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Comparing EMT and Paramedic Diplomas

Comparing EMT and Paramedic Diplomas

EMTs and Paramedics both work in emergency medical services. What are the differences and similarities between EMTs and Paramedics? Let’s compare the EMT and Paramedic diplomas to find out.


What is the EMT Diploma?

EMTs can earn their diplomas in as little as four months or one semester. This is an entry-level credential. EMTs are able to provide basic life support to patients.

The program is only 12 college credit hours. Students complete 300 clock hours between classroom lectures, hands-on labs, and fieldwork. Students will learn things such as understanding the human body, how to treat illnesses and wounds, and how to work with patients, other EMS professionals, and doctors.

What is the Paramedic Diploma?

Paramedics can earn their diplomas in 12 months. This program is more in depth. Paramedics are advanced-level EMTs who can perform more life-saving actions and often lead a group of EMTs and other Paramedics.

Students earn 45 college credit hours upon completion of the program. They clock a total of 1,112 training hours. Where the EMT diploma provides a foundation, the Paramedic diploma goes into more depth. Paramedics also learn how to manage a team of rescuers, assess the scene and their patients, and apply current patient care protocols in a pre-hospital setting.

Which should you choose?

Now that you know the differences between an EMT and Paramedic diploma, you can make a decision on which program is right for you. Start your career sooner with an EMT diploma. Open doors for advancement opportunities with a Paramedic diploma.

The Paramedic program requires more time and studying than the EMT program. Both offer good employment opportunities. Both are part of a high-demand career field. You can always become a Paramedic later on if you want to get started in the emergency medical services field now.

If you want to earn your AS in EMS, then getting your Paramedic diploma would be a good foundation. The associates degree requires a Paramedic certification. In fact, your 45 college credits from the Paramedic diploma can be applied to your AS in EMS.

The main difference between the EMT and Paramedic diplomas is the time and amount of training needed to complete the diplomas. Where do you want to start in your career? Where do you want to go?

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