Emergency Medical Technician

Student performing CPR on training dummy

Emergency Medical Technician - Certificate

Applications for the Fall 2021 Cohort is closed. Please see the EMT Program Overview & Application below.

Attend an online Allied Health Info Session on November 17, 2021 and learn about our Allied Health programs, and about funding and student support resources that can help you get started at BTC.

This intensive 3-course program includes lectures, hands-on practice and techniques for:
Introduction to emergency care, bleeding and shock, soft tissue injuries, environmental emergencies, lifting and moving patients, emergency childbirth, and much, much more. At the end of the training, successful participants are qualified for the National Registry of EMT’s examination.

The EMT program is NOT eligible for Financial Aid as it does not meet the federal criteria for funding. Military Veterans can use GI Bill® education benefits*, see the BTC website Student Financial Resources for more information.

*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. Government Web Site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Employment Information

$42,536 starting annual wage
$77,230 average annual wage
$94,432 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2016-17 and 2018-19. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2020 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (Washington State wage) and reflect 2015-2018 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

Admissions application and assessment testing or college English course is required. Students interested in the EMT Program are encouraged to meet with Allied Health College Navigator Laura Doss by emailing advising@btc.edu. The college navigator will help you plan a course of study.

We offer the EMT Program, Fall and Spring Quarters only. Candidates from affiliated/sponsored agencies are given priority consideration for program admission.

Starting in Fall students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. To be considered fully vaccinated, two weeks must have passed since the date of the second dose or first dose for the one-dose vaccine. The program’s clinical partner agencies will not accept any exemption to full COVID-19 vaccination.

Applications for the Fall 2021 Cohort is closed. Please see the EMT Program Overview & Application above to apply for Spring 2022.

Applications for program entry are typically due 4 weeks prior to the start of the quarter.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine your acceptance into the Program. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

Placement testing scores ACCUPLACER: Reading Comprehension score of 71 and Sentence Skills score of 71 or ACCUPLACER Next-Generation: Reading scores of 247 and Writing Score of 245 or RDG 085 and ENGL 092 with a grade of C or higher or unofficial college transcripts.

Students must possess the aptitude and ability to perform critical thinking in the field. Students with poor reading comprehension may need to improve their abilities before taking the EMT Program.

Program Application & Information

  • Applications may be mailed, faxed (360.752.7247) or emailed to healthinfo@btc.edu
    Bellingham Technical College Attn: Billie Baker, HC 206 3028 Lindbergh Avenue Bellingham, WA 98225
  • If affiliated/sponsored: Application with attachments and signature from affiliated organization.

  • If non-affiliated/sponsored: Application with attachments and signature for non-affiliated applicants. NOTE: Non-affiliated students have one year from the completion of the course to meet the affiliation requirement to be certified by the State of Washington. Affiliated status with a fire department or ambulance service must be attained before participants are eligible for State EMT Certification. Students must also submit BTC Placement test results.

Students must have access to a computer with high speed internet as many program components and testing are done online.

Students, either prior to entering the program, or before course three (EMS 123), are encouraged to have taken a Hazardous Materials Awareness course. It is also recommended only that students complete the IS 10.0a and IS 700.a courses, available from the FEMA website (http://training.fema.gov/IS/) as the NREMT exam will address these areas in more depth than is covered in the EMT Program.

Note: Students accepted to the EMT Program must attend the first night of class which is the program orientation. Details TBA in your acceptance notification.

Early Program Course Requirements

The EMT Program does not require pre-program course completion. Instead, applicants are required to submit the following with your application:
  • Current BTC Application: Have applied online to www.btc.edu/ApplyOnline within the last year. Please indicate EMT as your program of intent

  • Photocopy of valid Driver's License or photo ID

  • Proof of high school graduation or GED completion-Copy of college unofficial transcripts or diploma, GED or high school transcripts

  • Minimum age: Students may be 17 years of age at the start of the program, but must be 18 upon completion

  • Completed and signed Criminal History Background Check Self-Disclosure form

Physical Requirements

Physical strength adequate to perform the normal functions of an EMT, including the ability to lift and move objects weighing up to 125 lbs.

AFTER admissions acceptance into the program and prior to beginning program classes students must submit proof of all Clinical Placement Requirements.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 12

  • Quarter 1

  • EMS 121EMT I Fundamentals of Emergency Care4 CR
  • EMS 122EMT II Medical Disorders and Emergencies4 CR
  • EMS 123EMT III Traumatic Emergencies and Special Circumstances4 CR

Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate the ability to recall and apply knowledge of human structure, function, pathophysiology, and psychosocial development to patient care relative to the role of entry level Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
  • Demonstrate, through knowledge and behavior, a commitment to the highest standards and competence, ethics, integrity, and accountability to the patient and the EMT profession.
  • Demonstrate an ability to collect data from charts and patients and interpret patient data.
  • Demonstrate an ability to use critical thinking skills to assess and treat patients in emergency settings.
  • Demonstrate effective use of motor, cognitive, and critical thinking skills in diagnosis, management, and prevention of common health problems encountered in patient care necessary to fulfill the role of entry level EMT.
  • Demonstrate an ability to perform patient assessment.
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively in a healthcare setting.
  • Demonstrate an ability to manage time efficiently while functioning in a healthcare setting.
  • Demonstrate effective listening, verbal, and written communication skills with a wide range of individuals and groups in order to provide patient-centered care.
  • Recognize and work effectively within the larger context and system of health care to advocate for and provide quality patient care relative to the role of entry level EMT.

Employment Outlook

Jobs in the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) field are currently in high demand. There is a shortage of qualified workers and many available positions to fill. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMT employment is expected to grow faster than average in upcoming years. This is due to a number of factors, including the need for 24-hour care, and the aging of a large percentage of the population. Aside from job security, a career as an EMT also offers you the chance to become an important part of your community, and to truly help people in their most dire time of need.

The average annual wage in this field is $77,230, with an earning potential of about $94,432 per year.*

Faculty & Support

Laura Doss has been at BTC for 10 years in the roles of Academic & Career Advisor, Student Navigator, Instructor, Completion Coach and now College Navigator for the Allied Health Programs. Laura earned her Bachelor of Science while serving in the US Army and stationed in Germany and her Master of Education while stationed at Fort Sill, OK. Her initial education and training was in the mental health field before moving into education. Outside of work, Laura likes to spend time with her four kids, walking the trails, cuddling with her tiny dog and reading a ton of books!