Health Career Center

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics are trained to administer emergency medical treatment to severely injured or ill people on scene. They also administer CPR and other medical treatments to people being transported to hospitals in ambulances. These specialists are trained to identify and evaluate injuries, administer IVs, and keep patients alive until they reach emergency rooms. EMTs are trained to administer Advanced Life Support (ALS).

Paramedics complete the same training as EMTs. They also administer airway clearing procedures, including endotracheal intubation. Paramedics analyze electrocardiographs (ECGs), administer IVs and various types of medications, perform defibrillations, and analyze ECG tracings. Paramedics are required to complete formal classroom and clinical training before they can certify.

EMTs and Paramedics work for police and fire departments, ambulance companies, emergency medical services (EMS) departments, hospitals, and search and rescue teams. Although most EMTs and Paramedics are paid for their services, many volunteer on a part-time basis.

Education and Training
Most EMT and Paramedic training programs require that applicants hold a high school degree at a minimum. There are three levels of EMS certification:
  • EMT Basic
  • EMT Intermediate
  • Paramedic
Police and fire departments, universities and colleges, hospitals, and vocational and community colleges offer EMT and Paramedic training programs.

Employment Outlook
The Department of Labor estimates that job growth for EMTs and Paramedics will increase by 9 percent through 2018, on pace with projected in other industries.

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