Emergency Medical Technician

Student performing CPR on training dummy

Emergency Medical Technician - Certificate

This intensive one quarter 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.

Note: BTC has not made a determination that the Emergency Medical Technician curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification outside of Washington State. We encourage students who plan to work out-of-state to check relevant local licensure/certification requirements.

Employment Information

86% BTC graduate placement rate1

$29,515 starting annual wage2
$36,130 average annual wage2
$43,347 potential annual wage2

  • 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 2017-18 and 2019-20. 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.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 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

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

Students interested in the Emergency Medical Technician program should apply to the college and contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with getting started at BTC. A college application and your score on assessment testing and/or previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence.

The EMT Program is offered in Fall and Spring Quarters only. Candidates from affiliated/sponsored agencies are given priority consideration for program admission. EMS 125 Sample Schedule

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

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

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.

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.

Program Information

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

To obtain initial EMS Provider certification following the successful completion of the EMT certificate program, students must:
  • possess a high school diploma or GED
  • provide proof of identity - State or federal photo I.D. (military ID, driver's license, passport)
  • be 18 years of age or older by the time of completion and certification WAC 246-976-141

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.

Students must complete requirements as listed in the EMT Clinical Placements Requirements Info Sheet

  • This program requires a background check, 10-panel drug screen, immunizations (including two-part TB screening), and CPR certification prior to clinical placement.

  • This program requires a criminal history background check prior to attending the clinic practicum. Criminal History Background Check Information Sheet

Notice About Marijuana Usage

Students who test positive for THC (marijuana, including prescription marijuana) will not be allowed entrance to Nursing and Allied Health programs with clinical components. Drug screening is a requirement of our clinical partner agencies. Although private recreational and medical use of marijuana is legal in Washington state, our clinical partner agencies are governed by federal laws, and marijuana is a prohibited substance at the federal level. If your final drug test results are positive, you will be ineligible to participate in the program that year and will be allowed to reapply to the program 12 months from the date of the positive test.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 12

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • EMS 125Emergency Medical Technician-Basic12 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

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.

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student employment in this industry.

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

*This average annual wage was provided by program faculty and is specific to working as a firefighter EMT.

Faculty & Support


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email outreach@btc.edu.

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email NursingAlliedHealthNav@btc.edu