You can carve out a great career for yourself as an Emergency Medical Technician. As an EMT you can earn a decent annual wage. The nationwide average for a certified EMT in 2012 was over $31,000. Considering the minimal education and certification requirements, this is a healthy wage. So, are you thinking about becoming an EMT? If so, you may wonder how to become an EMT in your area. Here is a basic 4 step guide to earning your certification.
1. Finish High School
First, to become an EMT you need to have a high school diploma. If you don't have a diploma, you will need to take and pass the General Education Development (GED) test.
2. CPR Certification
While most people will already have a high school diploma or GED, most will need to take a separate course to get CPR certification. The Red Cross offers a comprehensive list of CPR certification centers based on your location. CPR certification only takes a few hours and you can even do portions online. You may have the option to enroll in classes, watch the course videos and take the exam from the comfort of your home. Most experts will tell you that in-person classes are better because you get to work with a dummy.
3. Take an EMT Course
The easiest way to find EMT training is to find a course at your local community college or adult learning center. These courses are offered on evening and weekends, so you can earn your training while working or going to school. The training includes in-class learning and hands on experience through ride-alongs with professional EMTs. During the ride-alongs you get a good idea of whether or not this is the right career for you.
4. Take the EMT Exam
Once you have completed the EMT training, you will be eligible to take the exam. The training will prepare you for the exam, but you will need to do some independent studying to prepare for the test. The NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) administers the test throughout the US. Find a local testing center and choose a date that will allow you enough time to study. Make sure you take some practice tests before stepping into the testing center on your exam date.
After you pass the test you can start looking for work and sending out applications. After working as a certified EMT you might decide to take your education and career a step further by becoming a paramedic.