How to Become an EMT Instructor

How to Become an EMT Instructor

Duties, Responsibilities, Schooling, Requirements, Certifications, Job Outlook, and Salary

How to Become an EMT Instructor

For people who suffer life-threatening injuries, EMTs play an essential role in saving their lives. The services provided my medical first responders are priceless. However, these men and women don’t become Emergency Medical Technicians on their own. Someone has to train and certify them before they can step inside those ambulances or clinics. And as the demand for certified EMTs continues to grow in our country, EMT instructors will continue to play an indispensable role in the years to come.

EMT Instructor Job Description

What Does an EMT Instructor Do?

An EMT/EMS Instructor’s job is to help as many students as possible complete their required EMT training program while preparing them to take the NREMT certification exam. When new EMTs will enter the field, it’s the EMT instructor that will have prepared them with the necessary knowledge and skills to do their job. For the future of emergency medical care, the stakes are high, and quality instructors are always needed.

The day-to-day responsibilities of an EMT instructor include:

  • Teaching EMT courses, such as patient treatment, trauma, patient assessment, and emergency medical conditions.
  • Demonstrating practical skills, such as patient transportation, immobilizations, and cardiac arrest treatment—basically, everything you’ll find on the EMT psychomotor examination.
  • Preparing EMT course materials and assignments, to help your students get the most out of every class hour and study session.
  • Coordinating with other departments on student training to provide the best-rounded educational experience possible.
  • Maintaining an accurate record of grades and assignments. This may sound basic, but it’s a vital part of making sure all your hard work (and your students’ hard work) is recognized.
  • Evaluating your students’ work and assisting those who need additional instruction. Not every student will get every technique or concept the first time around, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t a potentially wonderful EMT. Your job is to identify the ones who can make it but just need a little extra help from their teacher.

EMT Instructor Requirements

How Do I Become an EMT Instructor?

Exact requirements may vary state to state, but requirements typically include:

  • Current EMT certification
  • Current CPR certification
  • 120+ hours as an EMT Instructor Aide
  • A clean background check
  • Successfully passing the NAEMSE exam
  • 3+ years’ experience as an EMT or Paramedic

How Long Does It Take To Become an EMT Instructor?

EMT instructors are expected to earn 40 credit hours of instruction before they can take their certification exams. Prerequisites, such as 16 credit hours of online training, may also be required before the official training courses can begin. Some training institutions offer the full 40-hour credit load within a single 3-day course.

In addition to your coursework, many states require up to 120 hours as an EMT Training Aide before you can take over as lead instructor.

If you plan on teaching at a college, additional training and/or degrees may be required.

How Hard Is the EMT Instructor Training Curriculum?

For those who are eligible to become EMT instructors, the curriculum will not be difficult.

In order to become an EMT Instructor, you must first be certified as an EMT or Paramedic, as well passing the respective training courses and certification exams for either profession.

Therefore, EMT instructor candidates should be somewhat familiar with the training curriculum. If anything, the additional training should serve to reinforce their current skills while learning new approaches for teaching others those very same skills.

In other words, as a practicing EMT or Paramedic, you shouldn’t have any trouble passing the EMT instructor course.

EMT Instructor Training

While the EMT courses for instructors will include some additional EMT training, the majority of what you’ll be learning is how to teach. That means educational theory and philosophy, proven classroom techniques, grading, and evaluating student progress.

IC1 EMT Instructor Course

Your first EMT course for instructors (IC1) will focus primarily on the elements of teaching future EMTs and typically takes three days to complete (or 40 credit hours).

IC2 EMT Instructor Course

For EMT instructors looking to improve their effectiveness (or buff their resume a little), the advanced EMT course for instructors (IC2) digs deeper into the administrative and managerial side of teaching. Here, you’ll study techniques such as leadership, research, social intelligence, mentoring, and presentation techniques.

EMT Instructor School Cost

The cost of studying to become an EMT instructor is impressively low, especially considering the career potential ahead of you. According to the National Association of EMS Educators, you can expect to pay under $400 for either the IC1 or IC2 EMT Instructor courses.

Membership in the NAEMSE comes with significant discounts to these courses as well, lowering the price to under $300.

EMT Instructor Certification

Simply passing the EMT course for instructors won’t automatically qualify you to be an instructor. You’ll also need to pass the EMT Instructor certification exam.

