Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

Emergency Medical Technician & Paramedics

Alt Names:  EMT, Ambulance Technician, Certified EMT, EMT-Paramedic, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, EMT-1

Career Description

Paramedics and EMTs provide emergency medical help to patients needing immediate attention and assistance. A major difference between an EMT and a Paramedic is the training requirement. Where EMTs usually receive 120-160 hours of training, Paramedics receive anywhere between 1,200-1,800 hours of rigorous training.

 Job Responsibilities

  • Respond to emergency calls

  • Help transfer patients to designated areas (ambulance, hospital room, etc)

  • Perform CPR or bandage wounds when necessary

  • Document patient health and provide information to appropriate personnel

  • Keep inventory of medical supplies

  • Organize and sterilize medical equipment

Education & Training    

  • Post-secondary school certificate is required

  • +100 hours worth of training (hours vary upon EMT level and state of certification)

  • Paramedic training may take up to 2 years, with +1,300 hours for paramedic certification program – Often, 2 year degrees may be given by accredited program

Important Courses & Info:

  • Volunteering with rescue teams or fire departments can give future EMTs an up close look at emergency teams. You do not have to do this but it would give great insight into the occupation.

License and/or Certification

  • Individuals may apply for license at age of 18 and older

  • License and certification requirements vary upon state but is required in order to work

  • May be required to earn license to drive ambulance

  • Must earn CPR certification

  • Background check prior to license may be required


2010 Median Salary: $30,360 per year [Source:BLS.Gov]

Valuable Skills & Qualities

This occupation is good for people who are:

  • Empathetic
  • Good communicators

  • Helpful

  • Patient

  • Self-motivated

  • Adaptable

Work Environment/ Setting

These professionals work wherever medical attention is needed. Whether it indoors or outdoors, this occupations work setting is not static

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