offering EMT programs.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting EMT Programs Offered Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)
Chabot College 2-year, public; midsized city EMT-1 Certificate Course $1,138 per year in-state; $7,018 per year out-of-state*
City College of San Francisco 2-year, public; large city Certificate of Achievement in Paramedic,
Associate of Science in Paramedic
$1,598 per year in-state; $9,010 per year out-of-state*
Contra Costa College 2-year, public; large suburb Certificate of Achievement in Emergency Medical Education $1,312 per year in-state; $8,424 per year out-of-state*
Foothill College 4-year, public; large suburb Certificate of Achievement in Paramedic,
Associate of Science in Paramedic
$1,554 per year in-state; $8,752 per year out-of-state*
Los Medanos College 2-year, public; large suburb EMT-1 Training Program $1,312 per year in-state; $8,424 per year out-of-state*
Merritt College 2-year, public; large city EMT-Basic Certificate $1,230 per year in-state; $7,110 per year out-of-state*
Mission College 2-year, public; midsized suburb AS in Fire Technology $1,855 per year in-district; $1,189 per year in-state; $6,105 per year out-of-state*
Napa Valley College 2-year, public; small city First Responder Course,
EMT-1 Certificate Course,
EMT-Paramedic Associate of Science Degree
$1,142 per year in-state; $6,758 per year out-of-state*
Santa Rosa Junior College 2-year, public; midsize city EMT-1 Refresher Certificate,
EMT Basic Certificate,
Associate of Science in Paramedic
$1,282 in-state; $7,328 out-of-state*
Skyline College 4-year, public; large suburb EMT-1 Certificate $1,447 in-state; $8,136 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Chabot College

Part of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, this college in Hayward is located about 29 miles from San Francisco. The college offers an EMT-1 certificate program in conjunction with the Chabot Fire Department. The program is accredited by the Alameda County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency. The program consists of training in basic EMT care, extrication, patient stabilization and triage. Admission requirements for this program include a valid CPR Professional Rescuer Certificate from the American Red Cross or a BLS Healthcare Provider Certificate from the American Heart Association.

City College of San Francisco

Located in San Francisco, this school is one of the largest public colleges in the country. Through the School of Health and Physical Education, students can enroll in a Certificate of Achievement or Associate of Science in Paramedic program. The school works with several Bay Area hospitals and other healthcare institutions to provide students with adequate training. The certificate program consists of 49 credits of coursework on topics such as the nervous and endocrine systems, cardiorespiratory emergencies and trauma. Students in the associate's program also complete the 49 core credits requirements in addition to general education classes to earn the degree. Both program options require completion of didactic training, a clinic hospital internship and a field internship. The school also offers an 8-credit EMT certificate program.

Contra Costa College

Located in San Pablo, this college is a part of the Contra Costa Community College District. The college has partnerships with several area medical facilities where students in health sciences programs can complete clinical rotations. Among these facilities include the Alta Base Hospital, Contra Costa County Medical Center and John Muir Medical Center in Concord. The college offers a Certificate of Achievement in Emergency Medical Services. Students complete 16-17 units of coursework in anatomy, basic life support and EMT-1 training.

Foothill College

This college offers paramedic training at the Middlefield Campus in Palo Alto. The school has its main campus in Los Altos Hills. Students can train to become a paramedic by completing a 15-18-month program. The program is geared towards candidates who have at least three months of full-time work experience or 480 hours of part-time experience. Students complete 76.5 credits of core coursework to earn a Certificate of Achievement. Students are able to earn an Associate of Science degree by taking additional general education courses. Training provided includes classroom instruction, hospital emergency department rotations and ambulance field internships.

Los Medanos College

EMT training at Los Medanos College is offered at the main campus in Pittsburg. The college serves students residing in the East Contra Costa County and also has an educational center in Brentwood. Students at this school can apply to the EMT-1 initial training program. The initial course can be completed in just one semester.

Merritt College

Students at this Oakland school can prepare for entry-level EMT positions by completing a 5-credit EMT-1 certificate program. The program is approved by the Alameda County EMS Agency. Admission requirements for the EMT-Basic program include possession of a current CPR card, completion of hepatitis B immunization by the first class and proof of TB vaccination. The class is taught by approved State Fire Marshall instructors.

Mission College

Located in the Silicon Valley area, this Santa Clara school offers an associate degree in fire technology through the Fire Protection Technology Department. The program includes several classes focused on EMT training in addition to courses on fire prevention, wildland firefighting and rescue practices. The program includes classroom lectures, lab hours and clinical training.

Napa Valley College

Located in California's famous wine country, Napa Valley College in Napa has been educating students since 1942. The college offers a first responder course, which can be completed by lay persons and those whose job require this kind of training. The school also offers an EMT-1 certificate course for students seeking initial certification from the National Registry of EMTs. Those seeking more advanced training can enroll in a 15-month associate's degree paramedic program. The program includes didactic training, clinical rotations and a field internship. Past students of the program have completed internships at Napa City Fire, San Francisco Fire and Piners Ambulance.

Santa Rosa Junior College

One of the oldest 2-year public schools in California, this college offers EMT programs at its Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses. Students can choose from three program options to prepare for initial employment or career advancement as an EMT. Those seeking to enter the field can enroll in the EMT-1 skills certificate program. The program consists of a 2-credit prerequisite course in first responder emergency care and a 5.5-credit course in EMT basic training. Those seeking to update their skills can complete the EMT-1 refresher skills certificate program. Students wishing to obtain the highest EMT level can apply to the paramedic program. The program consists of 55.25 credit hours and includes a clinical and field internship.

Skyline College

Located in San Bruno, this school is a part of the San Mateo Community College District. The college offers students individualized attention in course activities. Students at this college can complete a certificate program in emergency medical technology. The program consists of an 8-credit EMT course. To enroll in this course, students are required to complete a prerequisite class or have a CPR card. The course includes 96-108 hours each of lab and lecture coursework. Upon completion of this program, students are eligible to sit for the EMT-Basic national certification exam.

Career Requirements

The California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) regulates EMT and paramedic certifications in the state. At each of the three levels, basic, advanced, and paramedics, individuals must meet state-mandated training requirements and pass the appropriate exams offered through the National Registry of EMTs. Other qualifications include being at least 18 years of age, possessing the equivalent of a high school diploma, and holding a valid CPR card. California's EMSA requires that EMTs and paramedics complete a refresher course every two years.

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