EMT Training: Requirements You Must Complete to Become an Emergency Medical Technician

When emergency situations take place, it’s usually the firefighters and police who receive all the initial credit. However, our society can’t do without another set of courageous people during an emergency…

Emergency Medical Technicians.

These EMT rock stars are true professionals, and no one can doubt their commitment and dedication towards their work and the people they help on a daily basis. If you always had a wish to help people at the time when they need you the most, then it’s time to enroll for EMT training. Remember, with loads of hard work and a little bit of luck, your initiative will surely offer you a lucrative career in Emergency Medical Services, and a secure future for your family at the same time.

Yes, I would like to become an EMT. Where do I begin?

Glad you asked! Congratulations on beginning your career as an Emergency Medical Technician. The EMT Training Plus team will help guide you along the best path.

First things first, you may already know that EMT training requirements vary from state to state. In fact, some cities like New York City for example, don’t follow state guidelines. So it’s important that you discover the exact requirements in the city/county you intend to work in.

Select your state below to get started. If for any reason you can’t find the information you need on your state/city/county please contact us and we’ll look into it. We’re always updating and adding more content to keep you informed and on the right track.


In the following paragraphs let’s explore the requirements you must complete in order to become a successful emergency medical technician.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that your EMT training will follow a specific path under all circumstances. Therefore, quite naturally, you will have to go through numerous theory classes in order to understand the minute details of your profession. Remember, an opportunity to explore the all important fieldwork in your profession will come only after you have gained a satisfactory textbook knowledge. However, once the opportunity comes, the EMT fieldwork can turn out to be extremely exciting for you as it is often performed completely inside a full-fledged working ambulance.

EMT Training and its Different Levels:

EMT training can be divided into three various levels. However, all the levels have a common basic requirement – an individual applying for the training must always possess a GED or a diploma from his/her high school.

Let’s now discuss these various EMT training levels and their requirements –

1) EMT Basic

This you can consider as the minimum requirement for acquiring an emergency medical technician job. Usually, the training courses can vary anything between fifty to hundred professional hours. However, if the training is taken from a reputed center, it surely proves good enough for handling emergency situations like major disasters, childbirth, respiratory and cardiac failures. It’s quite mandatory for you to clear a number of exams in order to obtain a professional certificate. Some centers also consider the attendance percentage at the time of issuing the certificates. However, under special circumstances, you can even complete a basic EMT program within just one semester if you manage to do the entire coursework successfully by that period.

Usually, in a basic EMT program, the students learn through a combination of clinical training and classroom coaching. The teaching methods are based upon the usage of various medical equipment, such as suction mounts, defibrillators, oxygen masks, etc. At the same time, the students will also require to learn the art of assessing patients, administering IVS, and the secret of lifting immobile patients quite easily. Some basic programs also provide in-depth training when it comes to the matter of offering immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Some of the courses of EMT basic include:

• Trauma Management
• Medication Assistance
• Blood Stoppage
• EMT Documentation
• Airway Management and
• Application of Splints to the Fractured Bones

2) EMT Intermediate

Usually, the training courses for EMT intermediate can vary anything between thirty to three hundred and fifty professional hours. And these hours are divided into clinical and classroom learning instructions. The intermediate programs generally revolve around life care and support. However, some training courses will also give you the opportunity to know advanced techniques for intravenous treatment, the art of administering medication, and trauma management. The duty requirements of an EMT will obviously vary based on the state in which you are placed. But a major share of the course program always remains the same, and also shares a striking similarity with the EMT basic program at the same time. Finally, apart from the advanced techniques mentioned before, one important additional duty requirement for the students in this training program is performing intubations. In this context, it’s important to mention that this is one duty which also requires quite a bit of practice and patience from the students.

