EMT License Requirements and Career Info

Licensure and training for prospective emergency medical technicians (EMT) are most commonly offered at the basic, intermediate and paramedic levels. EMTs initially assess and treat patients, as well as transport them to a nearby medical facility.

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Licensure Requirements for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT)

All states in the U.S. require emergency medical technicians (EMT) to be licensed. While licensing requirements vary by state, EMT training programs are typically offered at the basic, intermediate and paramedic levels. The length of a training program depends on the level of licensure being earned, with basic EMT programs taking as little as six months and paramedic programs taking up to two years to complete.

Basic EMT programs, often offered as a certificate or single course, cover patient assessment, managing cardiac emergencies, bleeding control, airway management and shock management. Intermediate EMT programs go on to cover advanced airway devices, patient resuscitation, intravenous therapy and ventilatory management. Paramedic programs, commonly offered as an associate degree, include advanced training in interpreting EKGs, administering medication and endotracheal intubations.

Most states require individuals to hold EMT certification in order to obtain an EMT license. In order to obtain licensure, many states require certification through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Certification by the NREMT, at all EMT levels, requires passage of a psychomotor and cognitive examination covering knowledge and skills learned as part of the prospective EMT's training program. There are some states that offer their own certification exam or give prospective EMTs the option of taking a state or NREMT exam. In order to maintain their license, EMTs must be recertified every two years.

Career Information

EMTs are the first responders to an emergency situation, providing initial emergency medical care and transporting patients to medical facilities. EMTs respond to a host of issues, including automobile accidents, gunshot wounds, strokes, heart attacks and childbirth. EMTs are commonly employed with hospitals, fire departments, private ambulance services, helicopter rescue crews and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2008 and 2018, employment for EMTs and paramedics is predicted to increase by nine percent. EMTs and paramedics had median hourly wages of just over $14 in 2008, according to the BLS.

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  • 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
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    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
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    • Virginia (3)
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    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
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    Online Programs

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

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

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

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  • 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)

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  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
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    • Florida (6)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Ohio (7)
    • Oklahoma (2)
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        • Associate in Medical Assisting and Administration

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    • Bachelor
        • BS in Health Information Management

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  • 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

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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