Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) handle medical issues and transport patients to critical care facilities in emergency situations. Emergency medical technicians are often first responders and commonly have to make split second, life saving, decisions. He or she is responsible for administering medical aid, performing cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), administering cardiac arrest treatments (such as defibrillation), ensuring care during transport to a hospital, checking vital signs, and preparing the patient for transport. Emergency medical technicians relay all field data and observations to hospital medical staff. Other typical duties include: driving ambulances, coordinating other emergency medical personnel, and complying with all regulatory and legal standards.
Emergency medical technicians are required to hold a high school diploma and to be certified in EMT-Paramedic training. There are varying levels of training which range from EMT Basic programs to EMT Paramedic programs. Each level of training qualifies individuals to perform more tasks and have more responsibility. Emergency medical technicians should be able to work as part of a team, communicate effectively, think and react quickly, and have a flexible schedule. Some employers may require a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in critical care, or emergency medical practices. This field is expanding and has a current projected growth rate of about 27% for the next ten years.
The average salary of an experienced emergency medical technician is about $27,700 per year. Starting salaries pay an average of about $23,100 per year. Individuals that work for private ambulance carriers have higher earning potential.