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How to Become an Advanced EMT

Why Become an Advanced EMT?

Group of EMS professionals next to ambulance

An Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) is a healthcare provider who has completed advanced training beyond the basic EMT level. Like basic EMTs, Advanced EMTs provide immediate medical attention to patients in life-threatening situations and provide transportation to a hospital for more comprehensive treatment.

Becoming an Advanced EMT offers several benefits over becoming a regular EMT, including performing more advanced procedures, using more advanced equipment, more significant career opportunities, and potentially higher pay.

To help you consider your career options as an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provider, this article describes the role of an Advanced EMT and explores what they do, how they train, how much they can earn, and how you can become one.

Click here if you are interested in learning how to become an EMT.

Advanced EMT: Definition

What is an Advanced EMT?

An Advanced EMT (AEMT) is an EMT who has completed advanced training beyond the basic EMT level. The role of an AEMT is to provide immediate medical attention to patients in life-threatening situations, such as heart attacks, strokes, and severe injuries, before they reach a hospital. They work in ambulances, on medical helicopters, in disaster situations, and in rural areas where access to medical care may be limited.

AEMTs are authorized to perform advanced medical procedures, such as administering intravenous fluids and medications, interpreting electrocardiograms (ECGs), and using advanced airway management techniques. They work closely with other healthcare team members, including paramedics, nurses, and physicians, to ensure the best possible patient outcomes.

Overall, the role of an AEMT is crucial in the healthcare system, as they provide critical care in emergencies and play a vital role in saving lives and improving patient outcomes.

For many, the role of an AEMT is a rewarding career of a lifetime. There are, however, several similar jobs for which EMTs and AEMTs can pursue. Click here to learn about alternative jobs for EMTs and AEMTs.

Advanced EMT vs. EMT: What’s the difference?

Advanced EMTs and basic EMTs are two different levels of emergency medical responders. The main difference between the two is the level of training and the scope of medical procedures they are authorized to perform.

Becoming an Advanced EMT offers several benefits over becoming a regular EMT (EMT-Basic). Some of these benefits include:

  • Expanded scope of practice: AEMTs have a more comprehensive range of skills and abilities than EMT-Basics. This means they can perform more advanced procedures, such as administering certain medications, interpreting electrocardiograms (ECGs), and using advanced airway devices.
  • Increased career opportunities: AEMT certification can open up new career opportunities in critical care transport, wilderness medicine, and special event medicine.
  • Better pay: AEMTs typically earn higher salaries than EMT-Basics, due to their expanded skill set and increased responsibilities.
  • Enhanced patient care: With their advanced training and abilities, AEMTs are better equipped to provide high-quality patient care, leading to better health outcomes.
  • Career advancement: AEMT certification can be a steppingstone to becoming a paramedic, the highest level of pre-hospital care provider.

Below well detail more about what it takes to become an Advanced EMT.

Advanced EMT: Duties & Responsibilities

What Does an Advanced EMT Do?

EMS professionals assisting a woman

The specific duties and responsibilities of an Advanced EMT may vary depending on the state or jurisdiction in which they are working, but in general, they include the following:

  1. Responding to emergency medical calls: AEMTs respond to emergency medical calls, such as traffic accidents, heart attacks, and strokes, to provide immediate medical care to patients.
  2. Administering medications: AEMTs are authorized to administer a limited range of medications, such as oxygen, glucose, and certain medications to manage heart attacks, seizures, and allergic reactions.
  3. Advanced airway management: AEMTs are trained to perform advanced airway management procedures, such as inserting a breathing tube and operating a mechanical ventilator.
  4. Administering intravenous (IV) fluids: AEMTs are authorized to start IVs and provide fluid resuscitation.
  5. Performing advanced cardiac life support: AEMTs are trained to perform advanced cardiac life support procedures, such as defibrillation and cardiac monitoring.
  6. Providing patient transport: AEMTs are responsible for safely transporting patients to medical facilities and providing care en route.
  7. Documentation and record-keeping: AEMTs are required to maintain accurate patient care records and provide complete and accurate documentation of their interventions.
  8. Communication with other healthcare providers: AEMTs must communicate effectively with other healthcare providers, such as physicians and nurses, to ensure that patients receive appropriate care.
  9. Continuing education and training: AEMTs are expected to stay current with the latest medical practices and technologies through ongoing training and education.

In general, the duties and responsibilities of an AEMT are focused on providing advanced life-support care in pre-hospital and out-of-hospital settings. AEMTs work as part of a team with other healthcare providers and are an essential link in the chain of care for critically ill or injured patients.

Advanced EMT: School, Training, and Certification

How Long Does it Take to Become an Advanced EMT?

