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Online Colleges for EMT and Paramedics

Emergency medical service (EMS) professionals -- emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedic technicians may not have the most regular work hours, but make up for that with excitement in a career responding at accidents, crime scenes and even fires. These people are often first at the scene, along with police and firefighters, and have to have the know-how for assessing a patient's situation and providing immediate emergency care as well as preparing them for transport to a hospital, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. EMTs and paramedic technicians can be heroes -- helping those who have had heart attacks, falls, and strokes and even being the people to bring newborns into the world.

EMT and Paramedic Online Programs

EMT and paramedic training is available at three different levels, according to the BLS:

  1. EMT-Basic
  2. EMT-Intermediate
  3. Paramedic

Most often, programs for these are found at a community college or technical school and could lead to an associate degree. Licensure requirements vary by state, but EMT and paramedic technicians are required to be licensed. Some people use their EMT training as a way to gauge their interest and ability to work in the health care field. Online EMT and paramedic technician programs can help people who already have basic training work toward academic degrees. An Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Services management is available online, for example, but students interested in the program need a significant amount of paramedic or other related credentials to enter. Online EMT and paramedic programs can also be an avenue for EMTs to move into EMS management roles, in which they oversee different aspect of emergency medical care, including operations, technology, finance, human resource management, quality assurance and clinical care, according to the National EMS Management Association.

Job Outlook for EMT and Paramedics

Demand for paramedics and emergency medical services professionals is expected to increase by nine percent 2008-2018 as the U.S. population ages and becomes more prone to health emergencies, according to the BLS. This means career opportunities should be good in this industry, with the BLS projecting the addition of nearly 20,000 new jobs by 2018. Most EMS workers are employed by ambulatory health care services, local governments or hospitals, according to the BLS, and in 2010 they earned an annual mean wage of $33,300. The annual mean wage was significantly higher in certain competitive industries and for certain employers, topping out at $49,960 for state governments, followed by $48,700 for the amusement and recreation industries and $43,140 for colleges and universities. However, these higher-paying jobs are very competitive and often go to those with advanced education and certifications, which could be an incentive to complete a degree.

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