Take the First Step Toward Your EMS Career Now!

EMS, Paramedic, Firefighter Career Information: How To Get Started

1. An emergency medical services (EMS) career...does it fit?

The EMS field provides a variety of opportunities for success. Advancements in medical technology are taking place, providing new avenues for career opportunities. A career as an emergency medical technician, paramedic, or firefighter requires a level of medical knowledge, technical skill, and patient care that is unlike any other field. If you enjoy helping others and believe in being an integral part of your community, then a career in the EMS field may be the perfect fit for you.

2. How do I qualify for an EMS program?

After much consideration, you've decided that a career in the emergency medical services field would be a great fit for you. Requirements for admission into an EMS program may vary per state and/or school. However, for consideration, most states require applicants to have earned a high school diploma or GED. For more information on local admission requirements, fill out our application with EMS Career Now. A career advisor will contact you directly to walk you through the admissions process.

3. Is it time for a career change?

It's never too late to change your career path. Whether you are coming from a desk job or a sales position, a career in the EMS field could be the perfect fit. You don't need previous experience to change careers. The right training, from the right school, will provide you with the necessary tools to guide you on a new path filled with exciting opportunities.

4. The right school—what's my perfect fit?

Finding the right school can be a daunting task. The perfect fit is different for every student. Programs vary by school, offering a wide variety of options to suit your lifestyle and educational needs. Depending on the type of EMS program you choose, you will have multiple learning options available to you.

5. What's the bottom line? How much will it cost?

Tuition will vary by school and training program. Financial aid and student loan services are available to those who qualify. Our career specialists can provide you with further details regarding EMT training costs and assistance.

6. Do I have career options?

Yes! The emergency medical services field is filled with a variety of educational paths and career opportunities to choose from. Whether you want to work as a first responder, a paramedic, or a firefighter, you can choose a career path within the EMS field that fits your passion. Depending on what you choose, you can then decide where you would like to build your career.

7. Working with patients—will I get hands-on experience?

When you first begin your EMS program, you will receive a hands-on learning experience, with online learning options. Through these options, you will have the opportunity to practice your skills. Once you have mastered these skills, you will then take a practical test to assess your skill level.

8. How long is EMT training?

When it comes to EMT training, each level can take a different amount of time to complete. In most cases, students must complete the preceding level of EMT training in order to qualify for the next level. The first training requirement is to get certified as an EMT. Training is around 120 to 150 hours and usually takes about six months to complete. Most people work as EMTs for a couple of years to get additional experience before undergoing the 1,200 to 1,800 hours of training required to become a paramedic.

9. Graduation—then what?

Once you graduate from your chosen EMS program, you are required to take a written test to assess your knowledge and a hands-on test to assess your skill level. Once you pass this test, you will receive your state-approved license. It's a good idea to take this exam soon after completion of your program while the information is still fresh in your mind.

10. How do I get licensed?

Take the test. Prior to the state-approved EMS certification exam, you will have a chance to test your knowledge and practice your skills. Most EMS curriculum includes study skill development and test-taking strategies. You will also take tests periodically throughout your program to prepare you for the final licensing exam.

Laws and regulations regarding emergency medical services vary by state. Once you graduate from your EMS program, you will want to check the local regulatory agency for licensing and testing information within your state. You must register to take the certification exam prior to taking the test; online registration is available in some states.

The test will include a written and hands-on evaluation; you must pass both before you will receive your license/certificate. After taking the state-approved exam, it will take some time to receive your final grade. If you achieve a passing score, your official license will arrive by mail.

Once you receive your license, you will be ready to find a future employer that best fits your personality and lifestyle.

11. Ready to work—How do I get started?

You have now earned your EMS certificate. Congratulations! Now it's time to start looking for an employer. Seek an employer that best fits your skill set and personality.

What are you waiting for? Fill out our form now to be connected to local EMS programs in your area!

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