How to Become an Emergency Care Attendant

Learn how to become an emergency care attendant. Research the job duties and the education and licensing requirements, and find out how to start a career in emergency care.

View 7 Popular Schools »

Do I Want to Be an Emergency Care Attendant?

Also referred to as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), these professionals are trained and licensed to provide medical services during emergencies. They assist in pre-hospital situations and in transporting patients to hospitals. Precautions must be taken when dealing with exposure to possibly infectious conditions.

Job Requirements

With a high school diploma and a CPR certification, aspiring emergency attendants can pursue a postsecondary program that usually takes about one year to complete and that offers certification. Licensure may be a part of that certification, but some states also require passing an exam to earn the license.

The table below outlines the requirements to become an emergency care attendant, via the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Common Requirements
Degree Level None required
Licensure or Certification Certification for EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic; licensing requirements differ by state
Key Skills Excellent interpersonal and listening skills, physical strength, communication skills
Technical Skills Use of common emergency medical equipment, including that used to monitor vital signs, immobilize patients for transport and administer CPR

Step 1: Earn High School Diploma

A high school diploma is often necessary to begin a career as an emergency care attendant. Without a high school diploma the individual may not be qualified to begin emergency medical training.

Success Tip:

  • Obtain CPR training. CPR is usually required prior to entering an emergency medical services (EMS) training program, although some programs include it as part of their curriculum.

Step 2: Complete Emergency Medical Services Training

There are three options for emergency care attendant training: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic. EMT-Basic training prepares the individual to manage patient emergencies, use emergency equipment and assess patient needs. Along with coursework, these programs may include on-the-job training that allows students to work in an emergency unit or ambulance.

EMT-Intermediate training varies but usually requires approximately 1,000 hours of training. This program concentrates on more advanced techniques and equipment, such as that used in the field to keep airways clear and administer intravenous fluids as well as some medications. Paramedic level is the highest form of training for an EMT and requires the completion of EMT-Basic and EMT-Intermediate training prior to beginning a paramedic program. Courses focus on advanced medical skills. Training can be completed in one to two years and can earn graduates an associate's degree.

Step 3: Pass Certification Exam

At the end of training the individual is required to pass a certification exam before beginning work. The examination is administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) and includes both written and practical components.

Step 4: Acquire a License

It is a requirement in all 50 states that emergency care attendants are licensed EMTs. Although acquiring a license is mandatory, the licensing process and job titles vary by state. Many states only require passing the NREMT exam to qualify for licensing, while others might have their own licensing exams.

Success Tip:

  • Maintain licensing qualifications. Renewing one's license is necessary every two to three years. To maintain industry standards in the field, individuals should take continuing education classes as well as additional training sessions.
Show me popular schools

Related to How to Become an Emergency Care Attendant

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Master in Health Sciences - Emergency & Disaster Management Degree

Read about master's degree studies focusing on emergency and disaster management. Learn what degrees can be earned, what topics...

Bachelor's Degrees in Emergency and Disaster Management

Emergency and disaster management programs may also be known as crisis management programs. Students seeking a bachelor's...

Emergency Teaching Credential Information and Requirements

Emergency, or alternative, teaching permits are issued when a school district immediately needs teachers. Emergency teaching...

Certified Emergency Nurse Exam and Certification Requirements

The Certified Emergency Nurse exam is an examination that allows registered nurses to test and prove their skills in the area...

Jobs for Emergency Management Professionals: Career Outlook

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?

  • 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

    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?

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

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BS in Health Information Management

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    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
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Eastern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Athletic Trainer
        • EMT and Paramedic
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright