Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home > Topics > Airway Management
October 14, 2011
All Articles

EMS 101
by EMS1 Staff

Paramedic vs. EMT: Which path is right for you?

Becoming a paramedic is the highest level of Emergency Medical Technician and requires much more advanced training than becoming a basic EMT

By EMS1 Contributors

Pondering the Paramedic vs. EMT question? You're not alone. They are both great career choices that allow you to make an important contribution to your community. They're also careers that are in demand, with good opportunities for stable employment in just about every part of the nation.

One factor in deciding the paramedic vs. EMT issue is the amount of schooling involved. The certification requirements and designations of Emergency Medical Technician aren't standardized throughout the U.S., although there's currently a move to do so. Although they vary depending on the location, the designations are usually EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT Paramedic.

When considering whether to become a paramedic vs. EMT, you should take into account that becoming an EMT-B requires the minimal amount of training. It generally takes about six months to complete the schooling in Basic Life Support. Your training will teach you how to give important emergency medical support, such as performing CPR, bandaging wounds, treating burns and stabilizing spine and neck fractures and broken bones.

Becoming a paramedic is the highest level of Emergency Medical Technician and requires much more advanced training than becoming a basic EMT. Paramedic vs. EMT training is quite rigorous and takes about two years to complete, depending on state requirements. You usually have to have completed college-level biology, math and English in order to be accepted in a paramedic program.

Paramedics perform all of the basic life support functions that basic EMTs do, plus they're certified to perform more advanced life saving procedures such as tracheal intubation, I.V. support.

Paramedics can also become trained and certified in Advanced Life Support Training. Paramedic vs. EMT training is quite rigorous and takes about two years to complete, depending on state requirements. You usually have to have completed college-level biology, math and English in order to be accepted in a paramedic program. Paramedics perform all of the basic life support functions that basic EMTs do, plus they're certified to perform more advanced life saving procedures such as tracheal intubation, I.V. support. Paramedics can also become trained and certified in Advanced Life Support Training.

All Emergency Medical Technicians must undergo certification testing by the state in which they work.

For many who are considering the paramedic vs. EMT question, the bottom line is that you must first become an EMT-B before you can begin training as a paramedic. Some paramedic training programs require you to be employed as an EMT for a period of time before beginning your paramedic training.

As a paramedic, you'll earn more money than an EMT, which might affect your decision about becoming a paramedic vs. EMT. Paramedics generally make an average of about $40,000 annually, but can earn as much as $70,000 a year. EMT pay averages $33,000 a year, with the top earners taking home $51,000 a year.

When deciding whether to become a paramedic vs. EMT, you should know that either choice offers a rewarding career, job security, good pay and a chance to perform an important role in your community.

References:

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos101.htm

About the author

EMS 101 articles are intended to educate a non-emergency medical services audience about the emergency medical services profession. These articles are written by EMS1 staff members and EMS1 contributors, and cover a wide range of topics from EMS protocols all paramedics & EMTs should follow to an overview of the necessary requirements for becoming a paramedic.
Comments
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EMS1.com or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.

EMS1 Offers

Sponsored by

We Recommend...

Connect with EMS1

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google+

Get the #1 EMS eNewsletter

Fire Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips, columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
Enter Email
See Sample

Online Campus Both

Airway Management Videos