HomeHealth CareersBecoming an Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic

EMT Exam EMT Certification ParamedicAn EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) is a member of the state’s EMS (Emergency Medical Services) department. This individual is educated and trained to provide life support to victims of car accidents, heart attacks, and other medical traumas that may happen on a daily basis. The amount of knowledge and training that an EMT needs is quite a bit. From passing the National Registry of EMTs practical and written exams to at least 2 years of college-level schooling, the EMT is ready to serve his/her community in whatever capacity is possible.


Few people know that an EMT and a paramedic are different. Most folks use these terms interchangeably as they point to the ambulance driving in response to a call. An EMT is not a paramedic, but a paramedic is definitely an Emergency Medical Technician. With each state, the levels that you must pass through to become a paramedic are much different, but they all tend to possess these four basic levels to obtain your certification and licensure as a paramedic.

1.     EMT – Basic

2.     EMT – Intermediate/85

3.     EMT – Intermediate/99

4.     EMT – Paramedic

So you see now that an EMT is not necessarily a paramedic, but a paramedic is the highest form of Emergency Medical Technician.


The average EMT salary depends upon a number of factors. Are you a basic EMT? Or are you a paramedic? If you’re a paramedic, the average paramedic salary is currently $33,020/year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s much more difficult to determine the average yearly income for an EMT because there are so many different levels to take into consideration; not mentioning the fact that living in a different state can change your yearly earnings dramatically. But if you consider the paramedic salary information, then you can be sure to be able to work up to that income as you move through the ranks of EMT.


Hopefully you will find your way into a career field that is right for you. The choice of working as an EMT or paramedic is not for everybody. It’s mostly an altruistic job because the pay isn’t the best, but you are constantly helping to save lives and gives families the opportunities to be with their loved ones much longer. So next time you see an EMT or paramedic, whether at the hospital, or helping your neighbor out, tell them thanks for their hard work and the knowledge that they possess to make communities a much safer place to live.

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