How to Become an EMT or Paramedic 2021? |Cost, Schools,Training,

Watching M.A.S.H, Crash Landing, or Ambulance Girl, Paramedics horror would make you desire the opportunity. Moreso, a wishful thinking can’t  make you become anything. Becoming an EMT or Paramedic, you’ll need to undergo training courses in EMT schools in order to get used to the system and as well the job necessities.

Paramedics and EMT are structured to be out for your rescue when there’s an emergency. Just as lifesaver and so important to everyone. Hence their training focuses on life support techniques in first-response situations such as CPR

Pennsylvania reported in 2018 under    Bureau of Emergency Medical Services that the EMS system in Pennsylvania comprised of 1,258 agencies and they responded to 2,101,641 calls for service, the overwhelming majority of which constituted emergency responses to incidents.

After reading this article, you will be Able to know how to become an EMT or Paramedic and save lives. You’ll learn about the schools and training you should get, how much an EMT education will cost you. The relevant information you need to know about becoming an EMT or Paramedic will be unraveled.

What EMT is all about

EMT simply means an Emergency Medical Technician. They are out to respond to emergency situation which they have received training to attend to people who are critically ill to provide emergency medical care  to them.

EMTs were before referred as Ambulance Drivers or Attendants because their job specifically linked with transporting and treating of patients and as  well assist nurses, paramedics, physicians and other advanced life support providers. Now EMTsmedics, and Ambulance Technician is the termfor these emergency responders.

EMTs and Paramedics are knowledgeable about patients treatment guidelines that follow national and local medical policies, Hence these professionals had their training in practical emergency medical knowledge and skills that they put in practice within a short time.

Difference with EMT and Paramedic

Atimes, argument springs up in small circles in places of the world with active Emergency Medical Services (EMS) about EMTs and Paramedics. Many will be challenged with the following questions; if EMTs and Paramedics are the same. Do they do the same thing? Do they get the same salary?

The answer to all these questions is rooted on the definition of both terms – which will be briefly discussed.

Though both EMTs and Paramedics possess the knowledge and skills required to transport patients to medical centers and provide them with emergency care. Sure there’s a great difference between EMTs and Paramedics based on the amount of education they receive and what they are allowed to do for patients.

To start with, EMTs will have to complete a training course in schools for EMTs – usually about 120-150 hours in length, Paramedics take courses that take between 1,200 to 1,800 hours to complete.

Moreso, EMTs receive training on many skills including CPR, giving patients oxygen, administering glucose for diabetics, and helping others with treatments for asthma attacks or allergic reactions. However, they can’t provide treatments to patients that requires breaking the skin – using needles – unless in exceptional cases like in the case of auto-injectors for allergic reactions.

Nevertheless, Paramedics receive education on topics such as anatomy and physiology, cardiology, medications, and medical procedures. Also, they build on their EMT education and learn more skills such as administering medications, starting intravenous lines and providing advanced airway management for patients. They go as far as learning how to resuscitate and support patients with significant problems like heart attacks and traumas.

Therefore, Paramedics are advanced providers of medical care.

But here, EMT and Paramedics are interchanged believing that you’ll love to advance your EMT education.

The Levels of EMT

To clear you more on the difference between EMTs and Paramedics, you need to know the various levels of EMT.

Here are the stages you’ll go through if you desire  EMT as a career.

Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)

It’s assumed to be the first stage of your career as a Paramedic. You become an EMR after completing your State-approved EMR course and passing the cognitive and psychomotor examinations. Here, you are equipped with the skills and knowledge you need to provide immediate, first-responder services to patients. You can provide basic life-saving care with little external help while waiting for other responders.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

This path of the career seems common. There’s a certain requirements that is expected of you in addition to those that are mandatory for EMRs before they move into day-to-day work. Providing emergency medical care, stabilize patients, provide transportation, and use the tools and devices provided on an ambulance to care for patients on their way to hospitals shall be your job responsibilities.

Advanced EMT

this point is attainable after which you have completed additional education and certification requirements. At this point, you have all it takes to provide typical EMT services. In addition, you will possess the medical know-how needed to offer a few advanced services while the patients are on transit to a hospital.


The  of the EMT career is paramedic. Therefore, you will   complete a two-year degree to qualify as a paramedic. Then after passing relevant certification exams, you will be able to provide extensive critical care to emergency patients with your basic and advanced skills. Also, paramedic comes with deluge like higher salaries and more responsibilities.

What EMTs do

The actual responsibilities of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics are to respond to emergency calls, perform medical services, and transport patients to medical facilities. This is assumed to be their core job.

Moreso, the following responsibilities are believed to be the daily job schedule for the Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic:

  • Examine and evaluate patients to determine the kind of care they need
  • Utilize appropriate techniques and equipment to provide patients with emergency care
  • Record patients’ information, condition, and treatment
  • Adhered to patient rights by maintaining patient confidentiality in providing them emergency care
  • Transport patients following laid-down policies and procedures
  • Maintain a safe, clean, and well-stocked environment for patients
  • Operate and drive the ambulance following applicable safety policies and laws
  • Provide basic life support and gather patient data

Ambulance as we presume to be EMT or Paramedic is what the movies depict and the medium that transports these live-saving professionals to our aid.

Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians work on an ambulance crew sure, but that’s not all. Paramedics job environment also extends to hospitals and sites where established medical care is not easily available, such as cruise ships or remote job sites.

No matter where they work, EMTs and Paramedics will always work in teams, with the Paramedic heading the team. They will also find jobs in Local government facilities and private medical firms.

Salary and Job Mind-set of Paramedics

after meeting the relevant educational and job requirements and discharging your duties Yet, you will earn a salary. That is, becoming an EMT does not require a work experience rather attain those levels mentioned  above.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMTs and Paramedics earn an average of $34,320 per year or $16.50 per hour. In 2018, there were a total of 262,100 employment for Paramedics and EMTs and the job is estimated to grow by 7% from 2018 to 2028.

One of the reasons for this growth will be the growth in the middle-aged and older population. Therefore, there will be more incidences of age-related health emergencies like stroke and heart attacks that will require the services of paramedics.

Meanwhile, BLS further breaks down the salary of paramedics based on the industry they work.

Therefore, the following are the annual earning estimate for Paramedics:

Hospitals; State, Local, and Private Firms – $36,650

Local Government (Excluding Education and Hospitals) – $36,450

Ambulance Services – $31,590

Furthermore, paramedics in some states earn bigger salaries than their counterparts in other states.

The top 5 paying states in the USA for paramedics and EMTs are:

Washington – $67,600

District of Columbia – $57,270

Hawaii – $54,370

Maryland – $49,490

Alaska – $47,7

How I can Become an EMT or Paramedic?

The following must be done to start out this career:

  • Get a High School Diploma or its equivalent. A high school diploma or GED is necessary for you to start up your career in providing emergency medical services.
  • Acquire CPR Certification. You will have to get a certification in CPR to work as an EMT because it is a necessary requirement for the job. You can get CPR Training from the
  • American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.
  • Take an EMT Program. You need to take a certificate or diploma program that is state-approved as part of your requirement to become a certified EMT. These EMT basic training (EMT-B) takes anywhere from 6-12 months to complete the 120-150 hours of coursework. Several schools in the USA offer such programs, however, ensure to check that the program has accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs(CAAHEP).
  • Pass the Cognitive Exam. The National Registry Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT)Cognitive Exam is a must for EMT aspirants. The computer-based exam comprises 60-110 questions which you must complete in two hours and score between 70 and 120 to pass. However, you must NREMT standard level of competency to pass the exam. Passing this exam earns you your certification. Note, however, that you must recertify every two years.
  • Pass the Psychomotor Exam. The psychomotor exam tests your ability to successfully perform a number of emergency skills such as conducting patient assessments, managing cardiac arrests, immobilizing spines, caring for long bone fractures, controlling bleeding, etc. You can get these tests from your state’s EMS office or local training institutions. It is a necessary exam for becoming an EMT.

Are you wondering whether you can go to college with a GED? See the Best Answers

How to Become a Paramedic

In addition to holding a high school diploma or its equivalent, a CPR certificate, completing EMT basic training, and passing the NREMT exam, paramedics must pass through the following process:

  • Complete Advanced EMT Training. Advanced EMT training requires you to complete 300 hours of coursework. here, you’ll receive advanced EMT instruction on using medication, complex be airway devices, IVs, and EKGs.
  • Get a Two-Year Degree Program. Becoming a paramedic is all about advancing in your EMT career, hence you will be needing a two-year degree. Community College or technical schools offer two-year associate’s degree programs for Paramedics that are quite affordable. This program will cover coursework in anatomy and physiology, as well as advanced life support. You will practice these courses through clinical training in hospitals and ambulances.

Schools I Should  Attend to Become an EMT or Paramedic

As it is earlier stated, community colleges or technical schools are one of your best options for an EMT training course or Associate’s degree.

However, you must be sure you’re getting your EMT training course from a recognized school. The best way to ensure this is to enroll in a program that is CAAHEP accredited.

Meanwhile, there are two options available for you to get your EMT or Paramedic education from.

These are:

  • Traditional Community Colleges
  • Online Schools

You will notice that we did not mention traditional four-year colleges and universities. It is not because they do not offer training programs for EMTs and Paramedics, but because theirs are not as affordable and specialized as those of Community Colleges.

So, we will proceed to show you some of the best schools where you can get good EMT and Paramedic training courses that are affordable from the two categories.

 The Best Community Colleges for EMT and Paramedic

The best community colleges offer programs that cover all levels of Emergency Medical Services. Hence, these schools will have training courses for EMTs as well as advanced courses for Paramedic

Here are the best traditional community colleges to get good EMS training programs and degrees from.

