Emergency Medical Technology - Paramedic


Are you intrigued by a career as an Emergency Medical Professional? Working as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and paramedic means working in emergency medical care at crime scenes, rescue operations, ambulance calls, and medical incident command. EMT is an excellent introduction to medicine; you will be a critical part of a health care team. Illinois and most other states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed. If you already have an associate or bachelor's degree, you may consider an EMT-P certificate to gain clinical experience and learn lifelong skills. ECC's paramedic training program collaborates with area hospitals Advocate Sherman Hospital and Amita St. Joseph Hospital. Course completion is followed by passing the Illinois paramedic licensing exam offered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

Planning to Transfer? Learn more about earning a Bachelor’s degree, earning summer credits for transfer, or dual admissions with a university by making an appointment with an academic advisor. 

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The future employment outlook for Emergency Medical Technicians (paramedics) is positive. Over the next decade, about 20,000 job openings are projected each year for EMTs and paramedics. Growth is due to an increasing and aging population, which leads to more demand for emergency medical services.

Additionally, advancements in emergency medical technology and the use of paramedics in non-traditional settings, such as in schools and sports teams, are expected to contribute to job growth. Refer to Career Coach to learn more about related professions and compensation. (Accessed September 08, 2022)

Median Pay Rates

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the emergency medical technology plan of study and course descriptions.

Basic Vocational Certificates

Program Accreditation

Advocate Sherman Hospital (CoAEMSP 600695) and AMITA St. Joseph Hospital (CoAEMSP 600685) Paramedic Program are accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP). This certification is designed to promote high-quality education and training. ABA representatives' intensive review process examines all aspects of the program for compliance with the ABA's Guidelines

What training is required to become certified as a paramedic?

A criminal background check, drug test, appropriate PSB-HOA test scores, and successfully passing the program's entrance exams are required. After completing your EMT certification, you'll continue learning skills most medical staff require. Paramedics receive training in pathophysiology, pharmacology, venous access, medication administration, and specific medical emergencies, including pulmonary, cardiology, neurology, endocrinology, toxicology, and hematology. To complete your degree, you must study infectious and contagious diseases, allergies and anaphylaxis, obstetrics, neonatology, pediatrics, geriatrics, particular challenges, and home health care patients. After completing your clinical experience and classroom requirements, you can sit for your National Registry Exam to become a Certified NREMT Paramedic.

Who should choose to be a paramedic as a career?

If you decide to pursue a paramedic career, you will find it very rewarding. Paramedics can make a difference through the many lives they can save. They are trained to provide care and treatment at the scene of an emergency. If helping others in times of need is something you would like to do, this career will give you that opportunity. Paramedics are an important part of your community and highly demand employment. A career as a paramedic also opens the door to other professions, including fire service, law enforcement, and other health care careers.

Are all firefighters also paramedics?

Not all firefighters are required to be paramedics, but most departments require you to be an EMT. However, many fire departments, particularly in the US, prioritize recruiting licensed paramedics and firefighters; some require it.

Is a paramedic and an EMT the same thing?

Paramedics provide more extensive pre-hospital care and do the work of an EMT. For example, a paramedic can give oral medications, set up an IV, interpret an EKG, or other complex medical devices. Emergency EMTs are trained to provide basic medical assistance with minimal equipment, such as banding a wound, visually assessing a condition, and communicating with doctors and nurses at the hospital. You may be asking yourself, what do paramedics do? As an EMT-P, you'll be able to do everything an EMT does, but with more complexity.

What is the difference between the EMT-B and the EMT-P program certificate?

You will need to complete the EMT-Basic as it is a prerequisite for meeting the minimum requirements to apply for the paramedic program (EMT-Paramedic). The paramedic program is taught at our two local partners, Advocate Sherman Hospital and Amita Health St Joseph Hospital. You will receive the lifelong skills to help you begin your career in this rewarding field.

What do EMTs do?

  • Respond to 911 calls for emergency assistance;
  • Report observations to nurses, doctors, or other health care facility staff;
  • Maintains open communication with emergency dispatch personnel via phone and radio while safely transporting patients;
  • Operates ambulance safely and efficiently to transport crew and patients;
  • Performs initial patient assessment as well as recurring reassessments during transport;
  • Properly documents assessment findings, vital signs, and treatments rendered inpatient care reports (PCRs);
  • Renders emergency medical treatment in the field;
  • Performs routine daily inspections of ambulances and equipment;
  • Certification as an EMT can be helpful for a career as a security officer, industrial plant worker, becoming a nurse, or working as a first responder in emergency communications and firehouses;

What do paramedics do?

  • History Taking and Physical Examination;
  • Comprehensive Medical and Trauma Adult Physical Assessment;
  • Comprehensive Medical and Trauma Pediatric Physical Assessment;
  • Airway, Oxygenation, and Ventilation;
  • Orotracheal and Nasal Intubation Adult;
  • Orotracheal Intubation Pediatric;
  • Supraglottic Airway Device Adult;
  • Cricothyrotomy (Percutaneous Translaryngeal Ventilation);
  • CPAP and PEEP;
  • Pleural Decompression (Needle Thoracostomy);
  • Spinal Immobilization Adult;
  • Splinting;
  • Hemorrhage Control;
  • Intravenous and Intraosseous Therapy;
  • Medication Administration;
  • Synchronized Cardioversion;
  • Defibrillation;
  • Transcutaneous Pacing;
  • CPR Skills;
  • Obstetrics Normal and Abnormal Delivery with Newborn Care;
  • Helping people get to a hospital for treatment, triaging patients to understand their injuries, and helping prioritize medical procedures;
  • Comforting patients and administering diagnostics and treatment;
  • Communicating with dispatchers to ensure other members of the medical team are ready for the patient’s hospital arrival;

Paramedics are in demand.

Paramedic education at Elgin Community College is part of the emergency medicine program. It includes the study of their role, medical/legal considerations, ethics, EMS Systems, personal wellness, injury prevention, general patient assessment, communications, documentation, assessment-based management, and life span development. EMTs and paramedics Courses emphasize hands-on, practical applications to help prepare for employment with ambulance service companies, local governments, and hospitals. Some also work as volunteers with local fire departments. The US Department of Labor estimates that EMTs and paramedic jobs will grow 5% by 2032. That’s much faster than the average career field. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, EMTs and Paramedics, (accessed October 6, 2023).

Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions, here.

Learn more about Paramedic or EMT Training at ECC!

With an Emergency Services certification from Elgin Community College, you can change—and save—lives.

Apply today