How To Become an EMT: Education, Skills, and Salaries

Are you looking to pursue an EMS career training? Find out how to become an EMT, what abilities you’ll need for success, how to improve your profession and get promoted, and what salaries you may anticipate at each stage of your career path. 


How to Become an EMT/Paramedic?

Step 1. Check Your State

The education and training requirements for paramedics and EMTs are distinct. These specifications vary from one state and one employer to another. To find out what is needed, check the certification and/or licensing regulations of your state.

Step 2. Finish the Absolute Essentials.

Normally, to advance, you must possess a high school diploma or GED. Moreover, having your CPR certification is useful. You might need to pass a background check as well as a drug test to enroll in classes. Your vaccines, including the whole Hepatitis C series, must be updated.

Step 3. Check Your State

Whatever your long-term objective, the first thing you need to do is finish your EMT basic training. A typical training schedule for basic EMTs lasts between 120 and 150 hours spread out over six months to three years. Emergency departments like local fire, police, or health departments frequently offer these courses regularly.

But, it is simpler to join somewhere that will provide you with the entire course of training if you intend to continue your schooling to become a paramedic.

Online training courses are also available, but they lack the hands-on component of traditional training. Online training courses, on the other hand, give you greater flexibility in scheduling your studies. Basic EMTs will have the following skills upon completion of training: patient assessment, physical examination, CPR administration, oxygen administration, airway clearance, treatment of asthma attacks and allergic responses, semi-automatic defibrillation, and administration of glucose to diabetics.

Basic EMTs complete their education by earning an EMT-B, or Basic EMT Certification.

Step 4. Enroll in Advanced EMT Training Course

EMTs that are intermediate or advanced may receive up to 300 hours of instruction. EMTs that are intermediate or advanced will study oral and IV drug delivery as well as life support.

Intermediate or advanced EMT programs guide the student through increasingly sophisticated methods, tools, and drugs used to deliver life-saving treatment. When dealing with more serious trauma cases, this also includes managing spinal injuries and burns.

Step 5. Advance to Paramedic Training Courses

You can continue your studies to earn a paramedic license if you want to receive more training in this area. In general, paramedics undergo more than 1,000 hours of training, and many of them go on to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in paramedic studies.

Although paramedics must also deliver treatments that involve skin-breaking, such as giving IVs, intubating patients, suturing wounds, and interpreting heart activity, they will already be skilled at performing the duties of EMTs.

As part of their training, paramedics do clinical rotations at hospitals and medical facilities.

Step 6. Continuing Education

EMTs and paramedics may be required by state legislation to take continuing education courses to maintain their licenses and certifications.

To keep their NRMET certificate, EMTs and paramedics must re-register with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians every two years.


Whether an EMT or paramedic works for a government agency or a private company, their salary may vary somewhat depending on their geographical region and employer. An EMT or paramedic makes a mean annual pay of about $31,980. The standard rate per hour is $15.38.


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