The first civilian ambulatory service--operated by Cincinnati Commercial Hospital--in the United States opened in 1865. According to the Iowa state website, early emergency medical services were “scoop and run” operations. The EMS industry has evolved since then providing critical support during medical emergencies. Emergency medical technicians work to provide patient care away from medical facilities. In Ohio, EMTs are required to complete rigorous training, an application process and continuing education coursework to maintain their certification. EMTs earned between $28,960 and $46,200 annually in May 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meet the minimum qualifications. In order to become an EMT, candidates must be 18 years of age--with the exception of 17-year-olds in the 12th grade--and hold a high school diploma or equivalent.
Determine the level of certification you would like to obtain. Ohio offers three EMT certifications: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic. Basic certification recognizes a candidate’s ability to administer cardiac and respiratory services. Intermediate certification allows a candidate to administer some medications and work with airway devices. Paramedic certification is the highest level requiring training in physiology, anatomy and advanced medical skills, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Register for the appropriate training. In Ohio, EMTs complete the required training relevant to the planned certification level. Both Columbus State College and Cuyahoga Community College offer EMT training. Both colleges offer certification and associate degrees in emergency medical training. In addition, the Ohio Department of Public Safety offers training for each certification level.
Apply for certification. Once you successfully complete your training, apply for certification. Visit the Ohio Emergency Medical Services website, complete the online application for initial certification and pay the required fee.
Build an industry-related network. Joining a professional association expands your reach. Networking places you alongside industry professionals who may have information on job opportunities. Consider joining an association like the Ohio Association of Emergency Medical Services or the International Association of EMTs and Paramedic.
Conduct an employment search. Once your certification is approved, conduct an employment search to locate suitable opportunities. Contact your local hospital, fire stations and outpatient service locations. In addition, visit the Ohio one-stop career center in your area to inquire about positions.
Submit your application for suitable positions. Once you locate suitable opportunities, submit your application. Make sure you include your certification, training, employment history, volunteer work and other relevant information. Make sure you follow up with employers within two weeks to express your interest and schedule an interview.
2016 Salary Information for EMTs and Paramedics
Emts and paramedics earned a median annual salary of $32,670 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, emts and paramedics earned a 25th percentile salary of $25,850, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $42,710, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 248,000 people were employed in the U.S. as emts and paramedics.