An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is a first responder who can treat the sick an injured in emergency situations. EMTs are also frequently the first on scene to accidents and other emergency situations. They are responsible for assessing patients for life threatening injuries, providing treatments and transporting patients to medical facilities. To learn more about EMTs go to the What is an EMT? page. Keep reading to learn the 4 steps to become an EMT.
Becoming an EMT
Becoming an EMT is very accessible to individuals in the United States. The process is different depending on what state and region you live in, but there are some basic steps that most states require.
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4 Step Guide to Become an EMT
Pick a Training Program → The first step to become an EMT is to find an EMT training program that fits your price range and time frame.
There are intense, high priced EMT Boot Camps and Accelerated EMT programs that can be completed in anywhere from 15 days to 6 weeks.
These are a good option for people with more money who want to get licensed quickly.
For anyone looking for a lower cost option, local community colleges also offer great training programs that usually take 3 – 6 months to complete.
Community colleges, State Schools and public Universities have good EMT programs and students are often eligible for financial aid which makes them a good option for people with less money to spend, but more time to train.
You can find another post about EMT programs here.
Complete EMT Training Program → The second step in becoming an EMT is to successfully finish your EMT program.
Keep going and don’t give up! You will learn a lot of information in a short time. At times it may seem overwhelming however, you are not alone.
Get support by talking to classmates, friends and family. You can also join EMS groups on social media if you prefer communicating that way.
Keep yourself motivated and always remember that EMT training school is the time to make mistakes. So don’t get down on yourself if you do something wrong.
Becoming an EMT is hard work and the first day of class can be intimidating. Remember, if you made it to the first day – you can make it through the rest of the program.
Certification Testing → The third step to become an EMT is to take the National Registry of EMT (NREMT) exams.
After you pass your EMT training school program, you will be ready to get nationally certified as an emergency medical technician.
EMTs in most states have to pass two National Registry of EMT exams, the Psychomotor and the Cognitive Exam. For great information about both these exams, go to NREMT Exams.
EMT instructors will give students information about signing up for the psychomotor exam towards the end of their EMT training course.
State License → The last step to becoming an EMT is to get a state license.
After passing both NREMT exams and getting a national license, EMTs will need to apply for an EMT state license.
EMTs can apply for their state license at their local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) office. The state license allows the EMT to legally work in their state.
Congratulations after completing these steps you will have become an EMT!
What should you do now that you’ve become an EMT?
Pick an EMT Job – Now that you are eligible to work as an EMT, you can finally decide what kind of EMS job to apply for.
Do you want to work on an ambulance, for a transport service, in a hospital?
Are you interested in responding to 911 calls or transporting less emergent patients? Do you want to volunteer with your local Fire Department?
These are some things to consider while you decide what kind of EMT job you prefer. For more details on each type of job go to EMT jobs.
Are you considering becoming an EMT but don’t know if you have what it takes? Check out: 5 Qualities of a Good EMT.
Another good read is: 15 Reasons to Become an EMT.
Christina Beutler is the creator of EMT Training Base. She is a former EMT and a current Registered Nurse. Christina’s path changed after taking a Basic First Aid class while in Community College, and a career in healthcare opened up. Working as an Emergency Medical Technician led to a passion for nursing and a job working in the Intensive Care Unit and Critical Care Unit right out of Nursing School. To learn more about Christina’s story, head over to the About page.