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EMT - 1: Overview of How to Get your EMT Basic Certification

Explore EMT - Basic certificate programs along with certification information. Check the educational prerequisites for admission to this type of program and see the courses that are usually offered. Browse the employment outlook and salary projections for EMTs and paramedics.

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Essential Information

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are classified at the basic, intermediate and paramedic levels. The EMT - 1, or EMT - Basic, is the entry-level position that students may prepare for through an EMT - Basic certificate program. Students learn lifesaving procedures, emergency situation assessment and patient transport.

High school graduates have several options available to them when it comes to earning an EMT-Basic certificate, including vocational schools, community colleges, universities and technical institutes. A program should prepare students to pursue state-mandated certification, which involves passing an examination and participating in continuing education.

Education Prerequisites

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many EMT training programs require individuals to have a high school diploma or its equivalent before applying. Additionally, some programs require that students have a valid cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and complete a preliminary emergency medical course.

Course Topics

To earn certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the curriculum for the EMT - Basic program must comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation EMT - Basic National Standard Curriculum. Programs often offer classroom study and hands-on training in medical facilities. Students generally complete the program within one semester. Topics covered in a program may include:

  • Human biology
  • Anatomy
  • Medical terminology
  • Trauma injury treatment procedures
  • Patient transport techniques
  • Pediatric emergency care
  • Patient assessment
  • Cardiac emergency care
  • Hazardous material management
  • Ambulance operations

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS projected that employment for EMTs and paramedics should grow 23% during 2012-2022. However, individuals with only their EMT - Basic certification may need to acquire more advanced certifications in order to beat out the competition. Competition should be greatest for jobs in local governments and independent rescue agencies, since these employers offer better incentives. As of May 2012, EMTs and paramedics earned a median salary of $31,020, according to the BLS. Those in the lowest-paid 10% earned $20,180, while those in the highest-paid 10% earned $53,550.

Continuing Education Information

EMTs are required to obtain certification, but requirements vary for each state. States may abide by the requirements set by the NREMT, which includes completing an approved program, having a current CPR certification and passing an exam. Continuing education is required to keep the certification valid.

EMT - Intermediate and paramedic certificate programs are also available, and the EMT - Basic is typically the prerequisite for these programs. Some schools offer associate degree programs at the paramedic level. Additional certification is required after completing these programs.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (1 campus)
    • Florida (6)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Ohio (7)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Tennessee (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate in Medical Assisting and Administration

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Undergraduate Certificate in General Studies (Medical Assistants)

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Athletic Trainer
        • EMT and Paramedic
        • Physician Assistant
        • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Alabama (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of South Alabama include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • EMT and Paramedic
        • Physician Assistant
        • Radiological Science and Technologies
        • Respiratory Care Therapy
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

Popular Schools

  • What is your classroom preference?

    • Associate in Medical Assisting and Administration

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • When would you like to start classes?

    • Master of Business Administration - Public Safety Leadership
    • Bachelor of Science - Healthcare Management With a Dental Hygiene Emphasis
    • AS in Medical Assisting
    • Diploma in Medical Assisting

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Certificate - Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Undergraduate Certificate in General Studies (Medical Assistants)

    What is your highest level of education?

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics