Becoming an EMT

EMT training is offered at community colleges, technical schools, hospitals, and universities and EMS, fire, and police academies. Those interested in EMT training should contact their state’s EMS Office. Those interested in paramedic training should contact the Committee on Accreditation for EMS Professionals. Both of these agencies can help potential students find local training.

EMT training varies from 2 to 6 months, depending on the training site and hours of class scheduled per week. There are training programs that have class every day for several months for those interested in quick completion. Longer programs are available to accommodate students who have family, a full-time job, or other responsibilities that limit their available time for education.

Approximate Training Requirements

 Hours of Training
 Emergency Medical Responder
40 hours
 EMT 110 hours
 Advanced EMT
200 - 400 hours
1,000+ hours

An EMT student is expected to be a high school graduate or the equivalent and to meet the physical and mental demands of the occupation. EMT-paramedic students must have completed their EMT training prior to enrollment in most EMT-paramedic courses unless they are enrolled in a joint EMT and paramedic program. Some paramedic programs are part of Bachelor of Science degree programs offered at colleges and universities.

EMT and Paramedic training are composed of in-classroom, didactic instruction; in-hospital clinical practice; and a supervised field internship on an ambulance. Courses typically are competency-based and supported by performance assessments. Instruction provides students with knowledge of acute and critical changes in physiology and psychological and clinical symptoms that they might encounter in an emergency medical situation.