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How to Become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Step-by-step Guide to Becoming an EMT

Emergency medical services is a dynamic sphere where becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is no longer a career choice but is also a must to be the frontline responder during critical situations. Did you know that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for EMTs is expected to grow at a rapid pace of 6% by 2030? This is faster than the average of all occupations.

If you, too, want to make the most of this lucrative career, then read this blog. Here, we will explore the steps that transform an individual into a crucial link in the chain of pre-hospital care. Discover how to become an EMT.

What are the essential qualifications of an EMT?

An EMT, or emergency medical technician, has a critical role as they are the first line of individuals to reach in an emergency. They address an emergency with a swift response, which requires compassion and quick analysis. Here are a few essential qualifications for an EMT:

  1. High School Diploma, or GED: The first step is the basic education requirement that must be met in most EMT programs.
  2. EMT Basic Training: This consists of 120–150 hours of intensive training and practice in a given field.
  3. Certification: Once you have been trained, you must then pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) Exam to become a certified emergency medical technician.
  4. State Licensing: Each state has its own licensing requirement, usually in the form of a written exam and an objective background check.
  5. Physical Stamina: Since the majority of the time EMTs are required to lift and move patients, they need to be physically fit.
  6. Driver’s License: Demand for EMT job positions usually includes a valid driver’s license, as ambulances are operated in most cases as well.

Read More: How to Look for Good AED and CPR Classes Near Me

A step-by-step guide to training, certifications, and examinations

The journey to becoming a specialized EMT requires training and rigorous examinations. As the frontline responders in emergency medical services, the professionals play a crucial role in offering immediate care. Keep reading to discuss how to get an EMT certification:

Step 1: Education and the prerequisites
Become a certified EMT by taking the required educational courses and completing the prerequisites. Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent and meet any requirements in advance that are set by a training program.

Step 2: Select the EMT program that suits you best.
Research the accepted EMT programs offered by universities, community colleges, or vocational schools. Choose a program that supports your career plans; make sure it meets the standard of the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) or relevant certifying authority.

Step 3: Finish the Certified EMT Training
Enroll in structured EMT training, which consists of academic training in a classroom, practical skill labs, and clinical or field internships. Training aims at acquiring basic knowledge of patient assessment, medical procedures, and emergency response protocols.

Step 4: EMT Certification: Obtaining
You will receive an EMT credential when you successfully pass the NREMT, or state-specific certification test. It will assess whether you have the right skills, which is a very important stage for you as a certified EMT professional.

Step 5: Choose the Other Specializations
Consider going for specialty certifications or higher levels of EMT training to allow yourself to change career opportunities within the emergency medical services industry. These can include EMT or paramedic certifications, which broaden the career prospects.

Read More: 10 ways to find the best CPR classes

What is the projected growth in demand for EMTs?

The demand for Emergency Medicine Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is projected to grow in the upcoming years. Employment in the field is also expected to grow by 15 percent from 2016 to 2026. Additionally, it also promises a projected growth rate of 7% over the 2021–2031 period.

Moreover, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a growth of 5.4% for paramedics between 2022 and 2032. Additionally, around 18,700 new jobs are projected to open up by 2028. The Bureau of Health Workforce projects a 17% increase in the need for EMTs and paramedics by 2035.

These projections therefore confirm the growing need for emergency medical services due to an aging population, rising economic disasters, and health situations. This demand fosters diverse careers across the field, which could be in ambulance and hospital services, among others, or in emergency aid services.

Besides, the area of emergency medical services allows for gaining enough knowledge all the time. EMTs and paramedics can work toward advanced certifications and specializations, providing them with greater skills, which in turn offer them vast career opportunities.


The path to becoming an emergency medical technician (EMT) is a fulfilling one. With the growing career opportunities and rising demand, the career is rewarding. The process involves earning a certification, enrolling in an EMT program, and passing the NREMT exam. The job requires stamina, compassion, and the ability to take prompt action. Although it is a challenging role, it plays a crucial role in emergency healthcare. Now that you know how to get EMT certified, enroll and make most of this career.