Difference Between EMT and Paramedic


An emergency medical technician is the first one to respond when somebody asks for medical assistance in an emergency. They are the first to arrive at the emergency scene. The emergency could result from an accident, natural disaster, fire, or any mishap reaching the 911 team. They have the medical knowledge to stabilize patients in an emergency and transfer them safely to the hospital. Let us know more about Difference Between EMT and Paramedic in this article!

Difference Between EMT and Paramedic

Paramedics are one step ahead of EMTs in medical knowledge and skills. They are also first responders, but since they have taken advanced knowledge courses compared to EMTs, they can handle higher-risk conditions. They have practice working in locations outside the hospital, like in an aircraft or helicopter. This article will identify significant differences between EMTs and Paramedics.

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are life-savers who take care of patients at the emergency scene and while they are transported to a hospital in an ambulance. They have the particular qualification to evaluate critical illnesses as well as injuries. They also have expertise in first-aid treatments and basic life-saving activities. Paramedics have higher training experience as compared to EMTs. They can handle more advanced medical procedures. These procedures include monitoring electrocardiograms (EKG), managing intravenous and oral medications, etc. Paramedics are responsible for providing immediate care to patients when they reach the hospital premises from ambulances. 

Difference between EMT and Paramedic

EMTs are the most common health professionals in emergency medical services. The first interaction of any emergency patient is with the EMT. They also provide their services when they are called in case of traumatic emergencies. They must transfer the emergency patient to the equipped vehicle after examining the severity of injuries to the patient.

After shifting the patients to the emergency vans, the EMTs inform the hospital about the number of patients proceeding toward the hospital and the nature of their injuries. In the meanwhile, they monitor the patients before reaching the hospital. They also work with the police and firefighters under the guiding instructions of 911 operators.

Paramedics interact with the patients brought into the hospitals by the EMT and provide their health care services as they are licensed. They also provide life support services outside the hospital, but their skills are at an advanced level compared to EMTs. Their skills are at par with the medical assistance given at emergency hospitals. They also follow the instructions of 911 whenever required to provide on-site emergency assistance.

Work Environment of EMT and Paramedic

Private ambulance companies employ EMTs and are part of police and fire departments, hospitals, and government institutions. They also assist physicians and medical directors.

The emergency medical services employ paramedics and work in the ambulance along with the EMTs but are hired in more significant numbers compared to the EMTs. They are also part of air ambulances, helicopters, aircraft, and firefighting teams. 

Education and experience 

EMT’s GED or high school diploma is enough to qualify for a job, and they don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree. They need certifications such as CPR and must train themselves to work as EMTs. These 150 hours of training programs must be finished to become eligible as EMT.

EMTs can become Paramedics if they advance their education and gain paramedics training. Advanced training in EMT and additional training hours make you eligible to become a paramedic. They also have to finish their two-year paramedics’ degree which consists of 1000 to 2000 training hours.

Duties of EMTs and paramedics  

Paramedics provide breathing support with ventilation and other devices and can also apply pacemakers to control heart arrhythmias. They also keep records of all patients treated and their medications, infusion of intra venous injection, prioritized care to injured people on the site, and also deliver babies in case of emergency.

EMTs stabilize patients while transporting them to the desired hospital and maintain patient records. It is one of their prime duty to respond to the calls of 911. They bandage wounds, control bleeding and perform CPR in the emergency van. They must also prevent further injury to patients.

Paramedics and EMTs are responsible for stabilizing their patients until they reach the hospital’s emergency premises. For this, they should have the skill of quick thinking as they have to face, handle and find the solution to unpredictable situations. EMTs and Paramedics get trained for such emergencies during their training courses. The duration of these courses is more for paramedics, which is why they are superior in skills than EMTs.


Per hour average salary

Hour average salary of EMTs is $27.37, whereas the paramedics earn nearly $28.91 per hour on average. paramedic and EMT salaries may vary based on education, experience, location, and the one employing the paramedics or EMT. 

The paramedics earn more than the EMTs. In one of the job openings for paramedics and EMTs, Denver Health offered salaries between $17.35 and $23.41 per hour, which is $36,000 to $48,000 per year for EMTs. The paramedics were offered between $25.67 and $37.31 per hour or $53,000 to $77,000 per year based on their experience.

According to Payscale

With the lowest level of certifications, EMTs can earn up to $30,500 per year on average, and paramedics can earn up to $46,500 yearly on average.

Steps for becoming an EMT or a Paramedic?

The steps to becoming an EMT or Paramedics vary from state to state, but mainly they can be divided into five stages:

  • Fulfill eligibility requirements by attending the relevant courses, such as Basic Life Support.
  • Attempt the EMT or Paramedics course.
  • Attempt the computer-based exam for EMTs or Paramedics and pass it successfully.
  • Attempt the skill-based exam for EMTs or Paramedics and pass it successfully.
  • After completing the course, apply and grab a hand to the certification within two years.


It would help if you were a quick thinker to solve any issue related to the emergency patient. Physical stamina should be suitable as you must transfer patients and carry heavy equipment. They should have the willingness to work in teams with each other. They must be mentally tough and resilient as well. They should be able to adapt to different work environments and situations they face while working in emergencies. You must work long hours, so flexibility must be there.

When patients are scared by the sudden situation caused to them, they need to be handled by the people compassionate and empathetic paramedics or EMTs. So this quality should be there in paramedics and EMTs.


The jobs of paramedic and EMT are demanding. They have to handle unpredictable situations in case of emergencies. They perform their duties both inside and outside the hospital premises. Both have similar job duties, but the paramedics have a higher range of responsibilities, and their skills are much higher than the EMTs. That is why they are paid better than EMTs.

  • Is being an EMT a gender-specific job?

EMT is not a gender-specific job. Both males and females opt to become EMTs based on their interest in the field. Around 35% of the EMTs are females, and most are males.

  • What is the fundamental difference between EMTs and Paramedics?

The fundamental difference between EMTs and Paramedics is their education level and the care they provide to patients. Paramedics are more educated than EMTs, and they are more skillful in handling more extreme conditions of emergency patients.

Difference Between EMT and Paramedic

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