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Earn EMT certification for a Prosperous Emergency Medical Technician Career

Updated on April 10, 2014

In the United State of America, EMTs are responsible for performing immediate prehospital care to people who are critically ill, or injured in accidents, natural and manmade disasters, fires, and acts of violence. EMTs also transport these patients to emergency medical facilities in, hospitals, or interfacility transfers for follow-up care and treatment. Their work is strenuous and physically demanding, and frequently they put their own life at risk to save others. Sometimes, they are also exposed to deadly infectious diseases when they come in contact with patients infected with contagious diseases.

Every year, EMTs save millions of human lives in the United States and worldwide. On the occasion of the National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week in 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was proud to release a Press Release informing that emergency medical care providers provided treatment to 36 million Americans in 2011.

EMT Requirements

EMTs are responsible for saving millions of human lives every year, but they are only eligible to work as a certified EMT if they can complete certain state government and local authorities requirements. They must enrol and complete the local and state approved EMT Training, pass the state-approved EMT Certification Exam, and earn EMT Certification. Once these conditions are met, emergency medical technicians can begin their EMT career and earn a salary by applying to EMT jobs.

Palm Beach State College Students EMT Training
Palm Beach State College Students EMT Training | Source

EMT Certification Exam

EMT Certification Exam evaluates the competencies of the EMTs for providing quality emergency medical cares. The exam contains two parts: a) Written Exam, and b) Skills Exam. Forty Six states recognize NREMT EMT Exam to assess the competency level of the students for EMT Certification. NREMT Exam features, a) Cognitive Exam (Written Exam), and b) Psychomotor Exam (Skills Exam). Pearson VUE is authorized testing agency for scheduling the NREMT exam.

There are also certain NREMT requirements that must be completed to gain eligibility for the exam including creating an account on NREMT website, Login, completing a National Registry online application, submitting Application fees and course completion verification for Authorization to Test (ATT). The candidates who are verified to test can Print ATT letter to schedule the exam through Pearson Vue. The candidates, who successfully pass both parts of the exam, get EMT Certification. The possession of Certification also allows them to apply for emergency medical care jobs with private and government entities.

EMT Training Program

In the United States of America, EMT Training Program provides necessary skills and knowledge for emergency patient care and transportation. Many states have replaced their custom EMS training curriculum and adopted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed and approved the National EMS Education Standards. The new EMT - Basic course curriculum has 8 Lessons knowledge and skills models including:

  1. Module 1 - Preparatory
  2. Module 2 - Airway
  3. Module 3 - Patient assessment
  4. Module 4 - Medical Behavioral, Emergencies and Obstetrics/Gynecology
  5. Module 5 - Trauma
  6. Module 6 - Infants & children
  7. Module 7 - Operations
  8. Module 8 – Advance Airway (Elective)

However, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is prerequisite, and students must hold a current and valid CPR certificate prior to enrolling in a training program.

The new NHTSA curriculum hours include a) CFR: 48 – 60 hours, b) EMT: 150 – 190 hours, c) AEMT: 150 – 250 hours, and d) Paramedic 1000 – 1300 hours.

The length of the new EMT-Basic NHTSA curriculum is hour 150 -190 hours, depending upon the training providers. Although, local EMS training providers can decide their own training curriculum, the courses must be based on the national EMT training curriculum standards and meet the local and state requirements.

EMT Jobs

EMTs respond to emergency calls, provide emergency medical care, and transport patients to emergency facilities and hospitals. EMT Jobs are strenuous and physically demanding. They work in tense situations, and many a time, they risk their own life in danger to save people from acute illness and injuries, as a result of fires, drowning, vehicle accidents, acts of violence, and natural disasters. On many occasions, they are also exposed to transmitted diseases when they come in contact with patients infected with contagious diseases.

Emergency medical technicians can apply to employments in ambulance services, fire and police departments, private organizations, local and state government agencies, and industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected growth of EMTs and Paramedics will be 23 percent from 2012 to 2022. The report also informs that the state of California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois provided highest employments to EMTs and Paramedics.

EMT Salaries

EMT Salaries are not uniform throughout the United States but vary from state to state. Even inside a state, salaries of emergency medical technicians vary depending on numerous factors such as workplace and location, industry type, education, duty hours, and living costs. There is also wide salary variation between cities, cosmopolitan areas, towns, and rural areas.

The May 2013 report of the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages informs that the hourly wages of EMTs and Paramedics fluctuated between $9.82 and $26.30, and the annual wages varied from $20,420 to $54,710. In the same period, the Hourly Median Wage was $15.04, and the Annual Median Wage was $31,270.

The salary paid to EMTs may be lower to what they should get for the physical demanding jobs, full of risks and dangers, but one must remember that EMT jobs are entry-level employments, and through higher level education, certificates, and experiences, EMTs can earn higher salaries and positions.


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    • Iolani profile image

      Iolani 3 years ago from USA

      Thank you @Subodh

    • profile image

      Subodh Maheshwari 3 years ago

      Very informative article on EMT. Enjoyed reading it.