EMT Associate Program Guide

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August 20, 2021

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The aging population and a steady need for emergency services has created a strong demand for paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 6% growth for these jobs between 2019 and 2029, faster than the 4% rate for all occupations.

With an EMT or a paramedic associate degree, graduates can qualify for some of the best positions available in this field while also preparing for further educational and career opportunities. Read on to learn more about different types of EMT programs and where they can lead.

Should I Get an EMT Associate Degree?

Professionals pursue healthcare careers for various reasons, but the ability to help others usually ranks highly on the list. EMTs are in great demand, as the BLS projects the addition of 17,000 new jobs between 2019 and 2029.

Prospective students can choose from several degree options, including an EMT associate degree, a paramedic associate degree, and a combined emergency medical services (EMS) program.

EMT associate degrees equip graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to take on entry-level positions, pursue professional licenses, and enroll in healthcare-related bachelor's programs. Prospective students can choose from several degree options, including an EMT associate degree, a paramedic associate degree, and a combined emergency medical services (EMS) program.

Nevertheless, EMT and paramedic careers involve dangerous and stressful situations. These professionals need state licensure. Requirements for each state and profession vary.

An EMT associate degree or a paramedic associate degree can take 6-48 months to complete. Every two years, professionals must renew their licensure by completing continuing education credits.

Find the best online paramedic associate programs.

What Will I Learn in an EMT Associate Program?

Coursework in an EMT associate degree can vary depending on the school and program, but most programs feature classes in critical trauma care, paramedicine, and cardiac life support. These programs generally require a significant experiential component that may include internships and simulations.

During these programs, students learn procedures to treat patients with life-threatening and non-critical injuries and ailments, including trauma assessments, manual defibrillation, and airway management. They also gain medication administration, intravenous therapy, and pharmacological intervention skills.

Most schools award an associate of applied science (AAS) in this discipline, though other tracks may be available. Students may be able to pursue an AS in paramedicine, for example, which prepares graduates to serve as paramedics, with less practical training than an AAS program.

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What Can I Do With an EMT Associate Degree?

According to the BLS, paramedics have a larger scope of duties than EMTs, which also means they must meet additional educational and licensure requirements. While most associate degrees in this discipline satisfy both EMT and paramedic licensure requirements, prospective students should research each program before enrolling.

Of the more than 265,000 paramedic professionals, 46% work in ambulance services, 28% work for the government, and 19% work in hospitals, according to the BLS. EMT associate degree-holders can also continue their studies into a bachelor's degree in paramedicine or a related discipline. The pathways below are among the most popular postgraduate options.

Popular Career Paths

Popular Continuing Education Paths

How Much Money Can I Make With an EMT Associate Degree?

Salaries for EMTs and paramedics depend on their location and industry. According to the BLS, however, EMTs and paramedics earn a median annual salary of $36,650. The top 10% of earners in the field make more than $62,150 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in EMT Programs

What is an EMT? true

An EMT responds to emergencies and cares for patients at the scene and during transportation to the hospital. EMTs manage various trauma emergencies, along with cardiac and respiratory issues. Advanced EMTs can administer medication and intravenous fluids.

How much does it cost to get an EMT associate degree? true

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average two-year degree in 2018-2019 cost $11,389. Pursuing an online EMT associate degree or an online paramedic associate degree may reduce tuition for out-of-state learners, along with travel and room and board costs.

Is an EMT associate degree worth it? true

An EMT associate degree prepares graduates for an intense, rewarding career. The program also offers career flexibility, as graduates can build on their training through a bachelor's degree and pursue advanced paramedic positions or other healthcare careers.

Are paramedics in high demand?

The BLS projects 6% job growth for paramedics between 2019 and 2029. This demand results from an aging population and an increase in specialized medical facilities.

How long does it take to get an EMT associate degree?

Most EMT associate degrees take two years to complete, but prospective students may be able to enroll in accelerated programs. Some programs, for example, enable students to graduate in six months. Online students may be able to graduate more quickly through asynchronous study and heavier course loads.

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