What Types of Hours Do EMTs Work?


Emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, work unpredictable hours, because emergency services are needed all hours of the day and night. An EMT provides emergency care and transportation to the sick or injured. They need to be able to respond when needed with very little notice, and they need to be able to remain calm and alert at all times.

Ambulance Services

  • EMTs who work for private ambulance services may work a wide variety of hours. Some ambulance services schedule EMTs to work 12 hours shifts, such as 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EMTs that work for other ambulance services may work a 24-hour on-call shift, followed by 24 to 48 hours off. Because emergency care has to be available around the clock, EMTs may end up working 50 or 60 hours a week to be sure there is a professional available at all times. When not actually at work, these heath care professionals may need to remain on call, and may have to respond at a moment's notice in the event of an emergency.

Fire Departments

  • Many fire departments employ trained EMTs. For some candidates, working as an EMT may be a stepping stone to becoming a firefighter. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fire-department EMTs may work extremely unpredictable hours, varying between 8-hour shifts and 10-hour shifts, usually working a total of about 50 hours a week. They may also work for 24 hours, followed by 48 hours off. It isn't possible to predict how many emergencies may come up on the same night, and at times it may be necessary to work longer hours than expected.


  • Emergency medical technicians that are employed by hospitals may work somewhat more predictable hours, such as scheduled 8- or 12-hour shifts. Although emergency medical technicians who work in a hospital environment may work more predictable shifts than EMTs who work for an ambulance service, they still have to be willing to work extra shifts when needed.


  • Emergencies occur both indoors and outdoors, so the work environment can be as unpredictable as the hours. At times, emergency care may be required in many different settings, such as in the pouring rain, in the middle of a football field or at the scene of an automobile accident, and a trained EMT has to be able to remain professional, even when fatigued by working long shifts. The number of hours an EMT is required to work, as well as the specific duties performed can vary based on the level of training and the place of employment. It isn't likely that an emergency medical technician can work a set number of predictable hours. It is important for a candidate that is interested in becoming an EMT to be willing to work whenever needed.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How Much Do Flight Paramedics Make?

    A flight paramedic works as part of a helicopter crew, transporting critically injured or ill persons to hospital trauma centers and helping...

  • How Much Do EMTs Make an Hour?

    An EMT, or emergency medical technician, provides emergency medical treatment and assistance to people experiencing health emergencies stemming from an accident, injury...

  • What Kind of Clothes Do Nurses Wear?

    Today’s nursing uniforms are a long way from the starched white of days gone by. What a nurse wears is often dependent...

  • How Many Hours Do Dentists Work?

    Dentists help take care of the gums and teeth of their patients. Most dentists hold a doctoral degree and earn a six-figure...

  • How to Become a Volunteer EMT

    Fire departments and other agencies rely on volunteer EMTs as on-call help and during certain types of emergencies. Volunteer EMTs may be...

  • What Is the Length of EMT Basic Training?

    While different states have different minimum requirements for EMT training, the United States Department of Transportation and the United States Department of...

  • How Much Do EMTs Make an Hour in NYC?

    Although they're licensed, emergency medical technicians aren't regulated as strictly as many other medical workers in New York, and training requirements aren't...

Related Searches

Check It Out

3 Day-to-Night Outfits for the Work Week

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!