EMT Course Duration
Anyone considering EMT training will eventually ask the question how long is EMT school? The answer is a bit complicated, because the duration of Emergency Medical Technician classes can vary quite drastically.
Each training level of Emergency Medical Technician has a different length program of classes so an EMT-B course will take much less time than a paramedic course (EMTP) to complete. Course duration is also different from state to state.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sets a minimum course duration time in hours and states are left to make their courses as they please.
This means many states have EMT programs with courses that go well over the required minimum hours. For this reason I will list the National minimum required hours of reach program and the usual duration of the EMT course below.
EMT Basic: National minimum is 110 hours of training. EMT training courses can be as short as 14 days or as long as 6 months. The basic EMT training course is often offered as a one semester class which allows the student to work full-time while enrolled.
Advanced EMT/ EMT Intermediate: National curriculum standards recommend 300-400 hours of EMT training. These courses are usually 10 – 16 weeks in duration if you already have an EMT-B license. If you don’t hold a current license the course duration may be around 5-6 months.
Paramedic (EMTP): National minimum is 1000-1200 hours. Paramedic training courses can be as short as 6 months or as long as 18 months. The paramedic training course is the most in-depth of the three programs and will require a large investment of time and energy.
Students often work while enrolled in the paramedic course, but your social and family life may suffer due to the time commitments of the course. (Information about the changes made in August 2016 to Paramedic training courses can be found on our National Registry Paramedic page.)
Online EMT Course
For students who don’t live close-by to an EMT training facility, pursuing an online EMT school may be a good option. Online EMT courses are offered in a hybrid format and do require some on campus classroom time.
The majority of learning is done at home in online sessions using learning modules, at the student’s own pace. Students are required to keep up with textbook reading and workbook exercises as assigned by the online instructors.
Pursuing an EMT education through online EMT courses is also a good option for full-time workers who don’t have time to attend on campus sessions regularly. Learning from home is convenient and time-saving, but it requires a highly motivated student with self-discipline to keep up with the online assignments.
Having continuous access to an internet connection and being tech-savvy is also helpful for EMT online training. Students will be required to follow a course curriculum and participate in online exams and testing to determine prehospital care knowledge and skill levels.
Most online EMT courses have internet related course support available through the facility. Classroom curriculum support is available with a member of the faculty during online business hours or at the in person classroom sessions.
A student learns the course material at home using the online modules and then attends the on campus portion of the course. While in a classroom setting, the student will be able to learn the hands on skills necessary to be successful in the field.
For example, a student can learn on scene patient medical assessment skills at home and then go to the classroom and learn how to correctly perform a patient assessment.
This hands on EMT training is vital to future success on the job as a profession emergency medical responder and all classes will require in person training sessions and skills testing. Most online EMT training programs will also require some in field experience in the form of ambulance ride alongs and hospital clinical sessions.
Overall, online EMT training offers great flexibility and freedom to learn at your own pace. It’s also a good option for anyone who isn’t located close to a training facility.
However, online EMT classes require self-discipline and should only be completed by students who are highly motivated and comfortable learning from textbooks and online modules without a lot of supervision.
EMT School Cost
At some point when deciding whether to start a career in the emergency medical services (EMS) you will probably ask: How much is EMT school? The answer is it depends on which program and what type of school you choose.
Taking all the program options (EMT-B, AEMT, EMTP) and the different types of schools (Accelerated, community college, online, etc.) into consideration can give a range for EMT training cost.
The approximate range for EMT school cost is from $500 (community college EMT training) to $12,000 (one of the more expensive private paramedic schools).
Training costs may vary from these prices depending on the facility and if there is travel or hotel expenses involved.
An important factor to keep in mind when pursuing EMT education is financial assistance. There are quite a few financial resources available for students attending a public college.
Students can apply for both Federal and state financial aid, grants, scholarships, or even student loans. For more specific information on financial aid at public colleges check out EMT Programs and scroll down to the heading “EMT Training (EMT-B)” and look under sub heading “Public Schools”.
Outside of colleges there are organizations in most states that offer scholarships and grants to students pursuing a career in the emergency medical field. One example can be found at National Association of Emergency Medical Technician (NAEMT). The scholarships offered change depending on time of year, but below is a frequent scholarship you can find on the NAEMT website.
They offer an EMS scholarship for the fall or spring semester, offering $500 for emergency medical responders to get Basic EMT training, $2000 for Paramedics to continue their education in EMS, and $5000 for EMT-B to become a Paramedic.
The internet is a good resource for finding more information about specific scholarships and grants available to help with EMT training costs.