EMT Training Programs – GradPlan

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EMT Training Programs

Want to be a first responder? Learn how to get certified

What is an Emergency Medical Technician?

Are you good in a crisis? Level-headed? Interested in helping people? A good communicator? Becoming an EMT might be a good fit for you.

An Emergency Medical Technician (or EMT for short) is a certified health specialist who is responsible for providing care in the community and throughout transport to a hospital. EMTs drive ambulances, assess scenes, and are primarily tasked with “stabilizing” the ill or injured until they can get to a hospital.

What do I need to know?

To become an EMT you need to complete a short training program which will teach you how to provide basic medical care, how to prepare a patient for transportation and how to safely drive an ambulance to-and-from the scene of an incident.

EMT training programs generally run 4-6 months and involve both classroom learning and hands-on training. To find an EMT training program near you, use this State EMS Agency Map. First, click your state, then click “Go to the State EMS Website” to find a link to recommended EMT training programs in your state.

Get Ready!

Being an EMT-B will put you on the front lines of medical care. You will need to know medical procedures and be ready to help people in situations that can be urgent. Therefore, these training programs take themselves very seriously; be prepared to study 10-15 hours per week while you are enrolled in the program.

How to become an EMT in Illinois:

  1. Earn your high school diploma or GED.
  2. Obtain your CPR certification.
  3. Complete an EMT training course  (Usually 4-6 months in length.)
  4. Pass the NREMT licensing exam to obtain your EMT-basic license.

Note – One of the main functions of an EMT-B is to drive the ambulance. Therefore, you need to have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. You also need to be able to pass drug tests regularly (including, for now, marijuana).

Once you have your EMT-basic license (EMT-B), you can take additional classes to become a Paramedic (EMT-P), which brings with it more responsibilities (and a higher salary!).

Chicagoland EMT-B Programs

Elite Ambulance

Elite Ambulance is a private EMT-training program.

  • Cost: $1,000 (flexible payment plans)
  • Program Length: 4 months.
  • Location: Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland.
  • Program Start Dates: New cohorts start every 4 months.

Job Placement Support

  • EMTs are hired to work for Elite Ambulance after earning licensure.

Continuing Education Benefits

Elite offers a tuition benefit at Malcolm X College for the Paramedic program if the student agrees to work for Elite as a Paramedic for two years upon completion.

Superior Ambulance

Superior Ambulance is a private EMT-training program.

  • Cost: Free
  • Program Length: 12-18 weeks
  • Location: Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland.
  • Program Start Dates: New cohorts start regularly, check here.

Job Placement Support

  • EMTs are hired to work for Superior Ambulance after earning licensure.

Continuing Education Benefits

Superior supports their students to succeed as EMTs, but also to add additional skills and licenses like a Paramedic program if they are interested after program completion.

Malcolm X College

Malcolm X is a Public City College and offers an EMT training program.

  • Cost: $1200 (Financial Aid can be applied to pay for tuition)
  • Program Length: 4 months
  • Location: Malcolm X is located at 1900 W. Jackson Street in Chicago.
  • Program Start Dates: Classes begin either in August or January each year.

Job Placement Support

  • MXC has a partnership with Rush University Medical Center, but does not place graduates into jobs

Continuing Education Benefits

Taking classes at Malcolm X allows students to use all of the benefits the college offers its students, such as free advising, mental health care, and the opportunity to pursue additional related degrees upon completion.

Next Step: Paramedic

  • Paramedics are trained to provide more advanced medical care on site and in the ambulance
  • Higher salary than EMTs
  • Can work at a fire department
  • Can progress on to next level medical roles (Registered Nurse, Physician’s Assistant, etc.) with additional training.

Know you want to work in the medical field, but not sure where?
Check out the Chicagoland Healthcare Workforce Directory»

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"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist