As an emergency medical service (EMS) professional, you will need real-world experience and hands-on skills in the field for a chance at a successful EMT career. Those who dedicate themselves to this field will typically start as an EMT and eventually work up to paramedic. A paramedic usually makes more in compensation but may experience more challenges in the field. The cost of EMT training is not prohibitive, but education and training can still be expensive, leaving you wondering if you can actually afford it.
The Cost Of Training
Whether you're young and just starting out, trade schools or community classes might seem financially daunting. You should be prepared to spend around $800 or so for your total EMT training. Financial commitments will vary by school.
How To Pay For It
Don’t let the financial piece steer you from a bright career as an EMT. Colleges and programs generally offer some sort of standard financial aid for students who qualify: Scholarships, grants, and student loans can make school very affordable. Explore your options, find the best fit for you, and then determine your road ahead.
Pro Tip For Your Career
One thing you may want to do before investing in EMT training is to volunteer. You may be surprised to find out that you can get the proper training for free simply by giving up your time.
If this is something you truly want to do, you can start learning CPR and other emergency techniques while you're still in high school. This also gives you the chance to form the relationships with other people in the field. You'll have lots of time to ask them questions about how they got to where they are and what you can do on your part to get a paying job once you're out of school.
Look into neighboring towns (as far as you would be willing to travel for your job) and start talking to them about your situation. You can have those on your team make calls on behalf of you as well.
Weigh Your Options
Getting the education and training you need to become an EMT is obviously not just the cost of the actual courses itself. You have to factor in that you may be taking courses while you could be working instead, so your amount of money coming in may drop. Plus, if you take a loan, you'll have to repay it after you find a job.
While neither of those factors can be unmanageable, they show why you’ll want to consider every option to see which makes sense for you. If you need help making choices, your school or training academy may be able to offer advise, and you can always ask qualified friends and family for some coaching. Your great career is waiting!