How long is EMT training?
It depends, it could take from a few weeks to several months or years. EMT training hours vary depending on the course schedule, your availability, and level of certification. There are several levels of EMT namely EMT Basic, EMT Intermediate or Advanced EMT, and Paramedic. Different states call them different names but they’re basically the same. Some states also have a First Responder level as the most basic level instead of EMT Basic.
Required Training Hours
Each level has a required minimum hours of classroom lectures and practical or hands on training. The higher the level of EMT certification, the longer the training takes.
First Responder takes the least amount of time training with around 40 hours of training. EMT Basic requires at least 120 hours of training, EMT Intermediate needs 350 hours of training, and Paramedic takes more than a 1,000 hours or 6 months to 2 years of training to complete.
Most EMT courses and programs have a longer training periods to cover lots of material. Many EMT Basic training programs can have up to 140 hours, 160 hours, or 190+ hours of training. They also place extreme importance on being on time and avoiding absences.
A big portion of the training time is spend on classroom lectures and another big portion on skills training and testing. The remaining time are directed toward clinical experience and hospital observations.
EMT Training Schedule
Another variable lies on the EMT course schedule and your availability. Some EMT Basic programs takes only a few weeks while others takes a whole semester to finish.
Most EMT B courses meet several times a week, two sessions on weekdays which almost always include a Saturday session. Class starts at 7 PM and ends at 10 PM and if there’s a Saturday class, it starts at 9 AM and ends at 5 PM. This schedule takes around three months or more to finish and the less session in a week there is the longer the EMT program takes.
EMT training programs called Boot Camps or Accelerated EMT Training that takes only several weeks or a month to complete have a more intense schedule. They meet from Monday to Friday from 9AM to 5PM and some have 12 hours a day schedule.
How long you want to spend on EMT training depends on whether the schedule matches your availability. Be sure to check different EMT training programs so you have more options. Note that this is only the core curriculum training and your certification could take some additional weeks to complete.