The cost for the exam is $150 (you can find a copy of the application here). And don’t worry—if you don’t pass the first time, there’s no limit to the number of times you can retake the test (and the registration fee drops to $75 after the first try).

The setting for the exam will be very similar to when you took your initial EMT exam, so don’t waste time worrying about an unfamiliar environment. Just study hard, get plenty of sleep the night before, and give it your best shot!

Remember, there are some qualifications you’ll have to meet before taking the exam. These include:

  • Completion of your EMT course for instructors
  • A clean Felony/Conviction background check
  • Two (2) years teaching experience under a mentor
  • A letter of recommendation from an EMT medical director
  • Proof of identification and citizenship

You’ll also need to re-certify once every three years, so keep those study guides handy (see below). You can re-certify in one of two ways:

1) By earning 12 Continuing Education course credits by attending conferences or courses, or

2) By taking the NAEMSE re-certification exam.

For a list of exam locations, visit the NAEMSE link here.

EMT Instructor Resources

EMT Instructor Resources

We get it… becoming an EMT instructor may seem complicated, but fortunately, there’s also a lot of help available. Here are a few links that could help make the process a little more manageable.

Under Pressure is a great essay from NAEMSE graduate, Angel Burba, who goes into great detail about her journey to becoming an instructor, what to expect, and her tips on how to ace every step of the way.

Additional reading and study guides can be found here. All these articles, books, and papers are recommended by the NAEMSE for any prospective EMT instructor. If you still have questions about the process of becoming an EMT instructor or what to expect during the course or exam after reading this article, these readings should have you covered.

A calendar of upcoming NAEMSE courses can be found here. Check the locations and the dates to find the one most convenient for you.

A full list of upcoming exam dates and locations can also be found here.

EMT Instructor Jobs

Where Do EMT Instructors Work?

EMT Instructor Jobs

EMT Instructors teach in a variety of locations, alternating between traditional classroom settings and field settings for practical demonstrations and physical skills assessments.

The majority of your day will be spent in a traditional classroom setting. You’ll present to a seated class, all of whom will (hopefully) be listening attentively and taking copious notes. The size of the classroom will vary from school to school, but think back to your own EMT studies and you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Only this time, you’ll be behind the podium.

Occasionally, lab work or physical skill demonstrations may take you outside the classroom. You may take a field trip to give the class hands-on experience with an ambulance, or you may have them practice with their medical mannequins in an outdoor setting to simulate what they’ll actually be experiencing as EMTs.

The great thing is you are the one creating the lesson plans and customizing the educational experience for your students. Therefore, the only person who can 100% predict what your class will be like is you.

The hours of an EMT instructor will typically follow a traditional secondary educator’s day but will ultimately depend on your employers. You may wind up teaching night classes in addition to daytime classes, for example. But for the average instructor, expect morning to late afternoon hours.

And as far as where you teach, that again is entirely up to you. EMT training facilities can be found in every state, and every one of those facilities needs instructors. Simply Google “EMT courses near me” or “EMT courses near [city]” to see how many opportunities for EMT instructors are out there.

Where Can I Find EMT Instructor Jobs?

EMT and EMS instructor jobs can be searched for on popular job search websites such as and You can also contact your local EMT training facilities to ask about openings. Local community colleges and trade schools are also excellent resources for finding open positions.

EMT Instructor Salary

How Much Do EMT Instructors Make?

The average salary* for an EMT/EMS instructor (nationally) is $55,000 a year. Location plays a large factor in average salary*, however. The average salary* of an EMT instructor in Washington, DC, for example, can make nearly $20,000  more than an EMT instructor in Louisiana.

(RELATED: Check out our list of the best paying cities for EMTs)

Why Become an EMT Instructor

You’re Teaching Others to Save Lives

Why Become an EMT Instructor

To borrow an old proverb, treat one victim, and you’ve saved one person’s life. Teach someone to save lives, and you potentially save thousands. Training the next generation of EMTs and Paramedics isn’t just a noble calling, it’s a necessary one. We need hard-working, qualified EMT instructors to keep our ambulances and clinics staffed, so the next time help is needed, we won’t have to worry about whether it will come.

Interested in beginning your journey to becoming an EMT instructor? Click here for more information on our 14-Day Bootcamp: EMT Courses