Emt vs. Paramedic: What is the difference between Emt and Paramedic?

EMT vs. Paramedic: In This Article We Will Discover The Key Differences Between EMT and Paramedic, Their Similarities, Pros and Cons, And Answer Some Of The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
EMT vs. Paramedic: Key Differences, Pros & Cons, FAQ

EMT vs. Paramedic: both EMTs and Paramedics are emergency care professionals but their scope of service varies. The amount of education and training they receive is the biggest difference between these two medical professionals. Where EMTs can render all kinds of basic emergency services, paramedics can render both basic and advanced medical services.

Looking at the definitions of EMT and paramedic for deeper knowledge

What is an EMT?

An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is a specially trained professional certified to render basic emergency medical services before and during transportation of the ill to a hospital.

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What is a Paramedic?

A paramedic is a highly trained professional licensed to render a wide range of both basic and advanced emergency medical services before and during transportation of the ill to a hospital.

Listing EMT vs paramedic pros and cons for better understanding

Pros of EMT

  • It involves lesser training hours than a paramedic.
  • You won’t have to deal with needles at all.

Cons of EMT

  • Payscale is lower compared to a paramedic.
  • You will be working at a basic level.

Pros of Paramedics

  • You will receive a higher payscale.
  • You will be working at an advanced level.

Cons of Paramedics

  • It involves more training hours.
  • You might have to work with needles.

Can you live off an EMT salary?

Yes, one can surely live off an EMT salary. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean yearly salary of an EMT is around $34,000. Many top earners have also been reported to take $51,000 home every year. That said, the cost of living also impacts the income-expenditure curve.

Why are EMTs paid so little?

The major reason for a low salary for an EMT is the time put in for certification and training. It is just one-tenth or even less than what a paramedic is expected of. Just 120-150 hours of training makes you an EMT.

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How Dangerous Is Being an EMT?

There are many job hazards of being an EMT:

  • They are the ones who are present at sites that are termed as dangerous for the general public, like terrorist attack spots or spots where a fire broke out.
  • They are involved in lifting and transporting patients along with the necessary equipment.
  • At times, they deal with combative/psych patients first hand;
  • They are exposed to dangerous chemicals and viruses.

Who makes more money: EMT or paramedic?

In the EMT vs paramedic salary comparison, a paramedic makes more money than an EMT because of the advanced education and training involved. A paramedic can earn as much as $70,000 a year, however, the average salary of a paramedic is about $40,000 a year. On the other hand, an EMT can make as much as $51,000 a year, however, the average salary of an EMT is about $34,000 a year.

How long do you go to school to become a paramedic?

The ‘EMT paramedic school’ query reveals that you need to finish your high school before joining the training for any of these professions. About a year-long basic EMT training is then acquired to learn the basics of medical services. A paramedic is then required to pursue a two-year associate degree to learn the skills of advanced emergency medical services.

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How hard is it to get EMT certified?

It is not very hard to get EMT certified. After high school, you just require 120-150 hours of training and learn the basics of emergency medical services. If you are dedicated and focused on your training, you can easily clear the certification.

Can you get your EMT certification online?

It is possible to complete the partial EMT certification process online. Some colleges offer hybrid EMT training covering some part of certification in the form of web-based coursework.

What college should I go to if I want to be a paramedic?

A college degree is not needed to become a paramedic. You will have to join a community college to receive certain certifications before passing the national exam held by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

What qualifications do I need to be a paramedic? 

Three training levels namely EMT – Basic Program, EMT – Advanced Program, and Paramedic Program are required to be undertaken. Additionally, two-part certification exams namely The cognitive exam and The psychomotor exam need to be passed.

What is the difference between EMT and paramedic? 

Level The level of medical care training is Basic to Intermediate.It includes Advanced level of medical care programs. 
EMT paramedic training hoursEMT course duration is around 120-150 hours.Paramedics course length can be anywhere between 1200-1800 hours. 
DutiesEMTs aren’t trained to lend advanced life support care.Paramedics are trained to lend advanced life support care.
LimitationsEMTs are barred from administering invasive medical procedures.Paramedics are allowed to administer medicines with the help of needles if need be.
PayscaleIt has a lower pay scale.It earns more than EMTs. 
RenewalEMTs need to attend 40-hour training for the renewal of their certification.Paramedics are required to attend a 60-hour training program for renewing their certification. 

Considering the similarities between an EMT and a paramedic for further clarity

  • Both EMT and Paramedics are trained to lend basic life care support to a patient. 
  • Both EMTs and Paramedics must be certified and licensed by the concerned state to operate within.
  • Both EMT and Paramedics courses require you to be 18 years of age and a high school graduate.
  • Both professions need you to acquire emergency medical training for knowledge and experience. 
  • Both practitioners are required to renew their certification, generally every two years.

What is a better profession when choosing between EMT and paramedics?

Both EMT and paramedic professions are rewarding for a medical professional since you get to save the lives of people while rendering emergency medical services. From a salary point of view, however, a paramedic would earn much more than an EMT. That said, the responsibilities are also multiplied along with the salary.

Comparison Chart

EMT vs. Paramedic: In This Article We Will Discover The Key Differences Between EMT and Paramedic, Their Similarities, Pros and Cons, And Answer Some Of The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Comparison Video

EMT VS PARAMEDIC (Differences Between EMT and Paramedic)
Alex Stantor
Alex Stantor

Alex Stantor is a Sorbonne University (Paris, France) graduate in Philosophy and Data Analysis. Currently, he is an Author and Researcher at Difference 101, he writes articles/blog posts on topics such as "thinking differently" and "the importance of difference". Alex is a passionate advocate of diversity in the workplace and in companies, and diversity and inclusion in corporate communications. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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