  • Broward College’s biggest strength is its strong focus on practical teaching. It tends to bring EMT and paramedic students to the limelight of knowledge on the latest healthcare industry trends. This way, they meet EMT job requirements easily. This Florida Community School offers a Diploma in Emergency Medical Technician, Certificate in Paramedic, and Associate in Emergency Medical Services.

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  • Fox Valley Technical College is another good  school for EMTs and Paramedics to get training courses that will make your career glitter. It offers three programs for students aspiring to enter the Emergency Medical Services industry: Diploma in Emergency Medical Technician, Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician – Advanced, and Diploma in Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedics

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  • Palm Beach College’s mission provides you with the highest quality emergency medical services to the community. At Palm Beach, you can take the Diploma in Emergency Medical Technician, Certificate in Paramedic, or Associate in Emergency Medical Services program.

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  • Tulsa Technology be Center is another awesome school in the USA that proves quality EMT and Paramedic training courses. Its accredited EMS programs include the Emergency Medical Responder/Technician, Emergency Medical Technician, and Paramedic program.

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  • Barton County Community College (BCCC) is another school that has good quality for EMTs and Paramedics to get training courses and programs. At BCCC you will take either the EMR, EMT, or paramedic and advanced EMT (AEMT) program.

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The Best Online Schools for EMT and Paramedic

You don’t get any less quality for studying for a Paramedic Associate degree online at your own convenience. However, there is almost no readily available online EMT training program online. This is because EMT training courses require hands-on training which online programs don’t avail you.

For this reason, you’ll mostly find hybrid online schools offering EMS programs. Nonetheless, online schools are ideal for Paramedic associate’s degrees and the good news is that the really good ones are accredited

How long it takes to become an EMT

Complete an EMT Basic training which can take anywhere from 6 months to one year for EMTs to become a certified EMT and 6 months to 2 years for paramedics, considering that they will get an Associate’s degree in Paramedics. Hence, it will take anywhere from six months to two years to become an EMT.

The cost to become an EMT

It costs between $1,000 to $2,000 to become an EMT, the bulk of the cost pertaining to the cost of getting an EMT Basic training. For paramedics, however, an associate degree will cost between $5,000 to $7,000, especially when you choose the online option.

How hard it is to become an EMT

A specific working experience or bachelor’s degree is not needed to become an EMT though may be necessary while in active service, so becoming an EMT is not hard. You only need to get a CPR certificate and pass the cognitive and psychomotor exams, which could be easy if you put your mind to understanding your EMT basic training.

How I can become an EMT if I already have a degree

It is not required that you have a degree to become an EMT, but if you do, its no problem. You will just have to put your degree aside and take the EMT Basic training and pass relevant exams to gain a license to practice.

Can you do EMT school online?

You can get online schools offering EMT programs but you cannot complete EMT certification 100% online. If you decide to enroll for an EMT online program, you’ll visit the school’s campus for portions of the practical training, while taking the coursework online. Some four-year universities and community colleges provide this kind of Hybrid EMT training for EMTs and Paramedics.

The fastest way to become an EMT

Getting a high school diploma or its equivalent is believed to be the fastest way to become an EMT get CPR certification, enroll for an EMT Basic training, pass the NREMT exam to get certified, and pass the psychomotor exam.

What  I can do with an EMT Basic certification

Firefighter, police, and military service members are jobs Basic EMT skills  can provide for you.Hospitalss hire individuals with EMT-Basic training as emergency room technicians. Furthermore, EMT-Bs can go on to become paramedics, dispatchers or managers of emergency response teams.

Is it hard to become a paramedic?

It could be tough to becoming a paramedic unlike EMT. First, you will be an EMT before you become a Paramedic. Taking an associate degree that takes you on advanced coursework in anatomy and physiology is very necessary, as well as advanced life support. It would not be easy to grasp these courses one time. You may have to struggle with them for a while.

Other jobs a paramedic can do

Physician Assistant, Registered Nurse, Medical Equipment Repairer, Medical Assistant, and even Surgical Technologist are jobs paramedics can fit in and perform excellently because of their advanced EMT knowledge.

Do you get paid for EMT training?

During your EMT basic trainig, you are not yet certified to practice as an EMT, so you will not receive any salary during the training. But once you get your EMT license and get hired somewhere, you will start receing a salary. However, Paramedics can work as EMTs while they are in paramedic school and make money while they are in school.

How much does it pay to be an EMT?

According to BLS, EMTs and Paramedics earn an average annual salary of $34,320. However, this pay differs based on the industry you’re working in and the state where you practice. EMTs in Hospitals, State, Local, and Private Firms earn $36,650, while EMTs in Washington earn as high as $67,600.


Based on their job requirements and levels of education EMT differs from paramedic. It is pertinent you note that before desiring to become one. Also, Paramedics earn higher. Mind you that while you don’t need a degree to become an EMT, you will need to someday acquire an Associate Degree in Paramedics to become one and save lives better.

We are very glad that this article will guide you all the way to becoming an EMT and Paramedics