shutterstock_82358530WHAT IS AN EMT/PARAMEDIC?

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics work in emergency situations, usually alongside firefighters and policemen. They are dispatched by 911 emergency operators to the site of the emergency situation, where they care for the sick and injured. They perform necessary medical procedures and transport people to appropriate medical facilities.


EMTs and paramedics have a high school diploma or the equivalent GED. They also must have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Formal training in emergency services is provided at technical colleges, community colleges, and other facilities that specialize in emergency training.

EMT-Basic level training requires 100 hours of formal training courses. Some of this training is done in a hospital or ambulance setting. Skills learned include: assessing patients’ conditions, learning how to deal with trauma & other emergencies, clearing obstructed airways, and using various equipment.

Advanced EMT level requires 1000 hours of formal training courses, which includes the basic level training, plus training in more complex airway devices, medications, and IV fluids.

Paramedics have the most training and knowledge, because they are required to complete not only the basic and advanced EMT training, but also training in more advanced medical skills. These training programs are available at community colleges and technical schools. 1300 hours of training is required and typically takes up to 2 years to complete. To drive an ambulance, separate training and certification are required that usually involves an 8 hour training course.


EMTs and paramedics work indoors, outdoors, and in all types of weather. Jobs are available in ambulance services, hospitals, and local government. They typically work in life-and-death situations with very ill patients and those who are suffering. While many EMT jobs are located in big metropolitan areas, there are jobs in small towns and rural areas.


Over the next decade, job outlooks is projected to increase by 33%, which is higher than the average for other occupations. There will always be a demand for EMTs due to emergencies such as natural disasters, violence, car wrecks, and other traumatic accidents. Also, with the increasing age of the general population, there is an increase risk for age-related emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes.


Average in the US: $31,700

Average in Louisiana: $35,850

Work Hours

Typically at least 40 hours/week; some are also required to work overnight or on weekends because EMT is a 24/7 job.


  • Ambulance Services
  • Government
  • Hospitals


National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)
132-A East Northside Dr.
Clinton, MS  39056

National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT)
Rocco V. Morando Building. 6610 Busch Blvd., P.O. Box 29233, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(614)- 888-4484