Before becoming an AEMT, you must first become certified as a basic EMT. Becoming a basic EMT typically requires around 150 hours of school, along with cognitive and psychomotor testing. If you are looking for an AEMT program, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is an excellent place to start. They provide accreditation for AEMT schools to be allowed to have their programs and keep a database of every accredited AEMT school in every state on their website. It is a requirement to go to one of these schools to receive your licensure from practicing once you complete the program.

An AEMT program has around 240 hours of instruction to complete. Other than the coursework, AEMT schools have a component of clinical field training. This training is conducted via simulated scenarios, clinical rotations in an ambulance, or clinical rotations at an emergency department.

If you’re looking for a top-notch EMT training program that can be completed in just 14 days, check out the EMT Boot Camp at Unitek EMT.

Advanced EMT Certification Exam

The Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) certification exam is a standardized test designed to assess the knowledge and skills of individuals who want to become certified AEMTs. The exam is administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) and is required for certification as an AEMT in most states in the US.

The AEMT certification exam comprises both a cognitive (written) and psychomotor (skills) component. The cognitive portion of the exam covers topics such as pharmacology, airway management, patient assessment, and medical and trauma emergencies, among others. The psychomotor part of the exam requires test takers to demonstrate their ability to perform specific emergency medical procedures, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation.

The AEMT certification exam is usually offered at testing centers and is delivered using a computer-based format. The cognitive portion of the exam contains 100 scored questions and 35 unscored questions, for a total of 135 questions, while the psychomotor part consists of various skills stations where test takers must perform hands-on procedures.

To be eligible for the AEMT certification exam, individuals must complete an approved AEMT training program and hold a valid state certification or licensure as an EMT-Basic. They must also have a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and meet other requirements determined by the NREMT.

Passing the AEMT certification exam is an important step in becoming a certified AEMT and advancing in the emergency medical services (EMS) field. Individuals who pass the exam will be recognized as certified AEMTs and will be able to provide advanced emergency medical care to patients.

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Advanced EMT: Salary

How Much Do Advanced EMTs Make?

According to, the average salary* for an Advanced EMT is $37,250 as of January 23, 2023. The pay ranges from about $30,000 for the lowest-paying 10% and more than $47,000 for the highest-paying 90%.

Advanced EMT: Job Outlook

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t track the job outlook for Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMTs), they provide information on future employment opportunities for EMTs and Paramedics. For both professions, the BLS projects overall employment growth of 7 percent through 2031, slightly higher than the average for all occupations (5 percent).

Click here to learn about how to become an EMT.

Tips for Succeeding as an Advanced EMT

Becoming a successful Advanced EMT requires a combination of technical skills, medical knowledge, and personal attributes. Here are some tips that may help you in your career as an AEMT:

  • Stay current with medical advancements: The medical field is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest treatments, medications, and procedures. Attend continuing education classes, conferences, and other training opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills.
  • Develop strong communication skills: As an AEMT, you’ll need to communicate effectively with patients, their families, and other medical personnel. Good communication skills will help you accurately assess patients, explain medical procedures, and provide clear and concise reports.
  • Build a positive reputation: A positive reputation in the medical community can benefit your career. Be professional, ethical, and respectful in your interactions with others, and strive to provide the best care possible for each patient.
  • Stay physically fit: Emergency medical work can be physically demanding, so it’s important to stay in good physical shape. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you prepare for the job’s demands.
  • Be a lifelong learner: The medical field is constantly changing, and as an AEMT, you’ll need to continue learning and growing throughout your career. Take advantage of continuing education opportunities and seek new experiences to keep yourself informed and prepared.
  • Build a strong support system: Being an AEMT can be physically and emotionally challenging. Having a solid support system of family, friends, and colleagues can help you navigate the challenges and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Practice good stress management techniques: Dealing with emergencies and life-threatening situations can be stressful. Finding healthy ways to manage stress and maintain your mental and emotional well-being is essential.

By following these tips and maintaining a commitment to quality care, you ‘ll be well on your way to a successful career as an AEMT.

Young EMS professional carrying a backpack

Start Your Career as an Advanced EMT

EMTs and Advanced EMTs are incredibly important in the field of emergency medical care. They play a critical role in providing life-saving patient care during emergencies, and their contributions are invaluable. As an Advanced EMT, you will be an elite emergency medical provider, performing a valuable and heroic service to your community. For many, it’s a challenging, exciting, and rewarding career of a lifetime.

To start your career as an Advanced EMT, you must first become certified as an EMT-Basic. One of the best EMT training programs in the country is offered by Unitek EMT. Our instructors are experienced leaders in their fields, and our real-world training scenarios are ideal for aspiring EMT professionals. We offer various training options to fit within your working schedule, including an accelerated EMT Boot Camp to get you mission-ready and certified fast.