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Home/ Careers/ Allied Health Professions/ Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic

Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic


People's lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, drownings, childbirth and gunshot wounds all require immediate medical attention. EMTs and paramedics provide this vital attention as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility.

To learn more, watch the video profile, "Emergency Medical Technicians" (which is located in the Health Science category).

Working Conditions

EMTs and paramedics work both indoors and outdoors in all types of weather. They are required to do considerable kneeling, bending and heavy lifting. These workers risk noise-induced hearing loss from sirens and back injuries from lifting patients.

In addition, EMTs and paramedics may be exposed to diseases such as hepatitis-B and AIDS, as well as violence from drug overdose victims or mentally unstable patients.

The work is not only physically strenuous, but also stressful, involving life-or-death situations and suffering patients.

Nonetheless, many people find the work exciting and challenging and enjoy the opportunity to help others.

Typically, EMTs and paramedics earn an average salary of $24,000 to $30,000 per year.

 (Photo: Getty Images)
Average Salary
$24,030 - $0
Years in school
2 - 0
Job outlook


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Academic Requirements

Formal training and certification is needed to become an EMT or paramedic. Training is offered at progressive levels:

  1. First responder
  2. EMT-basic
  3. EMT-intermediate
  4. Paramedic

The first responder represents the first level of skills required to work in the emergency medical system and paramedic requires the highest skill level. At this level, the caregiver receives additional training in body function and more advanced skills. A paramedic technology program usually lasts up to two years and results in an associate degree in applied science.

Search for schools that provide training for this career. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs offers a list of accredited programs.