Start a career in the medical field in two years or less by getting an Emergency Medical Services education. Exact options vary by college, but include everything from Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certificates to a Paramedicine Associate in Applied Sciences Degree.
What’s the Difference Between an EMT and a Paramedic?
EMTs and paramedics both serve on the front lines when emergencies happen, applying pre-hospital care when people need it most. But the biggest difference between an Emergency Medical Technician and a paramedic is the amount of training. For example, basic EMTs usually receive 150-200 hours of training, while paramedics earn at least 1,000 hours.
So if you’re interested in entering the medical field, consider starting with a basic EMT certification. Later on, you can choose to return and finish out the training to become a full-fledged paramedic, since EMT training is a prerequisite for entering the Paramedicine program. (Veterans: Apply your veterans benefits to EMT training!)
Additionally, the state of Texas waives tuition for EMS and Fire Science programs for firefighters in state-supported educational institutions.
What Can I Do With an EMT Certificate?
Career opportunities for those with EMT training can include:
- Private ambulance services
- Fire departments
- Police departments
- Emergency 911 services
- Hospitals and clinics
Additionally, some EMTs and Paramedics become instructors, dispatchers, nurses, physician assistants or other health care professionals. Others may move into sales or marketing of emergency medical equipment.
Where Can I Study to Become an EMT?
Maggie: “Brookhaven’s program overprepared me, if that’s possible, for the registry exam. Richard Campbell‘s tests were so hard that when I took the National Registry test (for paramedic certification), it was actually easier than one of Richard’s tests!” Learn what other DCCCD students say about our programs.
- Emergency Medical Technician Basic Certificate. This certificate can be completed in one semester.
- Paramedicine Level II Certificate. After prerequisites are completed, this certificate can be completed in three semesters.
- Credential for Critical Care Professionals Enhanced Skills Certificate. This certificate can be completed in one semester. This is a “bridge” course for credentialed registered nurses, respiratory therapists and physician assistants to enter the EMS field.
- Noncredit EMS Certifications at Brookhaven: Brookhaven College’s Continuing Education Division offers several noncredit emergency medical skills certifications, as well as the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam, ACLS, PALS, PEPP, AMLS, PHTLS and BCLS (CPR).
El Centro College offers a paramedic certificate program for college credit in conjunction with UT Southwestern Medical Center. Priority acceptance for this paramedic certificate program is given to area EMS agency personnel. UT Southwestern accepts other applicants to the program after agency needs are met, with availability usually ranging from eight to 20 spaces for non-EMS-employed individuals. The program also includes ACLS, PEPP/PALS and ITLS certifications as part of its Paramedic course, as well as cadaver lab.
Noncredit EMT Training at El Centro: El Centro College and UT Southwestern Medical Center also cooperatively offer an EMT program for noncredit continuing education units. Students receive credit for the EMT course after successful completion of the paramedic course.