How to Become an EMT Instructor

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An Emergency Medical Services (EMS) instructor teaches all of the levels of the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) hierarchy. Becoming an EMS instructor is a challenging and intensive process that comes with great rewards.


The process, which will take several years, involves in-class instruction and on-site training. An EMS worker needs to have in-depth knowledge of emergency medical issues and an ability to think and react quickly in an emergency situation.


In addition to medical emergency knowledge, an EMS instructor also needs to memorize state laws and learn how to coordinate with police and firefighter departments.

Things You'll Need

  • A copy of your state's EMS laws and regulations
  • Study guides for EMT and paramedic courses

How to Get Your EMS Instructor Certification

  • Read about the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) position. The website for the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has job descriptions for EMTs and paramedics.

  • Research your state's laws and regulations for EMS positions.

    If you are willing to adjust and adapt your lifestyle to this type of position (for example, dealing with irregular working hours), take your research a little further. In the United States, each state has specific laws for police officers, firefighters and EMTs. You can find this information at your state's official website (such as virginia.gov).

    If you already possess EMT certification, research your state's requirements for becoming an EMS instructor. States have age and education requirements. In most cases, an EMS instructor must be at least 21 years old, a high school graduate and have three to six years' experience as an EMT or higher-level position.

  • Take classes.

    If you are currently not an EMT, you need to take classes to obtain certification. CPR and first-aid certification is vital for any EMS position.

    Locate the nearest rescue squad and sign up for classes. Three different levels of certification are available: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic. Depending on the state, other classes may be offered to cover specific operations. While these classes may not be necessary for instructor certification, they are a great addition for your resume.

  • Get experience.

    Locate the nearest rescue squad. If you have no prior experience, make sure that the rescue squad has volunteer positions available.

    If you are assigned to a crew, you will be required to show up for specific shifts. Volunteer EMTs usually work one or two all-night shifts during the week. This on-the-job experience is an invaluable part of your training. Once you are certified, you will put your classroom training into use for real-life emergency situations.

  • Take an instructor certification course.

    If you fulfill the state's age, education and experience requirements, look for an EMS Instructor certification course in your area. Most likely you will be able to find a course through your rescue squad or a neighboring fire and rescue squad.

    Continuing education is very important. Take certification refresher courses and make sure that your CPR and first-aid certifications are not out-of-date.

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  • Photo Credit paramedic 1 image by Aaron Kohr from Fotolia.com
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