3) EMT Paramedic

This you can easily consider as the highest training level for aspiring EMTs. This is also considered as the most challenging training program for an EMT, and can easily consume close to two years for its successful completion. For this reason, obtaining a paramedic-level certificate is by no stretch of imagination an easy task. However, no matter how difficult it is, clearing the paramedic-level is considered mandatory if you wish to excel in your profession. So, there should be no questions asked on its requirement whatsoever.

The training course material usually involves understanding the patient psychology, management of emergency services, and acquiring an in-depth knowledge on some of the most important medical terminologies. However, no matter what the training course material states, once you gain an experience of going through this level, you will easily understand that it gives emphasis on field training above everything. Interestingly, the field training requires some really complex and advanced tasks for the students like cardiac monitoring, suturing, practicing manual defibrillators, and the art of learning needle thoracostomy. In this context, it’s important to mention that needle thoracostomy is an extremely complex task which involves needle insertion straight into the cavities of the chest with a clear intention to release the trapped air which may have got accumulated as a result of an injury, lung puncturing, or a severe lung disease.

Certification and State Licensing Requirements:

Emergency medical technicians work for a noble cause to care and cure injured or sick people. They are usually hired by the private ambulance agency services, fire departments, hospitals, and nursing homes. The EMTs undergo training programs from various technical centers, schools, universities, academies, and community colleges. These training programs help to prepare the aspiring emergency medical technicians to sit for the all important National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) test. The certificate obtained from this test goes a long way to fulfill the wish of becoming a successful EMT. So, there’s absolutely no doubt in the requirement of these certificates. It’s also important to remember that the exams organized by NREMT are designed separately for each EMT level. And all NREMT exams invariably include an important practical portion as well as a written segment at the same time. However, it’s important for all EMTs to renew their certification at a time interval of every two to three years by acquiring continuous education credits along with an attempt to clear a decent recertification exam.

Finally, in order to operate legally, EMTs must also possess state license at any cost. The licensing requirements, however, can vary based on the state you are located, and also based on the EMT level you have managed to clear. Usually, the aspiring emergency medical technicians must always obtain their state licensing rights from none other than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Here also it’s important for the EMTs to keep themselves updated at all times through the accumulation of continuous education credits for the purpose of maintaining licensure.

Educational Requirements:

To become eligible as an EMT, the requirement of a GED or a diploma from the high school is mandatory. Moreover, as mentioned before, in the absence of the required qualification, you will not be able to apply for the EMT training programs such as EMT basic, EMT intermediate, and EMT paramedic at any cost whatsoever. Therefore, it’s up to you to acquire those necessary educational certificates and qualifications through your hard work. Remember, they will not only make you a perfect fit, but will also make you market ready to face the demands of the emergency medical industry at the same time. Finally, the good news for the aspiring EMTs is that the job and salary prospects for this profession are becoming healthier each and every day. And it’s been predicted that there will be a huge need for EMTs all over the world over the next fifteen to twenty years.

Some Other Important Requirements:

Apart from the formal training requirements discussed so far, the EMTs also need to be extremely fit to meet all the expected and unexpected challenges of this profession. It’s also quite important to have a good eyesight, sharp reflexes, and keen senses at the same time. Physical strength and stamina is also required to a great extent as the job often demands to move and lift immobile people from their homes or from the site of an accident. In addition, a great amount of physical strength is required at the time of carrying heavy medical equipment meant for providing life care support to the victims. However, having said this, it’s important to mention that mental strength is equally important for an EMT in order to achieve success in this profession. This is mainly because the job can be quite emotionally draining at times, and the work hours of an EMT can also get very irregular and lengthy over a particular period of time. Therefore, the ability of an EMT to successfully handle a stressful situation can serve as a real motivation for the entire medical team in the long run.

So, if you really want to become a successful EMT in the near future, then it becomes very important to interact with the people who are already going through the training process, or have started their EMT career recently. This will help you to gain a clear insight as far as challenging and tricky work environment is concerned. Most importantly, it will also help you to prepare mentally for an excellent EMT career. Best of luck!

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